Emsworth the Humble Tue Feb 15 01:37:55 2005|
Re: Lord Emsworth, you're my hero!
> well, lord e. is all our heros. (the hero of us all? the one whom all of
> us hold as hero? ...i should maybe get some sleep). anyway - when next he
> appears in toonbots, i believe you should provide him with a cape. and a
> really cool cane.
I wish I could find my cane. It's lost in the garage somewhere. I'm glad I no longer need it, but it still makes a great prop.
> but clearly, you need more practice with this sort of thing. if you are
> going to boast of your reviews, you must provide a link.
Your wish is my command, oh mistress of the blue horizons: http://www.comixpedia.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2117
Sent in back in December, thus the opening situating it as a year-end piece, but held back to fit the "experimental" comics theme (and sadly the only article, it seems, from the latest issue to have no comments whatsoever). For more of my purple prose, by the way, go to www.graphicnovelreview.com, while the most recent issue is still up (the editor has fallen behind due to technical ModernTales issues and trying to get Will Eisner tribute pieces in). If it has been archives, though, it's the January one, and the piece in question is a review of the latest Oscar Wilde adaptation (part of a series) by P. Craig Russell (a piece on Charles Vess's Book of Ballads, with contributions by Gaiman, Jeff Smith, Sharyn McCrumb and others, will be forthcoming at some point).
> and stoppard, among other things, wrote rosencrantz and guildenstern are
> dead. a _classic_, man - just _classic_.
His most famous work, but really, the sheer number of his (mostly comic) plays that deal with historical/fictional characters and motifs, inverting them, breaking walls, etc. are what led me to make the comparison. And note I made the point in that context, in terms of using Shakespeare and Lenin etc., not in terms of your overall career. Though you could do worse than emulate him. Apart from many awards and fame and money from the stage plays, he's done some screenwriting, most notably winning the Academy Award in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love (which whether you liked the movie or not, is a very good example of a pre-Toonbots co-opting and altering a historical character's circumstances and personality and other details for comic effect, though certainly less radical).
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, though I would hope you're familiar with it (I think you referenced it on Case Yorke's forum long ago, or someone else did, so perhaps you just forgot the author) is a slightly Beckett-esque (and please dopn't ask who he is!) inversion of Hamlet, but apart from the skewed perspective and the characters as both observers, sort of, of the central drama and unwilling participants, their general confusion, lack of purpose, feeling of being manipulated, not sure if they're playing a role or not, and discourses with each other are not unlike the situation of the dot.
The Real Inspector Hound, another Stoppard favorite, analyzed in depth by me in a long ago post, is a takeoff of mystery plays, especially Agatha Christie's Mousetrap (no, not you, my friend!) but situates it as being watched by two critics, who over-analyze the play, then become sucked into it as players. The similarity to Toonbots lies in both the overly intellectual, pompous pronouncements in the blurbs, but in the inclusion of the author and Jihad as characters, breaking the fourth wall.
Finally, though if I had time and energy (still tired from LA trip, which was immediately followed by illness only recently recovered from, and yet still coughing rather heavily), there's Travesties. This play again uses a familiar text as its source material (and though Toonbots certainly has its own creative flow, from the Seussian rhythms to Pokey to Alice's Restaurant to the POTC and other film refs, and so on, Toonbots is very intertextual and reliant on low [and occasionally high] culture), Wilde's Importance of Being Ernest, shaping the reminiscences of a now senile minor civil servant. This person was an actual individual, living and working in Zurich at the same time as James Joyce, the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara, and most relevantly, our own beloved Vladimir Ilyich Lenin were living there. Thus, Stoppard concocts a romantic comedy in which all of the personages collide, though Lenin has more of a background role and is generally played straight, unlike our beloved, entrepeneurial Len. However, both Tzara and especially Joyce are twisted, Joyce essentially becoming Lady Bracknell from Earnest, for purposes of humor and surrealism.
> (and condolences to lenin on his pixilation. there's a lot of nasty stuff
> going around this year)
At least he's not coughing up blood (though it wasn't very much and only that one day, amidst the phlegm, but enough to disconcert me).
More posting when I feel up to it.