Monday, July 25, 2011

Is there a Cuban doctor in the house?

Even Snark hunters need a hiatus from time to time, so this week we'll eschew (temporarily) Carrollian verse for something a bit less Nonsensical …

The Hooded Utilitarian has launched a series of postings, combining the verse of Wallace Stevens with the artwork of 20+ artists. There's an intro here which you can bookmark to easily access all the various verses & pictures as they come on-line over the next week, one by one, in alphabetical order.

You can see & read my comixed version of The Cuban Doctor here.

This should be quite interesting for all verse lovers and in particular, for those artists interested in illustrating verse, which can be quite a tricksy business, like hunting Snark but without all the glamour and publicity.

And many thanks to Noah Berlatsky for coming up with this pretty neat idea, plus enduring the attendant headaches of editing it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hey, Lady Gaga — twitter THIS!

"… what Lewis Carroll would say about the goth niche … I suspect he would have grabbed a riding crop and delivered some hearty blows to the heads of the lower classes … We can’t have pond scum or bottom of the pond scum crawling to the top and making cultural choices … if we visual and verbal people continue to whore ourselves out so shamelessly, we’re going to get what we deserve, which is nothing."

To read more of Sean Michael Robinson's interview with me at The Comics Journal, click here. And thanks, Sean, for bringing my rant to the masses. That should really make 'em want to buy my book, the ironic rascals.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fit 6, Pg. 66/2 … Snark Rashomon!

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel … right now we're in Fit the Sixth, where the Barrister (played by Martin Heidegger) is dreaming of prosecuting a pig …

If you've ever had the pleasure of a boozy, slobbering confabulation with a magistrate or judge in mufti, you'll know that they're well equipped to sum things up, no matter the circs. Of course, the present situation is rather mind-taxing for even the keenest legal mind and in such cases a quick supplementary evidence-collecting trip to the corner liquor store is indicated. Snappy legal thinkery is best done with one's mind defragmented by pure, wholesome gin and tonic substances and milord agrees whole-heartedly.

Since these legal proceedings occur entirely inside the mind of the dreaming Barrister, all the characters involved are depicted with the Barrister's features, all of 'em, judge, jury, witnesses, the whole gang. And since the dreaming Barrister is played here by Martin Heidegger, we have a superfluity of Heideggers to contend with.

Tossing a martini olive at our idly gyrating Assamese nautch girl-cum-paralegal, we delve deeper into the facts of this case. How does one sum up a case in which everyone involved is indistinguishable? It makes one's head ache, just thinking through the metaphysical ramifications, the layers of boozy double-think involved in sifting through evidence and testimony which is all of it, a priori, stemming from the same person multiplied twenty-fold.

Ergo, all the facts in this trial are equivalent and hence, ultimately identical. If one sums up all the perfectly identical elements of a closed set, one is left with the overwhelming impression of having created a logical, spinning, looping thing-um-a-jig, rather like bed-spin after a particularly boisterous judicial Saturday night. This is because the summing up is being done by one of the very elements being summed up.

College-educated bar-maids and nautch-girls call this "recursion" and it's always been the secret tipple of the Great One, Lewis Carroll. He considered it to be the lime juice in the gin of logic and metaphysics and liberally doused all of his Nonsense works with it.

In any case, to sum up the summing up, the judge in this case deferred to the Snark because the latter was (and is) a creature of pure Nonsense, and hence, a thing of undiluted 100-proof recursive purity.

And the above drawing shows that the Snark has acted with Gordian decisiveness — by cheating! His gnarly finger tips the scales of justice ever so slightly towards his porcine defendant and leaves us all with the customary bad taste of purchased justice in one's mouth.

It's a heady tipple, this Nonsense vintage we call The Hunting of the Snark and best left to professionals like judges, illustrators and poets!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fit 6, Pg. 66/1 … the snark in the grey flannel suit

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll, a graphic novel by this artist and explained here, page by page, panel by panel … right now we're in Fit the Sixth, where the Barrister (played by Martin Heidegger) is dreaming of prosecuting a pig …

Wipe the smirk from your face, dear reader, stifle the groan in your throat … yes, we are punning today and the punnee is a legal suit and the punnor is a gentleman’s suit, size 42.

Of course, you already know that puns are the bittersweet linguistic memory of that long-ago time when any word meant anything, and some of ‘em meant as much as six different things before breakfast. In those prelapsarian times when language was first evolving from the sonic ooze of grunts and snorts into more upright, ambulatory fricatives and uvular trills, the assignment of one particular sound to one particular object was a slapdash, fritter-my-wig sort of business. In truth, we might say that once upon a time all words were puns and Nonsense reigned upon the land.

All of this came to a sticky end with the invention of reeling and writhing, as I’m sure you’ve heard before. Equipped with such skills, even circus and theater folk could interpret the written marx of contract law and stymie the Pig and his legal Snark, all by invoking the Sanity Clause.

What’s this, the Judge sputters! Sanity Clause? You can’t fool me, there ain’t no Sanity Clause! Exactly, milord, 'tis the perfect Christmas Alibi, the Snark replies!