... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

221: bookworm, maggots, sleighs, sulkies and sticky tape

Amidst the constant echoing harangues of hammer and chisel, falling plaster, and drill against brick I turn to my books for a little comfort and understanding.  The builders wander up and down scaffolding passed my window going about their business as proper Man-men, while I peck away at the keyboard with my soft delicate little ET fingers.  They stomp about in work-boots, the leather worn away revealing solid steal toe caps, and I look down at my dainty toes clad comfortably in tartan slippers.

Continuing the books, magazines and zines theme of recent posts I’ve selected a few of the weirder, more interesting specimens from my book shelves, and plan to guide you through them (gently of course, not wanting to startle or confuse you).  Like all bibliophiles I find something intangibly exciting about books.  It could be their smell, their presence, their authority, their obscurity, their permanence or transience, the way they look.  They are like obedient pets, waiting patiently to be picked up and stroked.  I buy books for many reasons.  Some are of course for reading, but others are artworks, funny-looking oddities, reference books, visual guides, collections, souvenirs, must-haves, or objects of lust.  This is all very strange given that they are just bundles of paper printed with images and/or text to various degrees.

First up in today’s show and tell is Maggots by Brian Chippendale.  Brian is the drummer in the stupendously frantic noise rock band Lightning Bolt and also a creator of densely inked comics of impenetrable narrative.  Maggots is ostensibly a graphic novel, but what it actually is a beautiful black nightmare of swirling people-like characters gradually moving, cavorting stomping, falling, flailing, screeching, scrying and screeing.  Each frame is barely distinct from all that surround it and each page is gashed and scribbled onto printed pages of Japanese text.  Occasionally a character speaks or explodes, but who is who and what is what seems obscured, obfuscated and obliterated by the mountains of miniscule repetition.  The inside flap gives “general instructions for reading Maggots.  Down page one and up page three!  Back n forth, or sometimes it’s tricky like page 4 gets weird.  Read bottom two lines from left.  Huh, funny!  Stay alert!”


American_Carriages_coverNext comes a more sedate affair: American Carriages, Sleighs, Sulkies, and Carts which boldly yet matter-of-factly claims itself to be “168 illustrations from Victorian sources, edited by Don H. Berkebile”.  Good ol’ Berkebile tells us that “the modern American generally assumes that his ancestors used the carriage almost as freely as he uses his automobile”.  Oh what a foolish creature the modern American is revealed to be!  

“As he gains an awareness of the cost of acquiring a horse and carriage [...] he realises that the carriage was not a common possession in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century America.”  Well good.  That’s us told, and told again.  Now feast your eyes on accurately rendered prints of a Studebaker 1903 Road Cart, an 1858 Jagger Wagon, an 1872 Whitechapel Wagon, a Queen’s-Body Phaeton , and of course the classic Barker Brougham.  A great sourcebook for someone, but one I have yet to find a use for.  If ever I find myself needing to sketch authentic 18th Century American street scenes I will be fully tooled up.

American_Carriages_02 American_Carriages_01

Tape_coverNow let us take each other by the hand and take our first steps together on An Excursion Through the World of Adhesive Tapes with our third spined oddity Tape written by Kirsten Finger and published by Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin.  Yep, it’s a book about sticky tape.  Here’s a picture of some duct tape, and here is a list of things you can do with duct tape.  Here is a picture of some tape wot looks like a picture frame n here is a pictuur of teap wot u cn rowl n2 a ball n it luks liek a futbol.  

Here is a picture of a box with some tape on, and here is a wall with some tape on.  Here is some art made from tape, and here is some designer tape with a pattern on it.  Here is a banana taped to a bench, and here is a man standing in a puddle with tape on his shoes.  Here is a nose with some tape on and here is a taxi with some tape on and here is a girl with some tape on and here is a back with tape on and kick me written on the tape that is on the back of the person and here is a window with some tape on and another window with some tape on.  Tape.


...and they all lived happily ever after.  The End.

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