Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Dress for success

August 15, 2016

Another item unearthed today: a collage of sorts (well, an altered poster) from 1998, amended by Chris Ambidge in 2000:

It’s all about clothing and displaying the body.


Trapped in the morning duff

August 12, 2016

Morning names from the 9th: a pair you can get stuck in (the Great Grimpen Mire and the La Brea Tar Pits) and the noun duff referring to decaying vegetable matter.


The old curiosity shelf

August 9, 2016

Art, crafts, bits of my life.

I’ve been sorting through things, clearing things out, all the while compressing three offices with five desks in them to one office with, well, three desks in it (desks have lots of useful drawers). So far I have given or thrown away an immense amount of memorabilia (including about half my collection of penguiniana), but I’ve also unearthed, or brought out of dark corners, assorted bits of artwork, silly stuff, personal treasures of Jacques’s and mine, and the like — and I now have some shelves and surfaces in visible spots where they can be displayed. My cabinets of curiosities, my old curiosity shelves, my shelves of wonder.

Here are two shelves (from a set of five) in the main room of my Ramona St. house. A somewhat dark photo (from Kim Darnell’s phone), but it will give you the idea:



Wild in the morning

August 8, 2016

Today’s morning name: Cimarron (from the American Spanish ‘wild, untamed’). A name that’s all over a swath of the U.S., in AR, AZ, CA, CO, KS, NM, OK, and TX, in the names of cities and towns and geographical features like rivers and mountains. The names were originally used for “wild” places and geographical features and for European-unsettled areas, in particular the Cimarron Territory, which gave its name to a 1929 novel by Edna Ferber and a celebrated 1931 movie.


Instant Brexit porn

June 27, 2016

The vote was on the 23rd, results announced on the 24th, and by today flamboyant gay pornographer Chuck Tingle has exploited Brexit for queer ends in a 37-page Kindle book (available from Amazon in the U.K.):


Offer offer offer offer

June 24, 2016

More offers from the Zwicky condos of Palo Alto. The offers come as packages: we’re ready to mail out a package for the cost of mailing and no more. If you want one of these collections, SEND E-MAIL to both me and Kim Darnell (who manages the mailing): and . With your postal address. PLEASE PLEASE don’t reply as a Facebook comment or message or a WordPress comment, since this offer is going out in multiple places.


Girl Genius

June 11, 2016

… a comic book, webcomic, and book series centered on the character Agatha Heterodyne:


Graduation Day

May 27, 2016

The cover of the May 30th New Yorker, “Commencement”:


A standard exercise on this blog: what do you have to know to understand what’s going on in this drawing? To see why it might be funny? (It could, of course,  just be an affectionate  portrait of an event of the season, not meant to be funny.)


Gerard Hoffnung

May 26, 2016

Like Thurber, Sendak, Briggs, and some others I’ve written about, another cartoonist / illustrator not generally accounted to be a Real Artist (perhaps at best a “graphic artist” like Bechdel) — especially since his work is funny, and meant to be. But he was a delight, the clear standout in the specialized field of cartoonists / illustrators / humorists who focus on the world of music. The occasion is my unearthing my copy of The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra (originally published in 1955, reprinted in 1984), with its enormously enjoyable combination of hilarious exaggerated drawings of symphony musicians at work and preposterous invented instruments. A third vein of humor comes in some other books of his, especially Musical Chairs of 1958, with its hybrid concoctions of animal plus instrument (a cat playing on its whiskers as a violin, for example).

Seven examples follow. I had to exercise severe forbearance to keep from swamping you with Hoffnungiana.


Ballad of beef

May 25, 2016

(Not much about language.)

The Daily Jocks ad from yesterday, with a caption of mine:


His name was
Drogo, after the legendary
Horseman, but everyone called him
Oxo, because he was so



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