I took a few photographs of various details from The Place, an arts co-op on the corner of the Pacific Coast Highway and 13th Street in Oceano, California. I have some of my work here, although you can’t see any of it in these photographs, except for a glimpse in the last picture (behind the altered book). Apparently I am much better at photographing other people’s work than my own.
“333 Day” is written in pencil on the back of today’s panel, presumably by Mr. Yost. Threethreethree Day is a minor holiday for jackalopes in which they anticipate the extinction of the human species. It is a brief holiday (and merrier than Christmas because of that) with one song, “She’s Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain”, that has extra verses about the grim death of civilization as we know it. The last two verses are happy ones for jackalopes, contemplating the jollity that ensues when their god Ekchuajumudabrutu makes his triumphal (and extremely violent) return to supreme power.
Threethreethree Day is not celebrated in leap years.
A taalcif-shaped hole for escape in the Corsican screen. A taalcif is a tool made from the antlers of a taalchirrik. The 20th letter of this alphabet is shaped like a taalchirrik. Readers were challenged with different parts of the Corsican screen many times during GLP’s run from 1984 and 1997. You can see some of them here. This also might be a glimpse.
“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.
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.
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.)
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:
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.