02 January 2010

Christmas loot

One of my Christmas gifts this year (thanks Carolyn) was a book consisting of works done in various memorable comic-book styles, mashed-up in each case with the plot of a literary classic. Here is the LA Times review.

But not always comic books. For example, there was a series of "Inferno Joe" comics, in the visual style of "Bazooka Joe." As fans will remember, the comic strip that came with each individually wrapped piece of that famous brand of gum featured the eponymous protagonist, and a sidekick, usually "Mort," who always has a turtleneck pulled up way too high, obscuring most of his face.

A typical comic would consist of three panels of illustrated dialog between Joe and Mort, with the punchline accordingly in the third panel. Where a fourth panel might have been, there would be an ad for some kitchy merchandise (brine shrimp which you can pretend are sea monkeys, or something like that). And beneath all of that ran a fortune, in the manner of the message inside a Chinese cookie.

Anyway, the several "Inferno Joe" strips presented follow exactly that pattern, and provide in the process a decent summary of several of the Cantos of Dante ALighieri's Inferno. The first of them goes thus:

Panel 1, Joe: Help! I'm lost in this dark wood!"

Panel 2, Mort/Virgil appears: "Don't worry Joe! I'll lead you to safety!" Joe replies, "Great! Where are we going?"

Panel 3, Mort/Virgil, "To hell." Then there is a thought balloon over Joe's head consisting of an exclamation point.

The ad space is devoted to a locket with a "B" on it.

The fortune on the bottom is a play on the famous words on the gate the two are about to pass, "abandon hope all ye..."

A very nice balance, and hommage, to both sources.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.