Friday, August 24, 2007
Who Am I?
No, not the words of Rumpelstiltskin, the opening sentence of the book Nadja, by the author of The Surrealist Manifesto, Andre Breton.
Perhaps my life is nothing but an image of this kind; perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I have forgotten.
I'm a big fan of Art Spiegelman, who is a big fan of Breton and who took the idea of the parlour game that Breton and his Surrealist chums played, The Exquisite Corpse, and turned it into, what I thought was a very disappointing book, The Narrative Corpse.
The parlour game, The Exquisite Corpse, involved the person who starts the circle writing an opening sentence at the top of a piece of paper. They then hand the piece of paper on, and the next player writes a sentence to follow on from the first. The piece of paper is then folded so only the most recent line of text is seen by the next person who writes a sentence to follow on from that, and this carries on until all the players have added a line of text. Once the final person in the chain has added his or her sentence, the thing is unfolded and read as a complete narrative.
Art Spiegelman's book, The Narrative Corpse, published by Gates of Heck, features sixty-nine well-known cartoonists who each drew three panels featuring a stick-figure, based on only the previous three panels. The results were, patchy.
Oh yes, the point, well, the point is that a bunch of people from TCJ Forum have resurrected the idea, once again, of producing a version of The Exquisite Corpse, but one that differs from Art Spiegelman's project and yet still manages to hold equally true to the Surrealists goals of transformation, of a constant state of change. Whether it will also hold true to their goals of cooperation and humour will unfold in the fullness of time - but the signs, I think, are good.
"How can we retain from waking life what deserves to be retained, even if it is just so as not to be unworthy of what is best in this life itself?"
This Exquisite Corpse will take a year or more come into existence, and involves each player creating 1 or 2 pages of artwork, and forwarding only their last panel to the next cartoonist in line, who will then create his or her 1 or 2 pages of artwork and forward only their last panel. It has, I feel, more of a chance of becoming an unconscious collage, than The Narrative Corpse did. That is, of course, providing it manages to survive the curse of Ray Tan (the mysterious Comics Journal Board member who made the first Corpse disappear).
The very brave and talented, and some might say foolhardy, Luke Przybylski, Eric, and Aeron Alfrey, are doing the hard work of rounding us up, and Eric is also keeping us in shape and up-to-date. Make no mistake, it's a bit of a task.
The Corpse Players
1 - Eric - (July 4 2007 - July 17 2007)
2 - Mat Brinkman - http://lambiek.net/artists/b/brinkman_mat.htm
3 - Marc Palm - http://swellzombie.blogspot.com/
4 - Mostyn - http://squatthrust.wordpress.com/
5 - Zeke Clough - http://shoogooble.blogspot.com/
6 - Barry Rodges - http://www.capeday.com/index.php/site/story/barry_rodges/
7 - Ian - http://www.greathugethings.com/
8 - David Robertson - http://berserkotron.piczo.com/?cr=1&rfm=y
9 - Ray Frenden - http://frenden.com/
10 - Chris Pottinger - http://chrispottinger.tastysoil.com/
11 - Alejandro Alvarez - http://www.mackwhite.com/BushJunta7.html
12 - Dan Steffan - http://lambiek.net/artists/s/steffan_dan.htm
13 - Sean Aaberg - http://goblinko.com/
14 - Brian Routh - http://digitalkipper.msspro.com/
15 - Aeron Alfrey - http://www.skeletoncave.blogspot.com/
16 - Ben Catmull - http://www.myspace.com/monsterparade
17 - Luke Przybylski
18 - Hans Rickheit - http://zeitgeist.numachi.com/chromefetus/
19 - Craoman - http://craoman.blogspot.com/
20 - David Paleo - http://monsterwithoutacause.blogspot.com/
21 - Brian McKenzie - http://www.bdmckenzie.blogspot.com/
22 - Matt Furie - http://mattfurie.betternonsequitur.com/
23 - Tobias Tak - http://www.tobicomix.co.uk/
24 - Jon Chandler - http://bonehousebooks.co.uk/
25 - Jeff Soto - http://www.jeffsoto.com/
26 - Michael Canich - http://uselessweaponry.blogspot.com/
27 - Shannon Smith - http://www.shannonsmith.net/
28 - Rod Mckie - http://rodmckie.blogspot.com/
29 - Peter Rapp - http://www.peterrapp.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html
30 - Dave Bradbury
31 - Kletz
32 - Hunter - http://www.webcomicsnation.com/hunter/
33 - Giles O'Dell - http://www.zoonbats.com/
34 - empty jug
35 - blaise - http://www.slashart.com/
36 - Dimchab - http://www.noeyescabinfever.blogspot.com/
37 - ww craghead
38 - Hack - http://www.hackcartoons.com/
39 - Alex Buchet
40 - Cheese - http://www.houseoftwelve.com/
41 - M. Campos
42 - Maurizio
43 - Andrei Molotiu - http://www.blotcomics.blogspot.com/
44 - Fufu Frauenwahl - http://www.fufufrauenwahl.com/
I have already blogged on the marvelous Tobias Tak, see post below, and it is my intention, over the coming months, to blog on some, or all, of the Corpse players, in between the usual bouts of barking at the Moon.