Black and White

Lots of great stuff in Issue 9 of Brave New Word, including my series of short abstract comics, “Meanwhile…”

I went to a used book sale on Friday, and one of my more expensive finds (still a bargain at $5) was a battered library discard, a book about the history of artists books. It is a representation of the 1994-1995 exhibition, A Century of Artists Books, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The book is a nice bit of thrift sale treasure, but I can only get a glimpse of a cover, or a couple of pages, from each featured book. Among them, I discovered Quatre Histoires de blance et noire by František (Frank) Kupka.

Luckily for me, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco has online images of the 26 woodcuts from Quatre Histoires at their site. I stole a few to put up here.



I was watching people save their horses from the Creek Fire in Los Angeles county, and this panel came to mind.

Fire mares can be found in the movie Krull, but written on the back of this panel is the name “Elora Danan“. Yost’s taste in classical music was anything but highbrow. His favorite symphonies were the 5th, 6th and 9th by Beethoven, and he loathed string quartets and Philip Glass. What he liked best were movie soundtracks, especially anything by James Horner. From Battle Beyond the Stars to The Mask of Zorro, his collection of James Horner soundtracks from the 80’s and 90’s was nearly complete, missing only Humanoids from the Deep, The Pelican Brief and Bicentennial Man. The collection was all on vinyl. Many of the movies he had seen only once, or not at all. Yost’s favorite soundtrack was from the movie Willow, a movie he identified as a guilty pleasure. He said on more than one occasion that if GLP was a movie, it would have a James Horner soundtrack that sounded a lot like Willow.

© 2017 lcmt

National Poetry Month

Here’s a glimpse of “More Comics from Mars”, my contribution to the National Poetry Month site by Angel House Press. As you may already know, April is National Poetry Month. Every day for this month, Angel House Press will post a poem or visual poem, and the calendar will stay online until February 2018. You can see “More Comics from Mars” in its entirety on day 5.

This visual poetry comic is also on a t-shirt from my fledgling shop at RedBubble.

Skinny Bear Days (the latter, more extravagant half begins to fray)

© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

…in which we can see asemic writing I made from an image of Hildegard von Bingen’s Lingua Ignota. Also used HvB as a source for “This could be your name, no. 156” (below).

A few drafts from the narrows

© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

I hesitated to include the following artifact in this post. It is a digital file of a scan of a bad xerox copy of an extremely dirty piece of paper that might not be authentic.


This little piece of evidence indicates that today’s comic is an illustration of Kipling’s “How the Whale Got His Throat”. It comes to us from the collection of Algernon and Agatha Dawe-Saffery, a brother and sister from Burnley in Lancashire, England. They are fans extraordinaire of GLP and online compatriots of Ha Kim Ngoc, Yost’s former assistant. The claim for this scrappy memo is that it was written by Yost, and it reveals the meanings for the symbols used in “A few drafts from the narrows”. Ha Kim Ngoc has her doubts, and has stated that the writing is unlike any writing she has seen from Yost. The Dawe-Safferys counter that Yost wrote in many different styles, and was always inventing new ones for his “natural” asemic handwriting.

On the back of today’s comic, “Fitch. R D” is written in pencil by Yost. This could be an abbreviation of “Fitchburg Road”, which appears in the Kipling story.

Eking alkali from the rip output

© 2016 Lin Tarczynski

The title for this piece is an example of something I think of as asemic language. The words come from English, you could call them real words from a real language, and they are arranged in a grammatically correct form. Yet the title is asemic because I don’t know what it means. I have my own inexact impressions of what the title might mean, but I can’t dictate its definition with authority. This is an aspect shared by all my asemic work.

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