Yost often challenged other artists to make Geranium Lake Propeties comics. For a shy eccentric, he could be surprising brazen when inviting people to participate in the GLP universe. Al Hischfeld, Saul Steinberg, Charles Addams, Shel Silverstein (who all declined) were among the many Yost asked to contribute a GLP panel.
Today’s post is by Gina Garey, who worked as an inker and colorist for Marvel Comics in the 70’s and 80’s, when she was married to editor Fred Garey. She started her career at the age of 17, painting animation cels. Her divorce from Garey ended her employment with Marvel, but she immediately found a job at DC Comics, where she worked for five years, then she quit comics altogether. After that she dedicated herself to making zines and mail art. She came out of professional retirement in 1993 to work with Vertigo Comics until 1996. She died in 2001 of cancer at the age of 72. She always signed her zine and mail art as “uggi”. At Marvel, DC and Vertigo she was always credited as Gina Garey, even after her divorce. Her legal name was Ursula Regina Garey Iversen.
GLP historian Michael Veerduer has a theory that “hrera dachre” was derived from four names of democratically-elected leaders who were assassinated by CIA, but he has not been able to decode it and tell us the four names.
© 2017 lcmt
The Stele of 14-Shull Min, from Izabal, Guatemala
When melissadawn (one of my co-conspirators at Ello) showed me a picture of N52 magnets I started digging through my image files, looking for today’s GLP comic. Her image had reminded me of a note from Ha Kim Ngoc, Yost’s assistant and occasional collaborator, about a puzzling inscription. “Drawn by magnets” had been written by Yost in pencil, in one of his most easily recognized forms of handwriting, on the back of the original drawing for this comic.
The original art for Geranium Lake Properties is in an inaccessible place, spirited away by the Italian media corporation that claims ownership of Yost’s intellectual property, but I have a nearly complete set of images made from high quality transparencies of Yost’s drawings. This incomparable resource was entrusted to me by Ha Kim Ngoc. Along with the image library, Ha Kim Ngoc gave me copies of her notes about the creative history and physical characteristics of the drawings.
© 2017 lcmt
“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.
Above is the incomplete cover design for The Semi-Annual Gala Luncheon of Cognizance.
Wm. Yost made four variations of his attempt to interpret Hamlet within the GLP cosmology, as part of his series of Shakepeare plays translated for horned lizards. Two of the Hamlet panels were supposed to be published for the first time in a book, The Semi-Annual Gala Luncheon of Cognizance, scheduled for release in late November 1998. More than half the book was to be a Geranium Lake Properties retrospective, but the publisher planned at least forty pages devoted to new material, in a lavish hard-cover format. A further announcement changed the release date to early December, then it was pushed back to a week before Christmas, then it became little more than a hope for early 1999. Yost disappeared in 1999–the last reported sighting was of Yost boarding a ferry on a trip out from Auckland, New Zealand, on April 1rst. The book was never published.
This is a gif I made out of Yost’s variations:
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.
© 2016 Lin Tarczynski
Today’s GLP comic is all me. After I posted Tuesday’s panel, I received encouragement from both GLP historian Michael Veerduer, and Yost’s former assistant, Ha Kim Ngoc, to occasionally publish as myself under the Geranium Lake Properties title. I think it is a perfectly normal thing to get advice from fictional people. As soon as I learned to read, I started absorbing all sorts of life lessons from mythical beings, from Bartholomew Cubbins to Cinderella to Spider-Man to Dear Abby to Jesus. For my understanding of Wm. Yost, I have relied heavily on the novel The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau by Gralie Bohe, a fictional piece of fiction by a fictional author. (The novel is set in the fictional town of Whittlespear Beach, California. California is not fictional, it just seems that way.)
© lcmt 2015
In this panel, I am feeling the end of fall, and the first frosts of winter. Ha Kim Ngoc identifies this as part of Jack Loki’s translations of Shakespeare for horned lizards, but she does not tell us which play this panel illustrates. To me it looks more like Dickens, especially at this time of year, when I have already watched my first Christmas Carol movie. “Mothers and daughters” is the note Yost penciled on the back
© lcmt 2015
Ha Kim Ngoc says this is from Macbeth. The universe is telling me it’s King Lear. Who knows what the horned lizards think?
© lcmt 2015
On the back of this comic, Wm. Yost penciled “Series: Jack Loki translates Shakespeare for horned lizards” and “Phrynosoma platyrhinos or coronatum?” His assistant, Ha Kim Ngoc, says there are more than a dozen panels that belong to the Shakespeare translation series, but she is not sure this panel is one of them. Yost wrote his ideas down on pieces of paper, scraps or envelopes or whatever was handy. He jotted all sorts of things on the backs of his GLP panels, including phone numbers of people he never called, titles of books he never read, and confirmation numbers for bills he paid over the phone.
Asemic comics are published here three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (or sometimes Saturday night).
© 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: