Patchy Kettle’s Lantern


Today is Lantern Day, which honors Patchy Kettle, the most merry of the Jackalopian gods, and the favorite god of jackalope children. A lantern is Patchy Kettle’s commonest symbol, an accoutrement he carries both night and day. The description of the lantern differs from story to story, it is sometimes made of copper or bronze or rusted iron, or carved from chalcedony, or constructed of bones and wire, using chicken bones. The light has been provided by sheep tallow candles, or fueled by pumpkin seed oil or urine or salt. People often misunderstand the lamp of Patchy Kettle, confusing it with the lamp of Diogenes, who lit his lamp in the daylight to search for an honest man. Patchy Kettle had this to say about honest men:

The problem with “calls for the severest and most indignant repudiation on the part of all honest men” is that “honest men” was and will always be a mythical entity that was of no use to anyone except liars. Abandon your belief in “honest men”, and continue to resist your desire to revive that belief. Only then can you ask yourself, “What can be accomplished?”

This quote comes from the Esornom Imaginaria, one of the two most popular books for tales about Patchy Kettle. The Esornom Imaginaria is divided into five books, this passage can be found in the Book of Ornasein, which is about the adventures of Patchy Kettle and a young poet-monk named Ornasein, who is the narrator. Ornasein tells us he is the duke of a rich province and he has many good wives and a horde of children. Many citizens admire and respect him, and few vilify him. His book is a fond reminiscence of a time when he was young, poor, mostly drunk and carefree. He remembers drinking so much that he is amazed at how his memories can be so vivid and full of detail. His stories have plenty of adventure, romance, horror, ironic twists, plus good advice from Patchy Kettle to his young companion. Ornasein confesses that he ignored all the advice, and thus became a rich, successful man who is miserable and powerless, crushed out of existence by his obligations to his wealth, family and nation. No longer human, he has become a machine that serves the whims and needs of other people. At the end of his book, he gets drunk one night, packs a knapsack with cheese, buffalo jerky and almond cakes, and runs away from everything. We learn in the other four books of the Esornom Imaginaria that Ornasein died years later in a state of bliss.

© 2017 lcmt

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Invoking the Name of the Mystery as Elilim and Kochavim

For Catholics, today is All Soul’s Day, overtaken among Mexicans and hip moderns by the traditions of the Day of the Dead. Elilkocha is the name given to this holiday by jackalopes, who honor the day by drinking coffee and consuming brown butter cake made with bourbon or rum, preferably in their favorite diners. If you want to be really traditional, you will add some coconut liqueur to your coffee, which ruins the coffee and tastes nothing like coconut.

Jackalopes are unabashed thieves of culture, and they stole two Hebrew words for their holiday, Elilim, which means “false gods”, and Kochavim, “stars”. I mentioned to comandantechispas that jackalopes have a saying, “All names are the name of God.” They also have another saying, “All gods are false gods.” Jack Loki, the sometimes protagonist of Geranium Lake Properties, explains it like this, “Jackalopes are, by nature and every inclination, atheists, and they consider the various god concepts as metaphors. Metaphors are essentially lies that make facts more poetic, more epic, more mythic. Metaphors make a better story, a good yarn, or a lesson memorable as a parable or fable. If you want to celebrate Elilkocha, use this day to remind yourself not to scorn the good stories and lessons found in the religions of gods you think are false.”

The other half of the Elilkocha honors stars as the creators of all life–of all of everything, actually. Patron saint? Carl Sagan, of course.

PS. Diners are sacred places in America, don’t you think? Also, there is a larger invocation of this work.

© 2017 lcmt

A Malicious Tea Drinker With Vast Fingers and Tall Eyelashes


This is the comic panel that inspired Gralie Bohe to create the Black Scorpion Cafe in her novel, The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau, which is an imaginary novel about Wm. Yost, the imaginary creator of Geranium Lake Properties. The owner of the Black Scorpion Cafe is a minor deity in the universal pantheon, albeit a major one for jackalopes. He is described in this excerpt from The Boy in the YLP:

“The entity that currently called himself Aliquando Jade Irwin, currently manifesting as a tall, skinny, dark-skinned man, stood at the side of the Pacific Coast Highway as a eucalyptus might stand, an alien, an invader, but at home in the landscape. He wore a business suit, which hung loosely on his slightly stooped frame. Despite being cleaned and pressed, the suit had the appearance of casual clothes, its pale color seemed tropical. The color was called Apricot Ice by the manufacturer, but it was more cream than apricot or ice. The ensemble was completed with a white dress shirt under a black bolo tie, and if the shirt did not dazzle, it was only because the overcast had not yet burned off. (The day would later become unrelentingly sunny but not too warm, another day of perfect weather on the northern end of the central California coast.) The entity that called himself Aliquando Jade Irwin (and tried unsuccessfully to get people to call him Aljair for short) was barefoot, his shoes tied together by their laces and slung over one shoulder. Slung over the opposite shoulder by a wide leather strap was an acoustic guitar, its body finished with an iridescent green surface trimmed in abalone and ormulu.

Aliquando Jade Irwin was a literal child of the Sea, yet currently he felt himself most closely identified with savannas, grasslands and deserts. He did not worry too much about his transitive nature–most of the old gods had highly-developed talents for adaptability. Aliquando Jade Irwin’s divine origin had come with an embarrasingly brief job description, leaving a lot to the imagination. He had been one of 11 children, and his power was mastery over violent storms. That was it, that was his entire origin story. He had been thankful he had been given his own name at least (but that had never stopped him from changing it many times since the Beginning). In his early existence, he had met many fearsome entities who were nameless, or had to share their name with a group, or worse yet, with a concept. That circumstance, so unfotunate for others, had turned out to be a blessing of sorts for Aliquando Jade Irwin. He had established a nice little business for a while, creating and selling names to the Nameless Ones. He was convinced that his exhorbitant fees had been a validation of his genius for realizing the need for good nomenclature, and he had provided sound, durable products. However, eventually, one of the many organized forces for the Preservation of the Inviolable Rules had caught up with him, and had discouraged, with totally uncalled-for punitive action, his efforts to improve the lives of some of the lesser avatars. Apparently he had been messing up the Mysteries.”

I was amused to discover that The Boy in the YLP has inspired a few people to write fanfiction about it. I find this appropriately recursive because Gralie Bohe’s novel is essentially a piece of fanfiction about Yost and Geranium Lake Properties. Here’s a quote from a fanfiction piece, “Striped Tea and Owl Sandwiches” (Aliquando Jade Irwin/Joe Baluende), by GreenTigerLily8304, in which the author brings Aliquando Jade Irwin into the Internet Age:

“He was philosophical about it now, but for a few centuries his pain and resentment had been worthy of legend. He had in fact wrote several legends about his suffering, but his book had never found a significant following, so he had stuffed it into his extra-dimensional drawer with his many other failed endeavors. Since then, he had managed to absorb a few helpful tips from the lectures of some of the most popular philosophers of the ancient worlds, and nowadays he browsed YouTube to catch up with the more modern stuff. Lately he had been thinking about taking out his book and re-writing it. Since the invention of the internet, all the old gods were getting new temples. Even before the internet, his mother had received an auspicious Dungeons and Dragons franchise. Now she was huge. (Huge again, really–her tail had once defined the Milky Way–not too many gods get huger than that.) Aliquando Jade Irwin, aka Ekchuajumudabrutu, was thinking more modestly about Nanowrimo opportunities. Or even fanfiction.”

Second version of the logo for the Black Scorpion Cafe:

The Procession of Entropy


Autumn heralds the great holiday for jackalopes, the Procession of Entropy, which begins on October 15 and ends on the last day of the year. Jackalopes believe in a few gods despite being atheists, with a very small percentage who are Greek Orthodox. (This small percentage is dedicated to preserving the traditions of jackalope history in the Byzantine Empire.) Of the Jackalopian Gods, Patchy Kettle might be their oddest, but he is also their most amiable god. Ekchuajumudabrutu is their most classical god, a son of Tiamat. Their most revered god is Entropy, and the major holidays for Entropy conveniently occur during the holiday season that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are also celebrated by jackalopes. (Since jackalopes are largely athiests, they seize every opportunity to celebrate other cultures. Jackalopes firmly believe in holidays.)

Here you can find a few manifestations of Jack Loki in the panels of GLP.

Six White Horses


“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.

1668 Kilometers Per Hour

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© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

I am back online after a wonderful holiday week-end with my brother and youngest sister. I finally saw the latest Star Wars movie, and the Jedi concept of light and dark was probably the impetus for today’s GLP comic. Nevertheless, I feel this panel has a definite place in the pantheistic traditions and ancestral worship of native American jackalopes.

Road Trip

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© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

Circa 1963, if you were going on a long trip with a carful of jackalopes, you needed a set of kiGamnch road trip games. Here are two cards you were likely to find in a typical “family pack” that you could buy in roadside diners and Mom-and-Pop grocery stores. Top card: The snappy title of this game was “Sacrifice of Sovereignty”. Fun name, right? We just called it “Tadpoles”. The bottom one was called “The Quagga in the Rose Garden”.

kiGamnch Game Cards: Illuminated Cruces

Many jackalope families play Illuminated Cruces on Easter, but it is not a universal or longstanding tradition of jackalope culture (Jack Loki’s family did not play Illuminated Cruces until he was a teenager, after his mother moved the family to Cloudcroft, New Mexico). Chocolate Hanukkah coins, gelt, are often used as game pieces, a practice that confuses many people, even jackalopes, about which holiday is traditional.

You need to place four cards together to make an Illuminated Cruces game board, one for each of the four players. There is also a two-player version where each player controls two cards. The first image here is the card for the Southwest player, 2nd image is Southeast, 3rd is Northeast, 4th is Northwest.
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The four cards can be placed in various configurations. Each configuration has a different name and its own rules. This is the default configuration, called God’s Eye or Compass Rose:
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This next variation has many names, the more unusual among them are Running Starch, Zap Bath, Tea and Sherry Hour:
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This is the Hourglass variation:
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© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

Geranium Lake Properties, kiGamnch Dart-and-Tile Boards

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© 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.

Geranium Lake Properties, Three-Card Doubt, the Geoma Placard

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© lcmt 2015

Yost also described Three-Card Doubt as “a combination of fortune telling, soap opera, choose-your-own-adventure, origami, geometry, and Solitaire. Also can be played professionally in groups of five contestants for large amounts of material wealth.”

Geranium Lake Properties, Three-Card Doubt, the Ayteb Placard

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© lcmt 2015

Three-Card Doubt is one of the more popular forms of kiGamnch. In desert towns near jackalope country, you can find it in packs of 36 placards, in grocery chains and convenience stores, next to the crossword and Sudoku books. Wm. Yost said of Three-Card Doubt: “Jack Loki on several occasions tried to explain the three-card form of kiGamanch to me, but it is something that takes years to understand, and even longer to master. Of course, jackalopes start learning kiGamnch when they’re kits barely out of the nest. By the time they’re five years old they can play intermediate level Three-Card Doubt with ease.”

Geranium Lake Properties, Three-Card Doubt, the Phaal Placard

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© lcmt 2015

I will be posting three variations of today’s GLP panel. Each one can be seen as an illustration of a placard from a kiGamnch set. If you print out each of these panels, get a pair of dice, a teetotum, a 1929 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and at least thirty American nickels for wagers, you are ready to play Three-Card Doubt. Optional accessories are fingerless gloves and/or a Ouija board.

Other forms of kiGamnch are expressed in ceremonies, music, dance, several forms of literature (including comic books), diets, fashion (especially shoes), pinball machines, metallurgy, ceramics, and architecture (most often for cathedrals and bowling alleys).

Geranium Lake Properties, the Return of the Jackalope

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© lcmt 2015

Jack Loki’s Raindance

In the summer of 1992, golden California was baked brown and burnt from a drought that had lasted 5 years. Wm. Yost was a California resident at the time, living in a trailer park* near Oceano Beach. GLP’s sporadic protagonist, the irrepressible jackalope named Jack Loki (or “Holmes Tuttle” to his close friends), lived in an undetermined desert that could have been the Sonoran, the Mohave, the Gobi, the Mongolian-Manchurian steppe, or the deserts of Barsoom. Yost, born in Wickenburg, Arizona, and Jack, a wild creature native to deserts, were both accustomed to drought as a natural cycle of their environment. Even so, the situation in California in 1992 seemed severe, almost dire. In response, Yost created a series of GLP panels called “Jack Loki’s Raindance”. That winter (1992-1993) the drought broke with rainfall totals that nearly reached record amounts.

California is suffering from another tremendous drought right now, so I thought it would be a good time to break out the raindance panels.

*The trailer park grew up around a Victorian-style mansion called the Coffee T. Rice House. Before the trailer park was built, the house was surrounded by a Christmas tree farm where my family would find and cut our tree when I was a child. Here are two encounters with the Coffee T. Rice House by bloggers writing about California’s central coast:

https://newleafgarden.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/birds-and-beef/

http://diaryofamadbabyboomer.com/2014/10/15/pacific-coast-highway-day-1-la-to-pismo-beach/

Geranium Lake Properties, jackalope totem

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© lcmt 2014

Jack Loki’s family tree. When asked about this particular cartoon, Yost said, “Jack told me that it really is not that unusual for jackalopes to have Creole werewolves in their ancestry. Or a loof lirpa or two.”

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