A Burgeoning Angel of the Emperor Mushroom

I was waiting to post this GLP panel until I put together the story behind it, but I think the title itself tells the story. This comic was included, with four other works by Yost, in a lavish coffee table collection of arcane art called Illuminations of Unknown Stories and Imaginary Books by Ulu Keinarth, Hatje Cantz, 1998.

I settled on a title, “Through August”, and final cut for this gif:

I am working on a gif for September, which is probably finished as it is, but I may yet change something. Here’s one of the frames:

I will be including a link at the bottom of my posts to the bric-a-brac at my shop at Zazzle. Feel free to click it, or ignore it, as you wish:

A Stirring in the Atmosphere of the Third Heaven

The titles we use for Geranium Lake Properties were more often called “captions” by Yost, although he used both terms without distinction. He also occasionally called them “punchlines” without ever explaining the joke. The publications that carried GLP comics printed the title above or below the artwork, and sometimes omitted to print it at all, but there has never been an instance when a comic was printed with the wrong title. Which was somewhat surprising, considering the way Yost sent out the panels in irregular batches, sometimes as few as four, never more than ten, accompanied by notes and a list of titles. The titles were rarely written on the back of the artwork. That was how Yost did it from the beginning, when he was published in only a few newspapers in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and he continued to do that way throughout GLP’s run.

Yost made two versions of the GLP comic titled “A Stirring in the Atmosphere of the Third Heaven”, and he meant to pick one or the other. There was some confusion in his professional life at that time. Ha Kim Ngoc had taken a month’s leave from her apprenticeship with Yost to help her grandmother with her affairs after her grandfather had died. Yost did not hire a temporary assistant in her absence. Somehow both versions of the comic for November 6, 1992 were included in the batch for publication, plus artwork for a completely different comic made for that date which had been rejected by Yost.

About half of the publications carrying GLP printed the top version of “A Stirring in the Atmosphere of the Third Heaven”, and some printed the other variation. Yost never did pick one or the other as the authorized panel. A few papers printed the rejected piece. Yost had written “the straw is thus laid” on the back of the artwork, and the papers used that for the title.

Running to Mischief

The vista of ti-Umorn Aindor’rba is perhaps the least popular window in the Corsican screen. It is identified as the Discordant Portal in Seth Devishale’s Guide to the Corsican Lattice, where the instructions for its use are accompanied by two quotes. One is from the Bible, Proverbs 6:18, “A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,”. The other is from the Fifth Ashtapadi of the Sukhmani Sahib, “False are the feet which run to do evil to others.”

Proverbs 6 is easily found through an online search, but finding the English translation of the Fifth Ashtapadi of the Sukhmani Sahib is a bit more daunting, so I have provided the complete text here.

Sukhmani Sahib, Ashtapadi 5


One who renounces God the Giver, and attaches himself to other affairs –
O Nanak, he shall never succeed. Without the Name, he shall lose his honor. 1


He obtains ten things, and puts them behind him;
for the sake of one thing withheld, he forfeits his faith.
But what if that one thing were not given, and the ten were taken away?
Then, what could the fool say or do?
Our Lord and Master cannot be moved by force.
Unto Him, bow forever in adoration.
That one, unto whose mind God seems sweet –
all pleasures come to abide in his mind.
One who abides by the Lord’s Will,
O Nanak, obtains all things. 1

God the Banker gives endless capital to the mortal,
who eats, drinks and expends it with pleasure and joy.
If some of this capital is later taken back by the Banker,
the ignorant person shows his anger.
He himself destroys his own credibility,
and he shall not again be trusted.
When one offers to the Lord, that which belongs to the Lord,
and willingly abides by the Will of God’s Order,
the Lord will make him happy four times over.
O Nanak, our Lord and Master is merciful forever. 2

The many forms of attachment to Maya,
shall surely pass away – know that they are transitory.
People fall in love with the shade of the tree,
and when it passes away, they feel regret in their minds.
Whatever is seen, shall pass away;
and yet, the blindest of the blind cling to it.
One who gives her love to a passing traveler –
nothing shall come into her hands in this way.
O mind, the love of the Name of the Lord bestows peace.
O Nanak, the Lord, in His Mercy, unites us with Himself. 3

False are body, wealth, and all relations.
False are ego, possessiveness and Maya.
False are power, youth, wealth and property.
False are sexual desire and wild anger.
False are chariots, elephants, horses and expensive clothes.
False is the love of gathering wealth, and reveling in the sight of it.
False are deception, emotional attachment and egotistical pride.
False are pride and self-conceit.
Only devotional worship is permanent, and the Sanctuary of the Holy.
Nanak lives by meditating, meditating on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. 4

False are the ears which listen to the slander of others.
False are the hands which steal the wealth of others.
False are the eyes which gaze upon the beauty of another’s wife.
False is the tongue which enjoys delicacies and external tastes.
False are the feet which run to do evil to others.
False is the mind which covets the wealth of others.
False is the body which does not do good to others.
False is the nose which inhales corruption.
Without understanding, everything is false.
Fruitful is the body, O Nanak, which takes to the Lord’s Name. 5

The life of the faithless cynic is totally useless.
Without the Truth, how can anyone be pure?
Useless is the body of the spiritually blind, without the Name of the Lord.
From his mouth, a foul smell issues forth.
Without the remembrance of the Lord, day and night pass in vain,
like the crop which withers without rain.
Without meditation on the Lord of the Universe, all works are in vain,
like the wealth of a miser, which lies useless.
Blessed, blessed are those, whose hearts are filled with the Name of the Lord.
Nanak is a sacrifice, a sacrifice to them. 6

He says one thing, and does something else.
There is no love in his heart, and yet with his mouth he talks tall.
The Omniscient Lord God is the Knower of all.
He is not impressed by outward display.
One who does not practice what he preaches to others,
shall come and go in reincarnation, through birth and death.
One whose inner being is filled with the Formless Lord –
by his teachings, the world is saved.
Those who are pleasing to You, God, know You.
Nanak falls at their feet. 7

Offer your prayers to the Supreme Lord God, who knows everything.
He Himself values His own creatures.
He Himself, by Himself, makes the decisions.
To some, He appears far away, while others perceive Him near at hand.
He is beyond all efforts and clever tricks.
He knows all the ways and means of the soul.
Those with whom He is pleased are attached to the hem of His robe.
He is pervading all places and interspaces.
Those upon whom He bestows His favor, become His servants.
Each and every moment, O Nanak, meditate on the Lord. 8

Aekt Aeluv Esu-Alory [El Mourns Ba’al-Hadad]

Yost kept this piece of paper in a shoebox labeled “Funereal Rites”. The typewritten lines are translated from the Ba’al Cycle and describe the grief of the god El for the death of the god Ba’al-Hadad. The box was otherwise filled with dried poppy heads, a Lion Coffee bag (empty and flattened), antique tin cookie cutters shaped as five-pointed stars, six-pointed stars and diamonds, and these four objects:

We do not know what language Yost used for the title, or if he just made it up. He confirmed the translation as “El Mourns for Ba’al-Hadad”. Benedict Thorarinsson is convinced the title is from the Lost Grimoire of az-Akordalkiermat, but Ha Kim Ngoc disagrees. A spokesperson for az-Akordalkiermat, an alliance of Jackalopian shamans and alchemists, has stated that they have not lost any of their grimoires.

Black Iris, Finder’s Moon

After I posted this, I thought you might like to see a different kind of curse from Yost. This one was invoked under the auspices of three black moons that occurred in 1995 (a black moon is also called a Finder’s Moon).

This curse supposedly had a very specific target, a person named Damia N. Fleur or Damian Fleur. We’re not sure if they were a man or a woman. Yost’s sister-in-law told a story in the months before she died, about a man named Damian who was sliced up by his pet cassowary, a bird he had raised from a chick. He was an elderly man who died of his injuries. According to Caroline, he was the target of this curse but she was unimpressed by the curse’s effectiveness, since he died 20 years after the curse was cast, as an old man enjoying what he loved to do, hanging out with his exotic animals in his backyard.

Caroline had a dry, dark streak of absurdity in her psyche, and was fond of the acerbic stories of Saki, a master of macabre humor. “The Open Window” was one of her favorites.

Where have all the carrots gone?

The Carrot Poem Variations are six unpublished GLP comics dated for the last five days of 1999. December 29 in 1999 was a Jackalopian holiday called Acelasi-Njejtes, or Same-Same Day. It occurs every year on the Wednesday before New Year’s Eve, and is always dated the same as the day before.

Yost disappeared in November 1999. The consesus of expert opinions (from Ha Kim Ngoc, Michael Veerduer, Benedict Thorarinsson, Algernon and Agatha Dawe-Saffery) puts the time of Yost’s creation of the Carrot Poem Variations somewhere during 1996 or 1997. Thorarinsson goes further to say the series was made after March 1996 and before September 1997.

Haze Invocation

“Sometimes,” Ha Kim Ngoc said about her friend and boss, “Yost was compelled to summon the Furies. When the wrongness could not be contained. Luckily, he did not think a bullet was a solution. He owned guns, they were antiques, none of them could shoot. He did not have many guns. His knife collection was impressive.”

From the Ancient History Encyclopedia website:

Punishers of wrong-doing in general, the Furies were considered protectors of the rights of senior family members, especially mothers, fathers, and elder siblings. A famous example is their pursuit of Orestes after he killed his mother Clytemnestra. The Furies would carry out punishments according to curses given by such members. Outside the family, the Furies protected such social outcasts as beggars. They acted, too, as the guarantors of oaths and the punishers of those who swore false oaths.”

Finally Acclimated to Terra Nullius

We have a note:

The note was found by the executor of Yost’s estate, in a manila envelope stuffed with unopened junk mail and bills. Wealdhere Gutierrez was married to Yost’s Aunt Flo, and was named as executor of the estate in Yost’s will. The will was dated in 1981, and no later will was found, so Wealdhere, “Woolly” to his friends–and all of us in the GLP fandom became his friends–was left with the complicated task of settling the estate of a man who had, without dying, vanished from the world of human affairs.

Carrot Poem Variation for the 30th

This is one of the Carrot Poem Variations, an unpublished series of GLP panels dated for the last five days of 1999.

Yost stop making new GLP comics in 1997, except for a few odd commissions. Newspapers ran previouly published GLP panels for almost 2 years after Yost disappeared while on vacation in New Zealand in November 1999. The last GLP comic in print, “The Efflorescent Humor of the Pomegranate” (originally published on July 4, 1996), appeared in newspapers on October 4 and 5, 2001.

Roya Teymu’s Star

“Thirty miles northwest of a small village named Pisinemo (or Pisin Mo’o) is an inscribed stone, overgrown in a copse of ironwood, cholla and whitethorn acacia. The inscription refers to a very popular poem in the rustic dialect, about the heroine Roya Teymu, who recoverd the use of her mutilated limbs at this sacred site.” From a pamphlet, “A Brief History of Utterance Rock’, Oracle Junction Press, 1956, 16 pages.

Anyone my age (62) or older has lived in worlds that are now gone. I wonder if worlds collapse more often in the modern era. People seem more restless, more ready to scrap old worlds and leave them behind.

Yet the carcasses of the old worlds get dragged along with the new. The ghosts follow us. For me, the two ghosts that haunt the coronavirus pandemic are the Vietnam War and the arrival of AIDS in America. I remember the United States government at those times was bumbling and callous, and full of ridiculous liars who caused thousands of unnecessary deaths. I remember during those times some Americans were cruel in their ignorance.

When I unearthed this diagram in 2018, I did not know what it represented. An imaginary pamphlet came along with it, but it was not very informative, and I found nothing more within myself, or in the outside universe. The story would not emerge until now. This is a cancer map. It is a coronavirus chart. It’s a survey of the end of the world.

“Key facts. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.” From WHO, the result of a Google search “worldwide cancer deaths in one year”.

At least 40% of the people who live in the United States will get cancer. I’m not going to compare the risks of getting cancer to the risks of getting Covid-19. I lost my two younger sisters to cancer last year. Their deaths brought my world to an end, and now I live in a new world. I don’t want this new world, I’d rather have my sisters. I don’t get that choice. Nobody gets that choice. There are a lot of circumstances in life that are not in our control. We will be forced to accept living with coronavirus like we have been forced to live with cancer. Why should we fret about it? It’s just the end of the world.

There’s a funny thing that happens when your world ends. You can look back and see that the world has come to an end many times. Before coronavirus I already knew that we were living in a post-apocalyptic world. The end of the world does not happen like it does in the movies. Tina Turner does not strut through the wreckage in a skimpy chain mail dress. Nor does it end in the way that is hoped and longed for by the preppers and the Christians; the world ended and they didn’t even notice; when it ends again, they will remain oblivious. The Jehovah Witnesses have picked several dates for the end of the world, and maybe they weren’t wrong, maybe they’re just confused about what to do in the aftermath. We have gone through Y2K and 2012, and I’m sure the year 999 was a crazy year before the end of the Millennium. And let’s not forget all the past extinctions! How ’bout the one that’s called “The Great Dying”, when 90% of all life on earth just went away? Yet there was a world after that. There had to be, for us to be here on this planet.

I recommend picking your own past end date for the world. Personally, I like October 12, 1997 as the end of the world. Welcome to the New Post-Apocalypse! You don’t have to accessorize with chain mail, leather pants and a blow torch (unless that’s your thing). You don’t have to stock a basement full of canned food and bottled water. You don’t have to mount a gun to cover every window and door. The disaster you tried to get ready for has already happened. The revolution you were planning has come and gone. There is no future.

You have this moment, now. The world is still here.

Twelve Orthographic Mysteries of az-Akordalkiermat

I received an e-mail last week from Yost’s former assistant, Ha Kim Ngoc. She is sheltering-in-place in the company of Henry D. T. Wadsworth, her hedgehog, Philo the Great and Terrible, her Lynx Point Siamese cat, and the assorted tenants of her salt-water aquarium, plus she usually has a very small and somewhat temporary population of poultry in the backyard. She was a heavy smoker of cigars for twenty years and is somewhat susceptible to pneumonia, which may put her in the high-risk category for the coronavirus, especially since she is no longer young. However, she is not worried, her health is good, and she is more concerned with providing care to her menagerie.

She had seen the poster where I had collected twelve of my favorite GLP comics as of April 13, 2020. She sent me list of her own current favorites, twenty-five comics from a span of eight years. A list that, I noticed, included quite a few pieces made outside the five years she worked for Yost.

She also included a list of twelve GLP comics she is convinced are ones made by Yost under the influence of az-Akordalkiermat, an alliance of Jackalopian scholars, shamans and alchemists.

There is a half-price sale on greeting card going on at Zazzle. You can get the above GLP panel, “An offering to fire, water, the moon, and the gods of the road”, on a card here. The promo code is ZAPRILOFFERS.