I'm fascinated by the chaos factor in these rearrangements, and the idea of physically touching and fitting together a text appeals to me; Burroughs has been often been misquoted as claiming "Writing is fifty years behind painting". In an interview posted at http://www.gorgeaway.blogspot.com/ he clarified: "I did not write that. Mr Brion Gysin who is both painter and writer wrote 'writing is fifty years behind painting.' Why this gap? Because the painter can touch and handle his medium and the writer cannot". The most enjoyable and interesting part of painting, for me, was always the physicality of it...getting the color on your fingers, changing textures to represent fur or a leaf. That's why, when I came up with the admittedly silly idea of doing a Tarzan cut-up (combining Edgar Rice Burroughs with William S.), I knew I needed the physical pulp novels to do it.
Spam mailers use cut-ups all the time, taking public domain texts and running them through randomizers to beat email filters. But doing so for this project would be beside the point. It would be extremely trivial and downright boring to do. Cutting apart the text of these books was a pleasurable experience, and allowed me time to think about how I wanted things to look in the end. I toyed early on with adding Running with Scissors, by yet another Burroughs (Augusten X.) to the mix, and the universe gave me the A-OK. I found a copy on sale in the West Village upon taking a wrong turn while looking for a subway station.
My Tarzan cut-up project includes the first chapter of the first three Tarzan books: Tarzan of the Apes,The Return of Tarzan, and Beasts of Tarzan, as well as the first chapter of Running with Scissors. Additional text includes title and copyright pages of these 4 books. The text of these books was cut apart in various ways, including line-by-line, single words or phrases, and paragraph chunks cut in half. They're currently being glued onto 5 sheets of typing paper I glued together, end to end, to form a single sheet of paper approximately 50 inches long. I intend to make the text into a wall hanging.
Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
The "title page".
The Tarot card.
The books I destroyed.
The Tarot: little bits of paper, chosen at random, used to divine the future.
The cut-up: little bits of paper, chosen at random, used to divine the future...at least according to William S. Burroughs.
Me, I rather like the visual pun.
-- "Fat chance. The closest you'll get is an MS Paint comic.
...don't tempt me."
-- "[challenge] I don't think you could pull it off. [/challenge]"
These are the first 6 paragraphs:
Meet everyone's least favorite Pokemon.
He's kind of like a dog, and kind of like a giraffe.
The shading was the more interesting thing for me, though. I tried to imitate the sort of dingy, scratchy hatching I saw in Mad magazine 10, 15 years ago. I think it was Mort Drucker...the guy who did 6 page long movie satires every God damn month. Every panel was full of dead-on caricatures and funny little bit characters and puns and throwaway gags. He was the sort of guy who made Charles Schultz (one comic, every day, until the day he died) look like a lazy bum.
A little thumbnail comic, just to get me into practice.
This morning I woke up early to go over to my friend's house, where I've been keeping my bike. I'm learning how to ride and I don't know much of anything about bikes, so I've been keeping it over there where I can get help and advice.
Text of panel 6: "Oh you're up early." "Ah jeez, the cat puked all over."
And he did. The little bastard.
No particular theme that day.
I tried drawing the newspapers and shirt on the living room table, but I got really frustrated and started drawing bums. Those folds are God damn complicated!
Gano is a real graffiti artist out here. I admire his work. He usually does nicer tags than my crappy brick wall thing, but I didn't want to sketch in anything fancy. I just wanted to draw a tag, and he immediately came to mind.
The little monster and the DORK tag are also based on graffiti I've seen out here.
Pippi was fussing with her hair Monday afternoon. She looked very peaceful.
Mysterious objects in this drawing:
1. The big lumpy thing in the foreground is a laundry bag
2. The strings on the floor are a single, long telephone wire
3. The black foldy thing on the chair is a pair of pants
4. The black boxy thing is a guitar amp
5. The flowy thing beside the chair is a curtain
6. The rectangle-thing above the couch is a towel hung over a set of curtains
7. The fan-thing near the couch is a glass bowl
8. The dark things near the amp are black sandals
Screwed up her chin. I nailed the eyes and nose though. Score!
That table's geometry is not of this plane.
Fuck you, chair.
Everything here is a little wrong, so I can pretend I was going for a style.
Somebody pointed out to me that this table isn't perspectiveless so much as proportionless.
An Israeli guy calling himself Jack @ this forum I frequent called TNL, he asked me to draw this back in January.
Looks more like Monkey Sucking His Own Cock.
But you can kind of see his sac in front of it. So it's ok.