Ossva is for Ossvanian ivory…

“Ossva is for Ossvanian ivory, which comes from the buttons shed every winter by Ossvaniyra. The buttons are gathered by children in early spring after the snow melts, a tradition comparable to an Easter egg hunt. Ossvaniyra are semifossorial, and their burrows are sometimes spoiled by the unchecked enthusiasm of immature humans. A few of the more unruly children may disappear during the button gathering. Ossvaniyra are not over-large but they are omnivorous, and a small brat can make a tasty treat. The buttons are carved by tinsmiths into traditional shapes like cabbages, beetles and rabbits.”

Top image: Decorative captial letter Ossva, shaped as an Ossvaniyr.
Bottom image: My usual lousy photograph of the cheap paperback edition from the seventies. You can see the 1926 first edition cover here.

He and his brother watched clouds of lizard energy cluster and accelerate

Below is another offering from my library of imaginary books, this image comes from An Ornate Asemic Alphabet in Monstrose Forms, by Davida Elzevir-Dewey and Joanna Vandy, George H. Doran Company, 1926

…and a gif, mostly asemic, titled “Southern Cross”, and somehow connected to the song by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

© 2017 lcmt

2 Collabs

“Ghost Pepper Savants Chirp Joy in the Leftover Sun of the Demonic Parking Lot”

This is a collaboration with Michael Sikkema, author of Die Die Dinosaur, published by Blazevox. Michael provided the source material, a photograph of branches.

I am very susceptible to branches, which can be used as characters or narrative structures. Michael is also the source of the title, which is a work of genius. (I would like to state that ghost peppers are way too hot for me to eat, but I admire the legendary aesthetic of very hot peppers. Like dark chocolate, they are true magic.)

Here’s a glimpse of one of my pages in Tony Burhouse’s new zine:

© 2017 lcmt

The Semi-Annual Gala Luncheon of Cognizance

Above is the incomplete cover design for The Semi-Annual Gala Luncheon of Cognizance.

Wm. Yost made four variations of his attempt to interpret Hamlet within the GLP cosmology, as part of his series of Shakepeare plays translated for horned lizards. Two of the Hamlet panels were supposed to be published for the first time in a book, The Semi-Annual Gala Luncheon of Cognizance, scheduled for release in late November 1998. More than half the book was to be a Geranium Lake Properties retrospective, but the publisher planned at least forty pages devoted to new material, in a lavish hard-cover format. A further announcement changed the release date to early December, then it was pushed back to a week before Christmas, then it became little more than a hope for early 1999. Yost disappeared in 1999–the last reported sighting was of Yost boarding a ferry on a trip out from Auckland, New Zealand, on April 1rst. The book was never published.

This is a gif I made out of Yost’s variations:

Paradise in the Large Never Never

The story behind today’s GLP comic could be the history of the band Cingroove, which was not so much a band as dance machine project created in the eighties by Samantha Zivotovsky, known professionally as Sam Zivo. Sam was an art punk (and a blood relative of Warren Zevon) with an abiding love for synthpop electro-boogie fusion, but she didn’t stop there. Sam felt compelled to squeeze several of her erratic musical obsessions into the mix of her soundtracks, including passions for the ukulele, the accordion, and traditional Mariachi string instruments, the vihuela and the guitarrón. When Sam was a child, she had accompanied her Jewish grandmother (who had lived in the same house in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, for sixty years) to Mariachi Plaza to hire bands for parties and weddings. In addition, Sam gave Cingroove a brass section with two trumpets and a trombone, an influence from her mother’s adoration of Earth, Wind & Fire, and Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass.

Cingroove achieved modest success in the eight years of its existence, with several songs popular in dance clubs, and three of them reaching Billboard’s Hot 100. The first was “Acrographinotus”, known as “Miz Lady Goatbug”, which was the popular interpretation of a garbled line in the song’s refrain. Sam never revealed the true meaning of the refrain.

“The tricky thing with my lyrics is that I need people to misunderstand them to get a hit single,” she said in an interview in Spin, May 1986. “Acrographinotus” reached number 38 on the Billboard chart. Cingroove’s second chart hit, “Paradise in the Large Never Never”, from their third album, reached number 24 in 1989, where it stayed for 11 weeks. Cingroove’s last hit, “Whiteface Heroes and Bluesky Gods”, also from the third album, was their biggest hit, reaching number 4 on the Billboard chart.

Cingroove entered the Geranium Lake Properties universe with “Acrographinotus”; Wm. Yost became a fan of the song, and drew several interpretations of the character Miz Lady Goatbug. He collaborated with Sam Zivo on the Cingroove logo, which was based on a graffiti stencil Sam had made of the band’s name. Many years later, after Yost had retired and disappeared, Gralie Bohe wrote Samantha Zivotovsky into her novel, The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau. She appeared as a girlfriend of Yost’s ex-wife.

We Will Sacrifice Our Children to Fire

This is the last of the panels in my possession from the Valley of Gheionnim series. If you follow the tag for Gheionnim you should be able to see all five posts.

Below is the corner of a thing I am quite happy with at the moment. It emerged out of a page I was making for submission to a zine project (for my friend Tony Burhouse). The page evolved into a Geranium Lake Properties panel (which will be posted as soon as I figure out what to call it), a map, and this thing which right now is working under the title “An Invocation for the Kelp Forest”.

© 2017 lcmt

My other plum salsa recipe

I have been thinking of making plum salsa since I wrote this post. To get an idea of what should go into plum salsa besides plums, I looked for and found a couple of recipes on the internet, one from Martha Stewart, one from allrecipes-dot-com. Once I felt that I had a firm grasp of the plum salsa concept, I made two decisions. Lime juice, yes. Cilantro, no. Then I went grocery shopping. No list.

While making the salsa, I glanced at Martha Stewart’s recipe a few times, but I departed significantly from her instructions.

I started with two large black plums, a type with pale flesh, not red. Both plums seemed firm, but when I cut them, one was firm and tart, the other was sweet, and mushy under the knife. I also used approximately a third of a white nectarine I was eating before I started cutting up the plums. I chopped the nectarine and plums into small pieces. I didn’t measure the pieces. I was in no hurry. I chopped according to my mood. I was feeling patient and serene. A Time Team episode played in the background. The familiar voices of the archaeologists were soothing to me, with a small pang of melancholy for Mick Ashton’s departure from this side of our perceivable existence.

Almost forgot to say, I peeled the plums and even the hunk of nectarine. Yep, I was feeling patient.

Martha Stewart’s recipe calls for a “small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped”. I had a large cucumber, I used two-thirds of it, and I didn’t fret about the seeds. I enjoy eating cucumber seeds, it’s one of the small joys in life. I chopped that two-thirds of a cucumber in the same manner and mood as the plums.

I added one tomato from a variety called Indigo Apple that I had picked up at the Cal Poly tomato plant sale. The tomato was a lovely eggplant color, but small because of the stunted growth of the plant, which was entirely my fault, not Cal Poly’s. This will undoubtedly be the only Indigo Apple tomato I will eat this season. The plant isn’t dead yet but that’s no thanks to me. I chopped the tomato in the same manner and mood as the plums.

No cilantro. I am indifferent to cilantro so I didn’t buy any.

One green tomatillo. In contrast to cilantro, I am enthusiastic about the tomatillo. Chopped in the plum manner, slightly smaller pieces.

Two thirds of a Mexican green onion, the white part. Diced more finely than the plum manner.

One whole white jalapeno pepper, diced more finely than the plum manner.

One half of a green jalapeno pepper, diced more finely than the white jalapeno. I stripped the seeds and ribs out of the jalapeno peppers before dicing. The green pepper was smallish.

A half teaspoon (approximately) of powdered ginger. I could not be arsed to finely grate fresh ginger, I don’t pretend to be Martha Stewart. (Plus I enjoyed saying “I could not be arsed”, which I culturally appropriated from natives of the British islands.)

A packet of zero-calorie sweetener was laying on the counter so I threw that in. Do not thow in the paper packet, discard packet, use sweetener. Or sugar, about 2 teaspoons should work.

Add less than 2 tablespoons of lime juice. I am never telling you the age of that bottle of lime juice. It was waaaaay past its expiration date. It was so far out of date, I felt compelled to boil it the day before, then let it cool. I would have used a fresh lime, but my huge American supermarket would only sell limes to me in 1 pound bags. I refuse to buy a pound of limes when I need the juice of one. I should plant a lime tree. Lime trees are tougher than tomatoes, right? The tree would probably survive.

Some granulated (but not powdered) garlic of an undetermined amount. I use granulated garlic so often I don’t measure it any more, I just shake it in. You may chop fresh garlic if you prefer, use however many cloves as you like, the result will be your fault. I did actually have garlic cloves on hand but I had exhausted my my patience for chopping.

I also shook in a little bit of salt, pepper, and a couple of my favorite seasoning mixes. Whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. Not much, just a bit for luck.

I tossed the mixture enough so that all the ingredients could meet and greet, but no more than that. I put the salsa into a lidded container and popped it into the fridge for an hour. Martha Stewart tells us that the mixture needs at least an hour for the flavors to blend. I see no reason to disbelieve her.

Then I cooked some ground turkey in a skillet, with salt and pepper, not much salt, because the ground turkey I get from my huge American supermarket is always slightly seasoned. I dumped the turkey right from the skillet into a bowl with hot turkey on one side and cold plum salsa on the other.

Yeah. That worked.

(Are you all envious of me at this point? You should be.)

In our house, we call this a once-in-a-lifetime meal, the result of circumstances and ingredients that are never going to come together again. Below is a handy printable version of the recipe for your own use.