Monday, December 30, 2013

The Bellman rings twice

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel, squiggle by squiggle … right now we're in Fit the Seventh …

Leaving someone to their fate is all the rage in certain philosophical circles. The smart set calls it a feeble-minded tautology but we think it's a splendid excuse for yet another obsessively cross-hatched depiction of Karl Marx shaking his fat German booty in a tight-fitting Hindustani harem outfit.

Of course, if you just tuned in to this GN version of The Hunting of the Snark, you're probably eying the exit by now, eager to get away from all this eschatological psychobabble but if you're a regular habitue of these parts, you'll know that all of the above is just another example of this artist's singular inability to clearly explain whatever it is that he's up to.

The shehnai-playing monkey and the bewigged barrister-pig are window-dressing for the real "meat" of this stanzel is the squiggly, blobby bits of ink encrusted on the right-hand margin, the ones that spell out the word "BOO". This word's grim import will become clearer later on but for now, I suggest that you avoid making eye contact with it.

Snark drawings are the New York subway-riding winos and psychos of the illustration and comix world; reeking of strong ink and sour, week-old tautologies fished out of filth-ridden dumpsters, they spell nothing but trouble, especially of the B-O-O ilk.

So go ahead, give 'em your spare change if you want to but you know what they'll do with it, don't you? … far better to leave them to their fate while you scurry back to your cozy, safe home in the predestinarian suburbs …

Meanwhile, a propos of nothing in particular … here's Terry Gilliam's take on making a living in the arts:

"If I'd actually learned any of the lessons, I wouldn't be making films anymore. I try not to learn. I spend most of my life unlearning …"

Soyez zen, Mr. Gilliam!

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