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.


The Tale of the Rust-Stained Jug

Six Tales from the Glorious Assemblage of Haberdashers is an imaginary book by Abby Ashier Chertsey. It was a once-cherished but mostly forgotten childhood classic for Wm. Yost, imaginary author of Geranium Lake Properties. Yost accidentally encountered Chertsey in 1995, in her garden on Bryher island, when he was on a tour of small British islands. Yost had stopped to admire a hillside of daffodils, and subsequently was rescued by the 103-year-old Chertsey from the affections of her mixed-breed wolfhound, a very large and exuberant puppy named Penarddun, called Penny, or Bad Penny.

Frog Mothers

This visual poem is a piece that belongs to a longer work, an epic in the classical sense, if you can use that term for asemic/abstract visual poetry. The title of the whole epic is Uui Maram gret Dway Haernowt or Uui Maram grof Dway Haernoth. I once knew what that means, but I’m not sure any more, I hope I wrote it down somewhere.

Posters of my work are 40% off until one minute before midnight on Sunday. At that price, you don’t need to worry about framing or rag mats or glass with UV protection. You can just tack or tape “Frog Mothers” to a wall, door, or next to a “Resist” poster on any bulletin board.

Geranium Lake Properties, orient are

© lcmt 2015

Yost scribbled in pencil on the back of this comic:


Tomorrow, Jan. 6, is the feast of the Epiphany, the commemoration of the visit of Magi, the Three Wise Men. We called it Three Kings Day, although we had no king cake tradition in my family. For us it was really just the day we took down the tinder-dry fire-hazard that was once our Christmas tree. It took more than a day, or more than a week, to put all the decorations in their boxes, but the boxes eventually were stored in the rafters of the garage.

“We Three Kings” was one of my favorite carols when I was a kid, even though I did not understand half the lyrics. The verse about myrrh was especially puzzling to a child:

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

Not at all merry merry Christmas-like. It was spooky and fun to sing.

Geranium Lake Properties, “Under the Thickety Dune”

© lcmt 2015

Another part of The Secret of Watchstone Rim.

This is a colaboration with Phil Openshaw, who graciously gave me permission to use a piece of this photograph for the branch patterns. Phil’s photograph is far more stunning than my little cartoon here. Take some time to check out his Tumblr archive, and his White Cloth Hall series; his photographs of urban decay are thick with texture and fascinating detail.

Asemic comics are published here three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Geranium Lake Properties, “The Deadly Tendrils of Bairg Lungdo”

© lcmt 2015

I’m pretty sure this is another part of The Secret of Watchstone Rim.

Asemic comics are published here three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Except for last Tuesday. I know I’ve been saying that a lot lately. My schedule at work has been changing every week. That’s only a minor disruption, but it does mean I have a little less time to sulk in my cave. Which is necessary for my creative process. So last Tuesday I caught up on my sulking.

This morning, I could have posted this:


But no, I had to fuss around with it some more. This afternoon, I could have posted this:


But no, I had to mess with the color a bit, until, after several hours (in which I also went to the drugstore, and talked to my sister on the phone for at least an hour) I finally arrived at the top image.

Geranium Lake Properties, kiGamnch Dart-and-Tile Boards


© lcmt 2015

Today’s comic is a kiGamnch Dart-and-Tile Board, used for various tabletop games that are a popular form of kiGamnch.

The “darts” are not sharp, they are shaped like lima beans, with six short rubber spikes. They are more like jacks than darts. Some people play kiGamnch with jacks instead of kiGamnch darts, but if you have an expensive inlaid kiGamnch table, metal jacks would marr the finish. You can slide, roll and toss the darts across the board. Your opponent has the option of using his darts to displace yours.

The tiles are similiar to mah jongg tiles, and there is even a form of kiGamnch you can play with mah jongg tiles. The most familiar kiGamnch tile is made of Catalin (a plastic similiar to Bakelite), but some players prefer bone, ivory or wood. For me, nothing else has that most satisfying “clack” of a Catalin kiGamnch tile. The tiles can also be triangular or pentagonal.

kiGamnch tiles made of scented soap are a popular gift among game enthusiasts, but they don’t use them in play. They are most often seen as a decorative item for the bathroom, packaged in attractive glass jars.

Bottom image: A double kiGamanch gameboard inlay for a tabletop, 36″ X 60″. This kind of table can be found in bars, diners and coffeehouses frequented by jackalopes.

Asemic comics are supposed to be published here three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, but I missed last Thursday because of minor life issues. My ISP has been having connection problems, and we’re having a heat-wave that is so out-of-proportion to our usual weather I find myself inclined to the attitude of “It’s too darn hot, I can’t be bothered” for even the slightest challenge.