Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?

BELOW: Some more Monster Stories I did for Stefan Bucher's Daily Monster project. I'm not really keeping up with these as much as I'd like to. It turns out having two kids takes up time?

Someone could have mentioned that.
Is all I'm saying.

Regardless: a collection of the first 100 Monsters that Bucher did is coming out in 38 days, comprising:
  • the final illustrations of the first 100 monsters;
  • each with 2.57 stories pulled from the comments
    (tip o' the hat to Start>All Programs>Accessories>Calculator);
  • plus an introduction by Ze Frank
    (Speaking of Ze Frank, I just saw him on Chelsea Peretti's "All My Exes" this morning, which is worth watching if you haven't seen it. Peretti ON FIRE after the recent Jonathan Winters episode.
    I think you know what I mean by "on fire");
  • and then a DVD that has a video of each of these monsters being created from inkblot to Finished Creature;
  • along with all of the other stories and comments people put up for each post;
  • plus more?
  • Yes.
I have (presumably? I signed a release form) some number between one and six stories in the book. By purchasing it, you will be one step further to figuring out what makes me tick. And plus some amount of money will go to Stefan Bucher, who I think should get some money for doing this. (Note: I have no understanding of how publishing works whatsoever.)

W/R/T the below, as before, none of them make sense without watching the videos, so if you want context (and who doesn't?), please click the links to the videos, because they are doubleplusgood, and you get more stories than just these in the comments, which is good because rereading these now, they all seem sort of sad.
But too late to go back now. I already hit "Publish Post".


Funny at the Time
or
WEEKLY MONSTER 112

Monster 112 has been priced out of his neighborhood in the Abyssopelagic zone and is moving to the Hadopelagic. Packing up his place, he finds under the bed the big Rubbermaid bin of photos he took with his old Kodak disc camera in the 80s. There, Monster 112 finds a disproportionately large number of pictures he had snapped of other monsters simultaneously taking a photo of him: it had seemed like such a funny idea at the time: metarecursivephotography: but then he got the pictures developed, and whatever magical thing he thought he was capturing had managed to slip away. It’s just a bunch of photos of someone holding a camera. Into the Rubbermaid they go.

His last girlfriend had accused him of omphaloskepsis, as if his esca (that’s what that appendage is called, it turns out) is just an example of the world’s most pronounced outie. Monster 112 countered that it’s only after having a staring contest with yourself that you can truly learn to know others, but maybe she was right, because she’s not here, and he’s alone, and he has to be out of his place by the first. Tonight he’s going to call you and see if you want to get back together.

Before you answer, think of that Rubbermaid, filled with photos of ex-girlfriends taking pictures of him; remember that if you get back with him now, you’ll probably have to help him move; remember that he’s on a fourth-floor walk-up; remember that when you broke up with him, you left with a good line about “esca-tology” and you probably won’t be able to come up with another zinger like that in a million years. My advice is to wait until after he’s moved into the new place and then see if he’s still interested. If so, let him know that you are a magical thing he let slip away, and that if he forgets it again, there are other fish in the sea.

les peintres
or
WEEKLY MONSTER 111

I was in the lighthouse when Flight 111 plunged into the sea off Peggy’s Cove nine years ago, taking with it all 229 people on board as well as (less importantly, let’s be clear) a Picasso called “Le Peintre”. The flight data recorder revealed: The painting had been sitting quietly in Seat 14A; the woman in Seat 14B thought the image on the canvas next to her looked like a long-billed monster bird with a sad monster eye and Seat 12A agreed, noting the protruding belly and legs like a fleur-de-lis made from noodles and Seat 9C smelled something funny and Seat 10A kept peeking behind him to catch a glimpse of the celebrated canvas and Seat 20D was the first to see the flames and Seat 15A whispered excitedly to her neighbor that in Chicago there was a giant Picasso sculpture that looks like a crosseyed wolf-horse from the front but a woman from behind and 15B was startled to see a woman lurking inside Le Peintre (her face, the negative space between the bill and the neck; the creature’s belly, the concavity of her throat; the sad eye becomes her hoop earring; the wings, her floating hair) and Seat 23C began to pray and Seat 17D opened the seat pocket in front of him to see what to do and I saw the plane coming close to the water and I closed my eyes and when I finally opened them again, I saw sad monster 111 rising up from the sea, and they say throughout the course of Picasso’s life, he painted 229 more paintings named simply “Peintre” and that’s just more self-indulgence on his part, most people probably think, but for those of us in the lighthouse that day, we know they’re wrong (for once): he was painting one for every person on the flight, hoping that by some sympathetic magic the paintings could go back in time and fill up the other seats on the plane and that by doing this he could save them all.

Doublecross the Vacant and the Bored
or
WEEKLY MONSTER 126

Spike Jonze is talking to The Smashing Pumpkins about his concept for the video for “1979”. His idea is that the Pumpkins are living at an alien hotel, and they all wear alien elephant masks, and the video proceeds logically from there. In fact, he’s already had a casting call, and 126 is the lead!

126 had shown up dressed like he used to dress in 1979 – lacking arms himself, he had found himself drawn to the album
“Armed Forces” by Elvis Costello, and immediately bought the glasses. The bellbottoms were unfortunate, but you make your choices and stick with them.

But the band has reservations. Aren’t they already doing a space thing with
“Tonight, Tonight”? In the end, they decide to go with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, whose “Farewell to Youth by Disaffected Suburban Teens” concept rings truer to the song, according to Corgan.
When 126 catches the video later on MTV and sees the disaffected suburban teens throw the disaffected pool chairs into the disaffected water, he’s had it. In what way is that a better idea than space-elephant-hotel? And wait, isn’t this the band that sang “Disarm”? What is that, some kind of paraplegic joke? He’s done. He pulls on the bellbottoms one more time (don’t ask how) and takes off. And he thinks: we don’t know just where our bones will rest. To dust, I guess, forgotten and absorbed into the earth below.
OK, ready for a coincidence? THIS IS A LINE FROM THE SONG. THE END.

Jingle Man
or
WEEKLY MONSTER 113 (for Doyald)

Once upon a recent Tuesday,
As I skimmed that morning’s Newsday
Looking for reports of monsters from some place called "3-4-4"
As I sat there, nearly slumping,
Suddenly there came a bumping
As of someone gently thumping,
thumping at my 'partment door
"It's like six a.m.," I muttered, "Who is at my 'partment door?"
Hence, I crossed the hardwood floor.

Setting down my glass of orange
Juice I then creaked wide the doorhinge.
Inside flapped a creature with two legs, two wings, and eyeballs four.
Then my orange juice it sipp'd.
"Condensed," it sniffed, "Like Home Run Script."
The swirls and spikes upon its wings familiar to me. What is more,
His underbite was like a latenight talkshow host I'd seen before.
Whose name reminds me of "Leno-re".

Feelings of a life foregone stirred
In me, "Be you bird or monster,"
Said I, "What is it you want, sir, what is it you're looking for?"
With éclat, it fluttered backward.
In its toes it grasped a placard
Of some cardstock, lightly lacquered with some greetings underscored.
Quoth it: "Happy Birthday, Doyald" -- birthday greetings, it implored.
Only this, and nothing more.

And that monster (one-thirteen)
Is sitting (still!) where first 'twas seen,
And it's not even Halloween. It trammels one's esprit de corps.
Its flight pattern makes spiral strokes,
Much like the 'C' in Young Baroque
Reminding one of that old joke: "If not baroque, then don't restore."
That is, when you see Young's (or Bucher's) work, your own's shoved in a drawer.
No hard feelings. Je t'adore.

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