Mild Steel Recipe

This panel is the one most misprinted in the history of Geranium Lake Properties color printing errors. It is accepted as common knowledge that no newspaper, out of the 17 that printed GLP in color, got it right. According to Ha Kim Ngoc, it is Yost’s least favorite misprint, an opinion she expressed to Michael Veerduer at the Strand bookstore, where they were both attending an event celebrating the 6th anniversary reprint of The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau by Gralie Bohe. A part of their conversation appeared in print in the New York Review of Books, June 10, 2010.

In the universe of Geranium Lake Properties, mild steel is the nickname for a legal psychoactive drug commonly used by the Hahnqui, the mainstream culture that exists outside of Jackalopian tradition. The culture is assumed to be modern American life, since the geography of GLP is often set within the United States. Most people have guessed that mild steel is a synonym for caffeine, but the GLP historian Michael Veerduer argues that caffeine, in the form of coffee, occupies a sacred place in Jackalopian tradition. He also points out that one of the most significant qualities of mild steel is its lethality for children. Other people have proposed mild steel as a representation of nicotine or firearms.

Pictured here is the misprint from the Toronto Star. More misprints can be viewed in this poster for sale at Zazzle.

Haunted Baptism

© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

This panel is my current favorite misprint of GLP by Newark’s Star Ledger newspaper. Yost was usually delighted with the Star Ledger’s mistakes, but in this case he was silent about his feelings. Yost’s assistant, Ha Kim Ngoc, reports that she found an old clipping of this misprint tacked to the back wall of a closet in an empty bedroom of Yost’s house, after he disappeared on his trip to New Zealand in 1999.

For comparison: Hsieh and Tse Flee Thessaloniki for Grand Coteau

The Island of California

© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

This is from the yellow wallpaper series. The top image is typical of the way we present and view Geranium Lake Properties on the internet. I am lucky to have access to color transparencies of Yost’s original art, and the color is as brilliant and accurate as my computer can make it. GLP began as a black-and-white single panel comic (Yost was influenced by New Yorker cartoonists like Charles Addams and Saul Steinberg) and there exists a popular notion that Yost began to experiment with color only in the later years of the comic. Actually, his color experiments date from the beginning of GLP, and Yost used color in some of his early conceptual sketches.

Yost’s distributors were adamant in their resistance against anything that was not black-and-white, but they eventually relented and accepted full-color work. Most newspapers received the color panels after they had been rendered into grayscale. Some newspapers chose to print color, with varying degrees of failure. The failures usually delighted Yost.

The bottom image gives you an idea of how the color of Geranium Lake Properties looked when printed in newspapers, beginning on the left with a grayscale representation.


© 2016 Lin Tarczynski
People on Facebook (and maybe Tumblr too) will need to click through to the gif on WordPress to see the animation. This one is no fun without the animation. To me, this gif is reminiscent of the movie, Yellow Submarine, but the inspiration was Prince rather than the Beatles. When I was working on one of the frames (in black-and-white), Prince leaned over my shoulder and whispered, “Make it purple.” Not really, not as a ghost or some other psychic presence. In one sense, I know Prince is really gone, but in another sense, in a very real way (there is more than one reality), I know he is still part of the universe. All the dead are, and always were, and will be. They can still communicate thoughts and ideas, when you open your mind to the universe.

Geranium Lake Properties, heliacal layabout

© lcmt 2015

Top image is the Newark’s Star-Ledger misprint, which is Yost’s favorite version of this panel. Second is the Los Angeles Times misprint and Yost’s second favorite version. The bottom image is his least favorite, the cartoon as he created it. You should be able to see all the misprints, if I remembered to tag them correctly.

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

Geranium Lake Properties, golden delicious

© lcmt 2015

It has to be admitted that most of the time, Newark’s Star-Ledger got it right. In fact, there was one notable occasion when the Star-Ledger was the only paper that got GLP right. On the morning of Aug. 8, 1989, New Jersey residents opened their premier newspaper and discovered the above GLP panel in its customary pride-of-place, the right-hand corner of the Star-Ledger’s comics page. The panel was part of a series that GLP historian Michael Veerduer would later call “The Fifty Cent Trip”, in an article he wrote for the short-lived zine The Longest Salmon.

Geranium Lake Properties, fifth quadrant of gauss


© lcmt 2015

One of these is another misprinted cartoon from Newark’s Star-Ledger. Can you guess which? The Star-Ledger gave it the caption “Journey into the fifth quadrant.”

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

Geranium Lake Properties, dense gray to black


Top image: Misprint from Newark’s Star-Ledger.

The Star-Ledger misprinted Geranium Lakes Properties more times than any other newspaper in this country, publishing a total of 73 glitched cartoons during GLP’s ten year run. Yost often preferred the misprinted versions to the correct ones.

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

© lcmt 2014