?

Log in

is only ten letters long, but with practice and diligence, it can be coaxed to
20 most recent entries

Date:2016-10-05 15:11
Subject:Never mind the mess...
Security:Public

You've reached the LiveJournal of Rowan Lipkovits, renaissance man of letters about town. I don't maintain A Homepage (typically in its place leaving a link to a Google search of my unique name combination) (to say nothing of its frequent misspelled permutation), but this LJ most likely is the closest I get.

Someone asked me recently in the Fall of 2006) "what I do" (with that weighty implied subtext for a living), and I had to take a few moments to ponder my various cultural (mis-)adventures, literary and musical, through inception, promotion, production, and performance. Finally, I remarked that while I do a number of things, their sum never seemed to quite pay the rent1. "Ah, then you must be an artist." I don't know about that, but I'm certainly no businessman.

First and foremost these days, consider me a musician. It's been a long and winding road that's delivered me back here (video games -> ANSI art on BBSes -> poetry slams -> event production -> Britney Spears on the accordion) but if you see me about town, there's a good chance I'm heading to a rehearsal or gig of a) the Joey Only Outlaw Band or b) Trev's "Good Rockin' Tonite" for the '80s at 8 the Creaking Planks, the jug band of the damned. (Truth be known, the majority of my performances are solo guerrilla mindbombs on the accordion, but how tacky does it look to be hyping yourself on your journal? Hey guys, you've gotta come visit my website! It's ... uh, oh, you're already at it. Never mind, then.) My performance adventures have taken me to hundreds of stages across three countries, six provinces, one territory, two states and the District of Columbia, and I've also recorded and performed in a backup capacity with Sight Unseen, the Devils With Blue Dresses On, Leah Abramson, Shane Koyczan's Dangling Participle (with Jaron Freeman-Fox and Jess Hill -- what a dream team!), That's My Brain... And You're Killing It!, da Bjorkman, Monsterdinosaur, Adriane Lake, David Roy Parsons, Bobby Richards, Peppersprey, Gunshae (... and informally with dozens more.) One of my medium-term goals (of admittedly mixed value) is to become personally synonymous with accordion use in Vancouver -- a stiff row to hoe in the home turf of Geoff Berner! (First step accomplished: now one half of the proud team behind the weekly Accordion Noir radio show, 2-3 am 9:30-10:30 pm Fridays NOW 10-11 pm Wednesday nights! on CO-OP 102.7 fm (or at your leisure via podcast!) Update! Now also the host of the Main Squeeze monthly accordion circle 2nd Tuesdays 1st Thursdays at the Little Mountain Studios the Salt Spring Coffee Co. at Main + 27th also Spartacus Books!!) Please note, as of Jan 2011, I am now taking students to follow in my idiosyncratic accordion footsteps, about which more can be learned at the no-surprises url http://accordionteacher.blogspot.com (and see also the music portfolio at eastvanaccordion.blogspot.com) Also out of date; the teaching practice is on ice while we juggle raising a couple of kids while holding down regular day jobs.

On the third Friday now Tuesday of every month I host(ed) the long-running unplugged "57 Varieties" open stage / variety show, 8-10 pm at Spartacus Books After a 5-year run, 57 Varieties is on hiatus. (In addition to my various roles at the Butchershop (I like the title "mascot"), I also enjoyed a long stint as performer coordinator for the Living Closet. I spent a spell helping to run the Vancouver Song Slam at Cafe Deux Soleils with Trevor Spilchen, was the Vancouver agent for the Perpetual Motion Roadshow, and also helped to produce Jeff Younger's Alternative Worlds series of improvised music. I had hopes to get together some like-minded people and do more, more, much more in 2007. But 2008 may just have to do.) ('09? Okay, '10 for sure!) [har har]
I write, have written and will write, for among other places the Capilano Courier, Terminal City, Momentum Magazine, the Columbia Journal, everything2, MobyGames, and BeyondRobson. It started with poems but thank goodness seems to have settled into the self-indulgent (vestiges of the poetry background) essay style known as "creative non-fiction." (Most recently up 06-02-12: dig my cover story on the B:C:Clettes in the Dec/Jan issue of Momentum 07-01: review of Reading the Riot Act in the Columbia Journal!) 07-04-12: a survey of homelessness as played in videogames up at the Cultural Gutter!) 07-05-31: a history of speedrunning, also at the Gutter! (more to come from there) (edit: -- or not!) 07-06: Piece on UNARC's Tipping Point potlucks in the Tooth and Dagger to complement my T.Paul obit the previous issue! Not quite at my goal of a published piece per month, but I have a good chunk of the year to try to even out that disparity. Two more pieces just sitting in the queue! (And, it seems, stubbornly stuck in that hopper. So much for that resolution!) Somehow clattering back into motion I snuck in the end of 2008 with a profile on Trike in the Dec edition of BC Musician magazine and you can find my memories on Rusl + Jane's bike wedding in the January 2009 edition of Momentum! And now in Jul/Aug 2010, you can find me penning a review of Joanna Chapman-Smith's "latest" album again in BC Musician, and then another review of Scotty Dunbar's double album in the Sept/Oct issue.

2012: Well, my print publishing career withered on the vine (writing: more fun than pitching to editors is), but presently I have two blogging projects elsewhere (you may have noticed things are a little sparse here these days): analysis of video games scanned from old comic books at videogamecomicads.blogspot.com (now basically sunsetted in favour of Pixel Pompeii) and wholesale choose-your-own-adventure HTML conversion at turntopage4.blogspot.com! One more trip around the publication gauntlet once again, January 2nd 2013 interviewing Jim Munroe for the Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games, AND, IMPROBABLY, ANOTHER providing the cover story for the Sept, 2014 labour-themed issue of Memory Insufficient with an article about the 1980 BASIC program Shop Steward Simulator. 2015: the lethargic writing sideline continues apace, with an article about the decline of bleepy & bloopy video game music in the April 2015 Memory Insufficient and another piece in SPAG, a profile of the Active Fiction Project, both the same week!

I rid(e) my bike most everywhere I can (2007-2008: that's a big fat lie), and in the interest of being reachable by anyone who might want to find me (why hide from opportunity?), have similarly (all right, not so similarly) strewn the internet with half-completed profiles and half-baked presences on as many sites as I can -- Wikipedia, FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, MySpace, Last.fm, Tribe.net, Orkut, Nexopia, Tagged, Buzznet, hi5, Hyves, Bebo, Plaxo, FotoLog, OKCupid, 43things, Deviantart, SITO ... etc. Mashable seems to do a half-decent job of consolidating those furtive scatterings, if you're a lumper and not a splitter, or the distressingly-titled Profilactic if you prefer.

... and so, if you would like to, uh, connect to me in some fashion... please feel free to. (Stalkers... start your engines!) Historical nicknames include Cthulu, Pseudo_Intellectual, UnwashedMass, Rasputin and, well, a plethora of others. I was one of three charter members of the Work Less Party, and sit on the board (albeit nominally) of the Vancouver Poetry House! (mascot, again.)

(anything you need to know about this journal? the short answer is: heck no! It's all available to the public (this is what I mean by "extimacy") and you certainly don't need to justify your existence or qualify your appearance to me. You want to read what I have to say? Great: I want to talk to interested people.) (Doesn't hurt when they're interesting, too, but don't let your doubts hold you back -- I can judge that for myself well enough 8)

That'll have to do for now! (oh, "that's all")

(follow-up: the livejournal name and quote; then the potted bio explication.)

Would you believe he"s using footnotes now?Collapse )

In the meantime, we will comparison-test some flavours of free website traffic counters.
web stats script Simple counter

34 comments | post a comment



Date:2015-08-07 22:32
Subject:Shaggy dog rhymes
Security:Public

C was given a complete, authoritative (and apparently totally public domain) Mother Goose collection, including all kinds of Dickensian nastiness I would never subject my 21st century toddler to. She presses me ever onward to read "just one more" poem, and I of course love the sound of my own voice (which, by the end of the session, has taken on a Gruffalo-esque brogue), so it's not uncommon for me to go through the entire volume -- or at least a highlights reel of it.

For reasons I cannot completely articulate (perhaps because, overfamiliar now, they bore this big toddler?), I skip over most of the "canonical" rhymes -- the Jack and Jills, Little Bo Peeps, Hickory Dickory Docks -- in favour of a fascinating body of just-so or pithy rhymes I'd never heard before: A swarm of bees in May, Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, For Every Evil, Doctor Foster, The Girl In The Lane, There was an old woman tossed in a basket, Coffee and Tea, Candle-Saving, The Quarrel... OK, there are lots. (Who knew there were so many riddles in Mother Goose? Well, probably Nick Montfort.) This makes me a bit of a bad dad, feeding her brain with all cutting-room scraps and without any of what society decided were the good bits.

My favorites of the new-to-mes are a series of poems that play at setting up a story, and then cut and run. At their most complete they are poetic tautologies, but in more fragmentary form it just seems a kind of Victorian trolling. Do they appeal to me due to a playfully postmodern relationship to that old ball and chain, "plot"?

There was an old woman
Lived under a hill;
And if she's not gone,
She lives there still.
--
Three wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl;
If the bowl had been stronger
My song had been longer.
(That one's illustration is hilarious.)
I'll tell you a story
About Jack-a-Nory:
And now my story's begun.
I'll tell you another
About his brother:
And now my story is done.
--
There was an old woman sat spinning,
And that's the first beginning;

She had a calf,
And that's half;

She took it by the tail,
And threw it over the wall,
And that's all!

--Edited to add: one more...
There was an old crow
Sat upon a clod;
That's the end of my song.
-- That's odd.
(Is "A Difficult Rhyme" the origin of the "rhymes with orange" conundrum? If so, there's not much conundrum, as it also solves it. I was wondering if "Man in the Wilderness" might be the origin of the phrase "red herring", but apparently its use goes back a little earlier.)

What I really want to know is why the word "south" is always rhymed with someone burning their mouth -- on something cold! What's the deal, you perverse Victorians? (Hm, 1700s... quite a bit earlier.)

Sorry, no complete thoughts here: I've just been reading poems so you don't have to!

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2015-06-10 21:09
Subject:the end of a chapter
Security:Public

(LiveJournal post started, from the looks of things, in January, and incrementally added to over months of coffee breaks without ever getting any closer to being "finished" -- likely because, as an arbitrary dip into the stream of consciousness with no beginning and no end, it didn't need to be said at all. (But I like writing it, the same way Chinese engineers like all-you-can-eat salad bars.) I need to post it now because a) six months? it's about time, already, and b) this is full of aimless historical mind-wandering, and very shortly my posts should take a focused, grounded, here-and-now angle when our second child arrives. (Congratulations, we'll get it out of the way: the happy news content buried in this pile of words. You win! Quick, quit while you're ahead! I must confess, I hadn't thought I'd need to be prioritizing its mention 6 months ago when I started writing this post, but here we are, half a week from our due date.) Posting this after that development would be a gross misrepresentation of my frame of mind at that point and detract from the hard work put in by everyone involved -- especially the baby. So I either have to post this or throw it out.)

So, the opinion no one needed shared at the location where no one will see it. (And what more fitting fate for the obscure than obscurity?) Everyone's been wondering (admit it!) what were my thoughts at the announcement of the closure of the downtown branch of the Chapters megachain bookstore (now closed 3 days ago, June 7th) -- a brand for which I have no love lost. Nonetheless, I do have several fond (or, at least, poignant) memories associated with the place -- though largely the fondness only relates to the Chapters itself at an arms'-length second-degree distance of abstraction, more a thinking back to how my life was and what the state of the world was like at such times as my paths very sporadically crossed with that store.

(It's important for me to remain in the habit of putting my thoughts down in words. These are swiping, tapping times, optimised for the passive consumption of someone else's creative endeavours, but keeping these output channels in working condition, this antiquated custom of the perblog, in the event that I someday find I have something to say that people need to hear... is important to me.) (Of course, sharing my hypothetical 10 thousand word essay on Tumblr -- or... wherever are the people at these days, anyhow? -- would only baffle today's cyber-flaneurs. I guess the place the readers are is Reddit, but I haven't managed to come to terms yet with its unrulier elements.)

Sarah-Jane, who cold-called me via ICQ looking for a friendly stranger near the landing pad before relocating from New Brunswick to Vancouver (and took up with my roommate following my failure to read between the H-game-sharing lines and hit on her), found the building's showboating architecture ostentatious, an opinion informing my own ongoing characterization of the construction as earthquake-bait. (Last I heard a decade back, with nothing but gumption and direction -- knowing where she wanted to be, and having some idea of how to get there -- she had successfully re-invented her re-invented self into a self-sustaining paying career in the arts, which is more than I ever managed.)

During the Vancouver Poetry Slam's many years in the wilderness, shambling from marginal venue to marginal venue and failing to find its groove before landing at Cafe Deux Soleils and exploding into a bona fide phenomenon, they did at least one public-outreach "slam" at Chapters, for prizes and acclaim but no standing in the season's league rankings. This was my nearest-to-triumphant performance poetry success... in years at the hungry inception of the local poetry slam scene, I'd milled around fecklessly, read endlessly at open mics and drunk in countless slams without ever qualifying to progress to the second round. (Sometimes circumstances had to contort quite a bit to lock me out: on one occasion, short one poet for a full slate, the owner of the late Old Times Cafe at Pender & Homer -- the slam's first home -- was drafted at the last minute to round out the roster, ultimately edging me out of progression by a fraction of a point with an improvised poem. I know -- what, let it go? He sure as heck has no memory of me! And yet my mastery over the petty and trivial may be the one area in which I've ever demonstrated unquestionable supremacy! Just kidding -- it was the profound irony felt at the time that stayed with me all these years, where triumphs would have blurred together and been forgotten in a muddy glow of warm fuzzy feelings. Every failure, conversely, is intensely recalled as a distinct sharp stab of despair! As I've noted elsewhere, this makes travelling through my home town a problem, because everywhere I go I am stung with resentment when passing the sites of businesses by the bushel that once declined to hire me.)

My poems could be appreciated by your run of the mill poetry fan (and indeed, I was received very graciously at Seattle open mics I visited during the 2001 slam championships in that city, which I haunted the audiences of) but they were never calculated to appeal along the same lines that slam relied on -- what I might characterise as broad strokes and emotional appeals, bereft of challenging approaches or complicated subjects. (Especially, I loved to make obscure references, quotations and echoes -- as Al Mader might say, "You don't understand? Look it up!", but his bold delivery of baffling lines enjoyed better reception than my clandestine utterances. After all, if your verses are worth being confident about, why not yell all of them?)

In this case (back at Chapters now, remember?), Vincent "Vincy" Kamberk, another artsy weirdo at the fringes of the local performance poetry scene, beamed down on a rainbow and snatched my crown away at the last minute with material that, like mine, had no real case for winning a poetry slam except among non-slam poets. (As best as I can tell, it is his only poem, a party trick of sorts. "There was a-wax all ah-hover the place!") I don't remember what the unwon first prize was -- probably a small pot of cash or in-store credit, lucky for me to avoid winning so as to be given a promising sign encouraging further travel down the treacherous and unsustainable route of literature -- but fortunately for me I was really able to appreciate the consolation prize: the album Dopamine by Mitchell Froom (you know, the guy who was married to Suzanne Vega for a while?) In a show of poor sportsmanship I didn't want to take it home at the time, but after monkeypudding gushed a bit over the hip sounds of this unknown-to-me producer, I managed to bring it back and even enjoy it extensively, each track featuring a different "guest star", really samplings from a varied array of artists he'd produced. I listened to it dozens of times and reconciled myself to the notion of my art at least garnering me further art, a breakeven exchange. (I won out, actually: Dopamine was superior art to mine.)

On another occasion I returned to Chapters for a "magnetic poetry slam" (how early was it that the label "reading" had been supplanted by "slam" entirely, regardless of appropriateness? all poetry performance now is a slam the same way that all Internet use is Facebooking), featuring the inventor of Magnetic Poetry discussing his curious journey. An "is someone writing this down?" moment elapsed, which I dutifully documented over at everything2, subsequently reconceiving of my reportage as a kind of found poetry, including it as "accident in the intersection of art and commerce" for my portfolio application to the Creative Writing department at UBC.

interruption for a sad, NSFW Kliban comic strip panelCollapse )

(My application was not approved, and I didn't get into the program, though I was cleared to attend individual creative writing classes in such intriguing esoteric specialties as translation and radio plays. But I could not attend any classes at UBC without being approved to major in some other department elsewhere on campus, and putting all my eggs in one basket it had never even occurred to me to apply anywhere else (which with my trampoline GPA was not really in the cards in any event. I had never made any life plans that didn't revolve around my becoming a verbal golden god, a literary rising star destined to challenge the national discourse with his inspired word-experiments.) With final exam nightmare logic I always fear there is some remote possibility that I was actually cleared to attend and registered for CW classes at UBC that I just failed to attend... my actual understanding of departmental bureaucracy at the post-secondary level was always vague at best, and my well-intentioned parents -- unwilling to allow something as important as my university education be undermined by my unpragmatic vagueness -- muddied the waters with appeals to outdated admission and enrolment standards from their time in university quite a bit earlier. My friends were too tied up with their own confusing journeys to help much, though I recall icecreamemperor actually registering me for my first set of college courses, and my institutional allergy (reasoning to self: can any knot this Gordian actually be worth straightening out?) precluded it even occurring to me to seek guidance through academic counsellors on staff. And of course it has now been well over a decade since my sporadic academic career last twitched. One must assume any remaining transcripts would actually have spontaneously composted by now, were they not so imbued with the sheer toxicity of their contents.)

In the Crooked Chapters (no value judgement -- just a description of its ostentatious architecture, remember. But hey, remember that classic Simpsons episode? Bart: "Behold the horrors of the slanty shanty! See the twisted creatures that dwell within! Meet Cue Ball, The Man with No Hair!") I was once shocked to encounter master drummer Shawn Killaly in a staff uniform, excited to bump into some hep cats and jar the monotony of the grind of working there. This was not shocking due to the terrifying expressions he's been known to make (basically: he can't stop making) during face-melting drum solos, nor due to concern that his pride in performing for General Suharto during APEC '97 (note to self: post WRASTAJAM story somewhere sometime) (actually, sometime never comes: post it here, now)Collapse ) might make him a dangerous character to associate with... it was shocking because, well, think of it this way: imagine the most talented person you know with a plain and marketable aptitude for an obvious-to-apply trade. Then bump into him working at Chapters. If he wasn't equipped to live the dream, what was the point of dreaming at all, really? I figure my shock at encountering Shawn at Chapters was an analogous foreshadowing of the dismay a group of my thirsty '90s friends displayed, many years later (actually, though it's hard to imagine, that was only 4 years ago), when finally encountering me vending lemonade at Nat Bailey Stadium after I'd managed to notice and duck them for nearly the entire baseball game.

(Chapters was not a wholesale sausage-grinder of broken dreams: I know that harrysheep logged some hours in the Chapters mines between stints at Yogen Früz and Raincoast Books, mellowing into... the official social media presence for Vancouver Opera, to the best of my memory! jokrack used it as a rung in her own ladder climbing up the publishing industry. But I doubt it did anything for Shawn beyond paying the rent for a couple of months.)

One further fond and utterly profane Chapters association -- old schoolmate (and now: maternal cottage industry) Yolande had similar sour feelings regarding Chapters as mine, only amplified: her rule was that it was fine to patronize the establishment, but only for emergency bathroom use while passing through the neighbourhood. And then, to harsh the mellow of folks who had drunk the Chapters Kool-Aid and shock them out of their lotos-eating stupour... don't flush. (In this bold new post-Upper Decker era, such a relatively genteel form of protest seems almost antiquated -- quiet, impotent, but impossible to ignore.

And the final disappointment: mhalachai loved mystery novels, so for her birthday I already knew what to get her. But my complicated life left me no options beyond selecting from Chapters' offerings en route to her birthday party. I knew the perfect middle ground between my interests and hers, and was confident she would enjoy a copy of Umberto Eco's In The Name Of The Rose or Foucault's Pendulum. (no wait, that was the Granville and Broadway Chapters, on the site of the old Risty -- like the Kingsgate Mall, on VSB-owned land, apparently -- itself up on the chopping block, awaiting rebranding as an Indigo with an American Girl doll salon.) For what then this enormous building if not to stock the books one might want to purchase? Both volumes would surely be available at any used bookstore or library branch in far smaller buildings. I guess I failed to appreciate that what a bookstore sells are first-run books that are still in print. This failure (and my failure to accommodate a Plan B gift-acquisition on my way to the party) drove an awkward wedge into our already-awkward relationship. (When in doubt, blame the bookstore!)

With a serious bookseller like Pulp Fiction still in full effect, there's no need to miss a monolith like Chapters or all the stepping stones it squashed on its way to the top and over the cliff: this is one case I think where the Darwinian rules of the free market have endowed the local literary ecosystem with an efficient solution to its needs. (But I do miss Sophia Books and the Granville Book Company.) The megastores ate the big ones up -- when the dust settled after the Bollum's, Duthies, Chapters all fell ... I can't entirely blame Amazon, can I? The industry was overextended overall. Somehow Lawrence's Books down at Dunbar and 41st still manages to keep on keeping on, on expensive (but presumably owned outright) Vancouver real estate, filled with dead books no one is ever going to want to buy. (This also makes me ponder the ongoing fates of downtown used bookstores Albion, which has some books one might want to read, vs. Macleod's, which does not despite maintaining a higher profile.)

I never wrote a poem for Chapters (which, to be fair, deserves none -- maybe only a spreadsheet), but here's one I wrote on the occasion of the much-earlier passing of a far more beloved local bookstore:

ELEGY FOR BLACK SHEEP BOOKS

a far cry / from stargazing

where, to observe free from the hegemony
of those more luminous stars
one must focus upon a patch of seemingly dim space
to permit the appearance
in peripheral vision
of those subtler stars
glimmering, glowering, guttering
more coal than candle
- no less brilliant, mind you,
merely perplexed in penetration
of the observer's polluted atmosphere;
only phantoms visible out of the corner of your eye -
look at them and they're not there

instead, burning among the chapbooks
front and centre
you might be fortunate enough
to have your attention wrested for a few brief eternities
by a rope of language, words woven tight
and strong. Your concentration slowly drawn into the poet
you could fix your gaze in surrender
as all other sights would fade to nothing
your universe reducing to a few perfect worlds / in a few perfect words
and those perfect mouths what called them into being

the skeptics among us might have credited the cosmic flickering
to old wiring, fickle and perverse,
and imps of inconstant sparks
but we knew better.

One cannot know that which is not
onetime knowledge reduced to mere memory
the captivating creators consigned to fairy tales,
stories and the apocryphal annals of folklore and fable,
scattered to the vagaries of anecdote like so much divine dust.

Come - the boldest stars swing now overhead,
constellations whirling above us, needing no namers,
my eyes and mouth grow dry, beard hanging heavily upon me / and I grow weary;

we have made our myth; now we must sleep in it.

...

For some future post, as this one is assuredly over-done already: an examination of my curious urge -- why write to such an extent somewhere that (statistically) no one will see? Is there some connection to the presumed small-audience scrivening of (well, Live-, duh)journaling, diari(landi)zing, & corresponding? Writing for a presumed audience of greater than one (even a third of the surviving copies of first editions of James Joyce's books were never opened, never had their pages cut, by their recipients) is so historically anomalous a privilege it's easy to overlook how we can "broadcast" today and assume that people will be tuned in in mass quantities. (In fact, it can be difficult to know or prove that it isn't!) But I'm obviously not going to be able to get into this at all at this moment, so I'll just pose it as an open question of sorts.

And one final fragment from my notepad: "writing and then eventually posting weeks or months after the lion's share is written, vs. never posting, writing for nobody or just to keep in practice." I'm sure I've gone through at least a dozen mega-posts described by the latter situation: processing or working through things by putting them in words. But always the intention was to "share" them to whoever stopped by this ghost town.

8 comments | post a comment



Date:2015-02-13 06:06
Subject:Friday, February the 13th
Security:Public

As I guess a given date has a one in seven chance of happening on a particular day of the week, it's probably been a multiple-of-seven years since I wrote this story in high school. The introduction of my recurring 3-day-novel hero Clark Ingledew (named after two brands of shoe), it was published (by myself, its editor) in the school paper, The Ideograph, and serialized in the Kithe e-mag.



And here it is again, for one more kick at the can!


        Clark Ingledew stepped out of the office into the unusually muggy
February heat. His wrinkle-free suit was wrinkled, his briefcase was being
held together with an elastic band; the water cooler had vented its
contents all over his new Italian suede shoes; he had narrowly avoided being
run over by a rampant malfunctioning photocopier; he had a growth of 5 'o
clock shadow and it was only noon; and, to top it all off, looking down, he
discovered, to his dismay, that he had just stepped right in the middle of
something glowing and unpleasant. He could almost hear the water-logged
leather being eaten away. Friday the 13th of ANY month had NOTHING on this
day, Friday, the 14th of February.

        But nothing else could go wrong today. He had left work 5 hours 
early so that he would have a leisurely six hours to reach the dining 
destination where he had arranged to meet Heather, his estranged fiance, for
the first time since he had forgotten their anniversary. And tonight, he
would definitely give her a surprise, he thought appreciatively, patting the
form of the box through the fabric of his thigh pocket which held the ring
which he would use to propose to her tonight. As long as he could make it
to the restaurant, he could handle whatever else life could rummage up and
throw in his path.

        Except, as it turned out, penguins.

        As he approached his rocking car, he could hear their devilish 
jibbering and jabbering.

        "Oh God... Not the penguins AGAIN..." he muttered under his breath 
as he stormed up to the car. The stereo was blaring at full blast, playing a 
tape of what sounded like "The Chipmunks go Disco," the windshield wipers 
were flopping drunkenly, and intermittent blurts of the horn sounded as the 
infernal birds took turns jumping on the front seat. He thought that this 
problem had been fixed at his last tune-up, but the sight of his 
Penguin-B-Gone strip flying out the sunroof along with a dozen herring heads 
dispelled that illusion rather quickly. He pocketed the useless strip and
rifled through his broken briefcase for what had been last resort emergency 
devices which had fortunately never been needed. Extracting a large fistful 
of rubber bands from the case, he wielded his keys bravely and made a lunge 
for the car door, opening it in one swift fluid motion.

        He was right. It WAS "The Chipmunks go Disco."

        Like the wind, he stealthily and efficiently rubber-banded the beaks 
and flipper-like wings of all save the most aggressive penguins, who bit 
viciously through their bonds. No matter. He tossed them all in the back 
seat, and rolled the windows down, to clear the herring smell from the air. A 
flasing light on the dashboard confirmed his initial suspicion: the words 
PENGUIN VALVE JAMMED cheerily winked at him. Cursing his luck at having 
broken this previously unheard-of component of his car, he decided to return 
the penguins to the zoo. After all, he couldn't afford to let them ruin his 
date, and he had a few hours to spare. With an eye to caution, he tossed an 
old blanket over the heap of struggling birds to minimalise the distraction 
they would otherwise pose to his driving skills.

                                     -----

        "What do you MEAN you haven't lost any penguins?" 

        Clark had been forced to attempt to jam a defective parking meter
full of several dollars in change before he realized that it was out of
order. Impatient and unhappy with the zoo staff, who had kept him waiting
outside the monkey house, much to the amusement of zoo visitors, he wanted
to get rid of the damned birds so he could get on with the rest of his life.
The birds (on a leash as proof of his otherwise outlandish story) just seemed
to want to make a lot of noise.

        "I'm sorry, sir, but all 27 of our zoo's penguins are accounted for. 
Wherever you got these ones from, it wasn't here." 

        The receptionist at the zoo's main complaint office was used to
dealing with wackos, but this one was unusually well-groomed. His story
seemed to be truthful, too, but the zoo already had all of its famous
penguins, and they lacked the facilities to house any more.

        "If you fill out this form, we might be able to help you, depending
on how many more weeks Mr. Wiltbloom decides to stay on vacation."

        "No, thank you. I'll just find something to do with these penguins 
MYSELF. You haven't been of any help. Good-bye."

        Clark felt very cold toward the woman, who seemed to have been
exceptionally bureaucratic toward him. That, or it was the largish piece of
spinach that had been wedged betwixt his upper front teeth. "Five hours and
eighteen minutes 'till the reservation," he thought to himself, as he walked
to the car, leading a train of waddling penguins. When he arrived at the
parking lot, he noticed that he was having a rather large amount of difficulty 
finding his car. The fact that it simply wasn't there probably contributed 
to this situation. Of course, he didn't discover that fact immediately. He 
deduced it after wandering for an hour and a half backtracking the 
footprints of his little webfooted compatriots. Even by then, the only clue 
tipping him off to his car's absentee status was the policeman posting the 
"Out of Order" sign on the parking meter which had previously greedily 
guzzled all of his change. Flustered and confused, he sat dejectedly on the 
curb and looked at his watch. Three and a half hours left. Still more than 
enough time to bus to the restaurant and freshen up before dining. He could 
find out what happened to the car later... after all, he had an appointment 
with his destiny.

        The penguin's squawks aroused him from his daydream. He had three and
a half hours left and not a second to spare! Boldly, he dived into his jacket
pocket to withdraw his wallet and bus pass. Sheepishly, he fumbled around 
the pocket looking for them. Frantically, he got on all fours and, with a 
rather undignified air, looked for the wallet. Yet it was nowhere to be seen.
Rather violent thoughts involving the penguins entered his head, and, as he 
turned around to enact his gruesome fantasies, he saw them all lined up on 
the wall, playing catch with his wallet. THOSE DAMNED BIRDS HAD PICKPOCKETED 
HIM!!! With a vicious jerk on the leash, all of the penguins came tumbling 
down onto the pavement, wallet bouncing into range. He glanced from side to 
side, as if expecting someone to go for it, and, seeing that the coast was 
clear, reached out to slowly take it back.

        Almost there, he raised his glance forward to see a penguin mimicing 
his actions. The penguin was closer to the wallet. With a lunge, they both 
grabbed an end of the wallet and started pulling. While Clark had much more 
mass than the puny penguin, the little bird had the aid of several of his 
companions. With a heave and a ho, and a crack like thunder, the wallet flew 
apart, credit cards and photos of Heather drifting away into the bear pit on
the breeze. Clark discovered, to his dismay, that he held clenched in his 
hand, one torn half of a bus pass. He followed the movements of the other 
half drifting errantly on the wind until it ended up as a monkey's 
breakfast. This was most certainly not good. He salvaged what he could of 
the credit cards and pictures, stuffing them into his pocket, and stared 
forlornly at his watch. Three hours, fourteen minutes. At a breakneck run, 
he could make it to the restaurant in four hours, tops. It was worth a 
try... the alternative was to sit there and cry on the penguins, and he was 
far too great a man to stoop to such levels. Determined to rid his life of 
these pests, he carefully tied the lead leash to a post with a knot worthy 
of a Boy Scout University graduate and started in the right direction.

        "'Scuse me, sir, but do you know that there's a law again litterin' 
in this town?"

        The sign-posting policeman tapped on his back and had a ticket pad
ready.

        "Officer, you must be mistaken; these aren't my penguins, they..."

        "I hear a lot of that, y'know." The rather robust lawman looked up 
at the sky and chuckled to himself. "You 'spect me to believe that after I 
saw you tie 'em up right there? Now listen, just pick them up, and carry 'em
with yer person until you can find the proper receptacle, and I'll let you 
go this time."

        Clark began to protest, but, looking at his watch, realized that 
there was no way around it: he was stuck with the damned critters. As if in 
realization, one of them waddled up to his leg and lay down on his foot. The 
officer grinned a smelly grin and hefted himself back to the defective 
meter, where he tried to look important. "I just need a few minutes to 
concentrate," thought Clark. Sitting down on the pavement, he closed his 
eyes and tried to focus on the matter at hand. Noises of the zoo, animal 
noises, people noises, and heavy machinery noises (?) passed through his 
head. Smells of the zoo, animal smells, people smells, and ... other smells 
drifted in one nostril and out the other. His concentration was absolute. 
Nothing could rouse him from his meditiation. Except when the skater tried 
to do a jump over that weird sitting guy and didn't quite clear it.

        Clark awoke to a bright light and loud noises. And quite a lot of 
blood. As his eyes refocused, he made out the shapes of a flock of 
concerned-looking penguins and a pair of grungy looking youths looking down
at him.

        "Heeey, Stu!," one of them hollered to the other, "I guess I owe ya 
five bucks! The old dude isn't dead!"

        Stu looked more concerned, whether for Clark's well-being or about 
the blood stains on his skateboard. "Hey, old dude, are you all right?"

        Clark sat up, and blacked out again.

        He awoke several minutes later, and said, "How much would you sell 
that skateboard for?

        Stu looked confused, then his eyes lit up with the fires of greed. 
"What ya got?"

        Clark carefully probed inside his pocket, drawing a single thin 
piece of plastic with the measured ease of a motion often performed. "It's 
platinum. No limits."

        Stu looked at his friend in awe, eyes bugging out, and bellowed, 
"Radical!" They performed a surprisingly uncoordinated hi-five, and ran off 
toward the nearest Westbeach. Reading his watch, Clark noted that he had a 
mere two hours and 53 minutes left, and decided that it was time to take 
charge. He carefully tourniquetted his gaping head wound with one of the
rubber bands, and tested his balance on his new possession. Finding it
easier than it looked, he took off his belt. No, this is not the eagerly
anticipated sex scene. Getting a good grip on the penguin harnesses, a good
balance on the board, and a good final whiff of that wholesome zoo air, he
cracked his belt at the penguins. And they were off!

                                     -----

        Clark, having watched one too many arctic sagas on late night TV, 
navigated his way through the wilds of downtown, being forced to move onto 
the road after an unfortunate accident involving a glass window being moved, 
a carton of watermelons and a shipment of chickens, and doing eighty-five in a
thirty zone. Fortunately, the traffic cops could see what a hurry he was in,
and he arrived at the restaurant exactly two hours and forty-eight minutes
later, with a windblown hairdo and a troupe of tired penguins. Stepping off
the board, he noticed that their irregular route had inextricably entwined his
hand in the loop end of the leash. He'd have to do something about that in
the gent's room. But first, to confirm the reservations. He casually 
strolled into the entrance of the restaurant, pretending that he didn't have 
a horde of birds attatched to his hand.

        "Table for two for Clark Ingledew, " he exclaimed nonchalantly.

        "M'sieur, zee table ees redy, but zere are NO pets allowed in zees
restaurant! Revovez zem at once, s'il-vous-plait!"

        "Can I just.."

        "No, M'sieur! No penguins in zee building! Can't you see zee sign?
Now get zem OUT!"

        Clark, unwilling to withstand any more of that incredibly bad accent,
stormed out of the building, and re-entered, bird-free, but with a 
suspiciously lumpy and noisy jacket. He also noted the peculiar sign on his
way in the second time: No Penguins Allowed in Building, by order of the
Minister of Food Services.

        "Ah, M'sieur as returned! Weethout hees penguins. Bon."

        {SQUAWK!} went the jacket. The maitre 'd eyeballed Clark
suspiciously.

        "Squawk, squawk. Ahem. I'm just getting over a cold... people tell me
that my cough sounds like a penguin squawking. SQUAWK. Excuse me."

        He then doubled over in a faked coughing fit, throwing some squawks 
in here and there to add validity to his story. The maitre 'd looked
unconvinced, but, doubtlessly impressed by Clark's formidable improvisational
skills, led him to the table. Where Heather was waiting for him.

        Clark gulped, and grimaced as a sharp beak gave retribution for the 
sudden movement. She was gorgeous. He was, well, lumpy.

        "Clark, you're here on time, for once. I've been waiting to see you 
for a long time, you know." She smiled, revealing a glittering full set of 
teeth. In Clark's eyes, the most perfect teeth in the world. Clark would 
have smiled, but he was in too much pain. One of the penguins had started to 
slide down his pant leg.

        "I don't mean to be rude, but I really have to... er... go to the
bathroom. I hope you understand. I'll be right out." Clark, making this
social faux pas, ran off to the men's room and tried to take off his jacket.
But it wouldn't go. The penguins had settled in there and had gotten nice
and comfy, and, after that deal with the skateboard, weren't going to move
for ANYBODY. Buttoning the thing back up, puffing and panting from the
exertion of his attempt, he re-entered the restaurant. He nearly spitted
himself as he passed a waiter bearing a trayful of shishkabob skewers, but
narrowly avoided disaster, and instead just landed heavily on his chair and
spilled his water.

        "Clark, why don't you take your jacket off? You must be getting
awefully hot in there...?"

        "No, I'm fine, really, I am." Clark seemed rather insincere, panting
like that and the way he kept loosening his collar.

        "Listen, Clark, I've been thinking a lot lately, and I think that I
made the wrong decision when we stopped seeing each other... I overreacted,
and..."

        "No, YOU listen, Heather. I was a lovestruck fool with a bad memory,
and still am. Will you... er... will you... just a sec..." Searching his
pockets frantically, he couldn't find the box holding the ring. Remembering
that it was in his THIGH pocket, he relievedly took the box out of his
pocket. To his astonished horror, the ring was no longer in it! This was just
too much.

        "Clark? Were you going to say something?"

        "Where is it, goddammit? Answer me!"

        Clark was ripping his shirt off, talking to the lumps in his jacket.
Taking a salad fork, with a wild gleam in his eyes, he savagely jabbed his
poor coat several times. Squeaks emitted, and he peeled back the coat
revealing a huddled mass of penguins! From across the room, the maitre 'd
gaped in horror, and Clark began alternately throttling and tossing aside
penguin after penguin, demanding where "it" was. Various shocked cries of,
"My eyes! My eyes!", "Waiter, there is a penguin in my soup!", and "To
dishonor the flag in such a manner. Disgraceful!" echoed across the room,
and customers began leaving in droves. Finally, Clark reached the bottom of
the heap, where a miserable looking snivelling penguin huddled, face turned
away, thrusting a simple ring towards Clark.

        "THANK YOU. Now, where was I... oh yes. Heather, will you marry me?"

        Heather looked shocked, then startled, then sick. "You BRUTE! You
PERVERT! I don't even want to know what were you doing with penguins in your
suit. You must have seen the sign in front, you knew it was against the
rules. Now you've ruined this dinner for everyone here. Clark Ingledew, I
never want to speak to you again!" With that, she walked out of the
restaurant, and out of his life, forever.

        Clark looked surprised, mouth gaping, ring outstretched limply. Then
he closed his eyes and bawled like a baby. Alone in the building, his tragic
cries echoed throughout the hallowed walls. Remembering the shishkabob
skewers, he contemplated putting an end to it all, all the pain, all the
suffering. But he was brought back to reality by a nudge on his foot. The
last penguin had gotten up and was trying to eat his shoelaces.

        With a new look of hope and determination in his eyes, Clark picked
up the flightless bird, and said passionately, through tear-streaked eyes,
"At least we still have each other."

        And they walked, hand in wing, into the sunset, of a NEW future,
together.

        This story will now end before it breaches the boundaries of good
taste any more than it does already.

                                      FIN

3 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-12-28 23:28
Subject:"The Bells of Yule" infofile, Dec 17, 2014
Security:Public

This one was initially released in December of 1994, then became lost and unobtainable circa 1998. It's back in circulation now, re-mastered, and hopefully remains that way this time around. For the first time I enjoyed the strange privilege of the bandwidth cap of my ad hoc web hosting being exceeded to due too much interest -- it crapped out after about 4 gigs in a 24 hr period, but with a filesize of 182 megs, 4 gigs gets burned through pretty fast.



In keeping with my recent activity here (and so, well, you can see where the writing has been going), here's its infofile, greatly expanded:

                        .                       .                         .   
      .        .           MiSTiGRiS PROUDLY PRESENTS:       .                
                     _________|`\  ____,___|`\_|   |___33                    .
               *     __, __, __, `\(____-  ,_,'_, _______                     
                     #|'  |'  |'  |'   ,\__,  `|' _|'  |#          .     *
           .         @|___,___,____-__(____,__,'___,__,'@                     
                     (mistigris) (music disk #1) (12/14)  .                   
                     .the bells of yule .1 hr 45 minutes.          *       .  
     *               .of new and vintage computer musics.     .               
                .    . 2014   20th anniversary re-issue .                     
                                                                              
                 .--._.--.--.__.--.--.__.--.--.__.--.--._.--.
               _(_      _Y_      _Y_      _Y_      _Y_      _)_
              [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]
              /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \
             |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |
             \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /
         jgs  \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./
               '='      '='      '='      '='      '='      '='

        In late 1994, we at Mistigris were posed with a formidable proposition
from the fine folks at Digitallusions: here is a 5-piece suite of original
instrumental holiday music, in turns joyous and upbeat, moody, melancholic and
modal, and at times downright grim and eerie -- in short, a corpus appropriate
for summarizing the time of year when things are at their bleakest nadir out on
the blasted, lightless heath... but in brightly-lit rooms, fragile human bodies
congregate to reject and refute this physical reality with a merry rebellion,
filling their cold darkness with warmth and light, hoping that in some magical
way it makes the sun come back.
 
        Would we like to distribute this music?
 
        Releasing it in an artpack would be unthinkable due to the filesize-
bloating effects of large quantities of sample-based computer music on 1994-era
modem transmission speeds.  And yet clearly not releasing it simply wasn't an
option.  And so we went for a Third Way, the poorly-understood option of the
Music Disk.
 
        Just how did a music disk differ from an artpack, anyhow?  In short,
the latter was expected to be packed with visual computer creativity, while the
former would of course be touting audio digital creations instead.  Outfits
that really had their act together would present their music disks alongside
executable music player software in which to experience the tunes, skinned with
visual art of their own creation and offering commentary and visualization
options informed by the longstanding demoscene traditions of loaders, intros
and cracktros.
 
        Our outfit could not really be described as having its act together.
Though its members would eventually achieve all kinds of greatness, at that
point by and large we were flying by the seat of our pants, faking it until we
made it and making it up as we went along.  So the Mistigris music disk was an
archive consisting of a pile of .MODs thrown together, along with a recycled
FILE_ID.DIZ and a painfully uninformative infofile -- this 15-year-old's fourth
crack at writing one up, not quite there yet.
 
        We shopped the highly seasonal collection of music around to the best
of our ability, by which I mean: we spent several hours uploading the archive
to a few BBSes, in the hopes that it might find its way to other area codes
courtesy of some independently wealthy long distance caller.  Who knows, if we
could get it on something called an FTP site, it might really find an
international audience on the InterNet.
 
        But the early '90s were lean, mean times and while the art was given
freely, storage and bandwidth came at a premium.  The Mistigris crew
disadvantageously straddled two worlds uneasily, too close to the pirate
wareZ-associated ANSI art scene for our music disk to be hosted by upright,
decent and legitimate demoscene music resources, yet too modem-breakingly large
(weighing in at a kingly 1.47 megs -- this alleged music "disk" wouldn't even
fit on a 1.44 inch floppy diskette!) for it to be hosted by ANSI art mirrors
-- at least, not without a heck of a lot more visual appeal than we wrapped it
in. So the archive bumped around local BBSes in the 604 area code for three or
four years, and then when the last of those went down circa 1998, suddenly it
became unobtainable... at least, until now.
 
        Computers can greatly streamline and facilitate creative activity, but
for longevity, the methods of the 19th century have got it lapped.  Paint your
image on a canvas, write your words in a notebook, commit the notes of your
song to sheet music, and it can live on for centuries -- write your opus magnum
on a computer and you've got maybe a 10-year window of opportunity before
backward compatibility with your genius goes out the window and all you have
left are the memories.  Maybe the greatest piece of computer art to emerge from
Vancouver in the '90s was William Gibson's Agrippa for the Apple Macintosh, but
how are you going to prove it?  But I digress.
 
        The point is: for reasons I can't adequately explain, to anyone else
and perhaps least of all to myself, I hung on to it -- all of it, or at least
as much of it as possible.  I desperately clutched at the high points, to hold
close to my heart, and the faux pas, to remind myself not to repeat my
mistakes.  (This music disk I like to believe is one of the former.)  On
hundreds of rotting floppies and miles of useless magnetic tape and through the
Russian doll backup approach of recursive hard drive upgrades, I kept it near.
I hung on to work that was released and work that never was, work that was
complete and work that was unfinished, work by people whose real names I never
knew and whose faces I'd never seen, because such was the unwritten compact of
our onetime interactions: you be creative, I will try to get it out there.  But
we did not anticipate that creative work, once released out there, would ever
cease to remain out there.  Here lies one whose name was writ on Geocities.
 
        Bafflingly, I hung on to prime work that had cost me only the time of
downloading it when its creators, who had devoted countless nonrefundable
hours of their lives to making the work, no longer had copies of it.  Did they
all suffer calamitous hard drive crashes?  I could not accept the historically
traitorous shrugged implication: that what we were up to back then was
unimportant, and besides nobody could prove otherwise.
 
        To make a long story short (OK, to keep a long story from getting even
longer), here I am, proving otherwise.  This is a formidable music disk -- the
original eight songs more-than-doubled, bolstered by a bonus nine more -- to
help keep your igloo or server room chill with vintage holiday sounds.  We
hope you enjoy these tunes -- some of you for the first time with some of
them, and others for the first time in 15 years -- and remember:

        please don't party like it's 1999... 
                that's nowhere near far enough back.

             - Cthulu, Mistigris founder, Nov 20 2014.
 
SO ENOUGH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF WITHERED TECHNOLOGY, WHAT ABOUT THESE SONGS?
 
HB-BELLS.MOD  1.44 mins Carol of the Bells  Hero Bob / Poison
FRQ-BLKN.S3M  3.04 mins Black Noise         Freaq / Independent

        Both appearing in the original, 1994, run of this music disk, Freaq is
nothing less than the musician that Hero Bob would mature into.  The first
file is a 4-channel rock arrangement of the traditional Christmas carol,
dating back to an earlier 1991 release, while the second is a season-agnostic,
but chawesome, original tune intended for a demo by Sonic Equinox that was not
ultimately to be, despite Leslie's sultry vocals.  As best as we could find, 
it was never re-issued anywhere else, so to ensure access to and posterity of
the plucky l'il file, we were obligated to include it here once again despite
its lack of obvious Christmas appeal.  (Blasting tracks on the Winter
Solstice, the longest night of the year, == "Black Noise"?  I'm stretching
here.)

ONX-GIAB.S3M  3.19 mins Grinch in a Blender Onyx / MiST
ONX-SOFT.S3M  2.22 mins Soft Crystal	    Onyx / MiST 
 
        Two further contributions by a supporting composer, the prolific (to
damn with faint praise) Onyx included GIAB and its techno remixings of the
holiday cartoon's musical themes in the original, 1994 release of this music
disk after composing it on Christmas Eve of that year.  The bonus track, Soft
Crystal, is intended to evoke a somber mood of snowfall, and is folded in here
due to thematic resonance despite remaining available in its original
Mistigris artpack release of December 1997 (that one composed Christmas Eve
Eve.)
 
YULEBEL1.MOD  9.27 mins The Bells of Yule 1 Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
YULEBEL2.MOD 10.23 mins The Bells of Yule 2 Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
YULEBEL3.MOD 10.00 mins The Bells of Yule 3 Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
YULEBEL4.MOD  9.58 mins The Bells of Yule 4 Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
YULEBEL5.MOD 12.47 mins The Bells of Yule 5 Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
 
        The centrepiece of the original music disk, lending it their name and
serving as its raison d'être, this epic suite remains as striking in December
2014 as it was 20 years prior.  Basically you won't find another song cycle
comparable to this in the wide and varied annals of computer music history.
Their original blurb remains very apt:

        "A fantastic voyage through the ranges and depths of sound and emotion,
these five tracks deserve to give the disk its name.  Each one is a masterpiece
in its own.  Listen and enjoy!"

        As a bonus, the original composer Melody has digitally remastered all
of the original Bells of Yule files with digital production techniques
unavailable to the Atari ST hobbyist in 1994, included here as mp3s attributed
to her current Empress Play imprint still today pumping out tunes on the
regular at https://soundcloud.com/empressplay
 
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
 
CT-W.S3M      2.05 mins Winter Eyes         Cthulu / MiST
 
        Originally released December of 1997 alongside Soft Crystal and The
Xmas Rave (see below), this peculiar serving of classical music was composed
the night of Cthulu's first great shearing, to settle a disturbance in this 
sensitive character in response to a colossal dispute between himself and his
landlo-- parents.  (The second great shearing was in 2010, in front of an
entire northern village, and it seems to have stuck.)  A theme and variations
type exercise iterating through styles of blues progressions, Mike Oldfield
(ah, but I repeat myself) and J.S. Bach, its original release was hampered by
unintended dissonance in the ice bell samples; it has been nominally
remastered to switch out one variety of dissonance with another one, amidst a
burying blanket of cold Sputnik beepings.  Think of it, if you will, as a
rewrapped, regifted, unwanted holiday fruitcake.  Eventually it will be to
someone's taste!

XMASRAVE.MOD  3.19 mins The Xmas Rave       Admiral Skuttlebutt/Digitallusions
 
        Also first appearing in December 1997, this later piece is
thematically consistent with the Yulebells of three years prior -- and also
enjoys a complementary MP3 remastering at Melodia's expert hands, included in
the archive.  (And to prove that the composer is not a one-holiday specialist,
keep your eyes and ears open for remastered editions of the original and
remixed versions of their New Year's hit "1995: A Rave", a couple of weeks shy
of its own 20th anniversary.)

Bells of Yule 2014 Reprise              5.03 mins Melody / Empress Play
Christmas in Marioland                  7.29 mins Melody / Empress Play
Jingle All The Way (To The Dance Floor) 4.27 mins Melody / Empress Play
The Christmas Santa Was Murdered        5.42 mins Melody / Empress Play
The War On Christmas                    8.16 mins Melody / Empress Play

        Rounding out this disk, just prior to release we discovered that
Melody had been working on more Christmas music.  Quite a bit more.  Indeed a
full five more to meet and match the original five compositions in the first
release of the Bells of Yule.  And since the disk had always been conceived of
as a testament to the singular vision of her bold musical demiurge, it made a
lot more sense to include these new tunes rather than trying to stifle and sit
on fresh compositions for perhaps some companion music disk to be released in
Christmas 2015.  (If there's one lesson I can impart upon the reader gained
from my keeping the music disk's original files on life support in a cold and
uncaring world for 20 years, it's this: never release tomorrow what you could
release today.)

        Including one more (final?) return to drinking at the Bells of Yule
well, exploring some alternate takes on themes from the original suite, these
new offerings hold true to the earlier songs in offering approaches to both of
the winter moods: bleak despair and defiant hope.

        And I couldn't ask for a better note than that to close on!

                 .--._.--.--.__.--.--.__.--.--.__.--.--._.--.
               _(_      _Y_      _Y_      _Y_      _Y_      _)_
              [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]    [___]
              /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \    /:' \
             |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |  |::   |
             \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /  \::.  /
         jgs  \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./    \::./
               '='      '='      '='      '='      '='      '='

        CREDITS:
 
        Music by:
           Admiral Skuttlebutt of Digitallusions and Melody of Empress Play
           Hero Bob of Poison and Freaq
           Onyx of Mistigris
           Cthulu of Mistigris
                                                                     _
        Infofile by:                                               _[_]_
           Cthulu of Mistigris                                      (")
                                                                `--( : )--'
        ASCII art stolen from:                                    (  :  )
           jgs.  I didn't even ask permission, I just took. jgs ""`-...-'"" 
           Look!  There, I'm doing it again!  At least I    
           preserved the signatures and extended proper credit.
 
        FILE_ID.DIZ:
           recycled from our first artpack with permission courtesy of Eerie
           (who in 12/94 was affiliated "Relic/Mist/Union/Shiver".  Too much
           talent to be contained in just one group!)
 
        Greets go out to the old New Media Productions crews from around the
604: EuphoniX, The Immortal Syndicate, Trideja, Radiance, Sonic Equinox, and
Happy Fetus Records, who we were never quite able to get on board, as well as
the other, "lost", Radiance -- Fire's music division -- whose disappeared
music disk on the Mistigris World Tour we should be re-releasing soon as part
of our spree of archival liberation -- and ACiD's music division, pHluid.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                "MiST... more bite for your... er... byte."

3 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-12-28 23:23
Subject:"Best-of Mistigris artdisk", originally released on floppy at a Living Closet Jul 23 '99
Security:Public

... and re-released Nov 30th 2014 digitally. I put the infofile to MIST1014 up here, so I thought that it might be worthwhile to stow this archive's infofile somewhere a Google spider might be able to actually read it as well. Also, it's a way of being accountable to you readers: you know that we released a Mist pack in October, and that we had releases in November (this) and December (see next post).

---Above all else...

This is an honest-to-goodness floppy diskette of computer artwork distributed
at the Living Closet event at the Church of Pointless Hysteria on Friday, July
23rd, 1999.  Only 10 of these disks existed, though most of their contents
have also been distributed electronically through various forums.  (2001 note:
Only two of the ten disks were picked up, making this collection even rarer
than the constraints of its limited-edition run would suggest!  Cthulu applied
himself and somehow found a way to get Mistigris ignored by two entirely
different scenes!)

(2014 note: It was admittedly a long shot, but I was moved to believe that the
LC clique of young dancers, painters and poets might be interested in what
we'd previously been up to based on a VRML database demonstration LC guru Dan
Lindenberger had presented at an earlier LC house party on 41st Ave, June
12th, 1998.  I attempted to build bridges between these two disparate creative
worlds twice more: with transportation help from Wild Thang and Puddle, I set
up my computer at the big Malkin Bowl Living Closet extravaganza Aug 22, 1998,
as a public art-making station -- to distinctly limited use as demonstrated in
CLOSET1.LIT in the pending M-9808.ZIP -- and brought a cassette tape of
freshly-minted Tracker Fix tunes derived from the Malkin Bowl LC event, to be
aired as intermission music at an LC event at the late Press Club Mar 28, 1999
-- only to be stymied by the venue's lack of cassette deck.  Shortly
thereafter, the only copies of the songs were lost in The Great Botched Linux
Installation Attempt of 2000, and the well of computer art ran dry, seemingly
for the last time.  I continued on as senior "staff" (a volunteer with
influence) at the Living Closet until its final principals all moved on to
greener pastures -- many today running the annual ArtsWells Festival in
northern BC -- in 2002.  But enough interruption, we need at least three more
lines of period infofile before I butt in again!)

It contains both high- (.JPG, .GIF, .RIP) and low-resolution (.ANS, .ASC)
graphical artwork, scans of photographs, writing (.LIT, .TXT), music (.S3M)
and MS-DOS executables (.EXE, .COM) as well as other archives (.ZIP)
containing more of the above.

(2014 note: the disk was intended as a low-footprint "best-of" survey of
Mistigris' previously-released artistic achievements across its whole spread
of genres, styles and formats -- so works present were curated to represent
our versatility and breadth over the 4-year period of our active years rather
than marking typical or outstanding works.  Otherwise put: there are lots of
other songs that might have gone in and taken up the whole disk, so instead we
have one very nice chiptune... or Where's All The Diamond Traveller?  (And of
course MIST1014.ZIP wasn't yet a glimmer in anyone's eye back in 1999.)  Rest
assured that if I'd had better compression algorithms at my disposal, or some
imaginary 3-megabyte floppy disk to work with, things would have looked very
different.  Also of note: this little retrospective marked the first and only
release of several pieces here whose distinguished merit motivated me to set
them aside as flagship works to organize other projects around such as a music
CD, a poetry chapbook, etc.  By 1999 it was becoming clear that these
extracurricular side-projects wouldn't be happening in any kind of hurry, so I
satisfied myself by technically releasing these otherwise-unseen files to the
audience of two intrepid disk-takers, and a presumably comparable audience
enjoyed a handmade HTML gallery of the disk's contents thrown together in
2001.
 
And now, as part of Cthulu's General Computer Art Amnesty of late 2014 in
commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Mistigris
artpack, he is, in a very roundabout way, feeding these works back into the
artscene at long last.  It's been long enough that even their creators have
since forgotten all the pieces in the first place, so dip your brain once more
into the pool and enjoy the art as if for the first time all over again!)

This infofile is mirrorred on this floppy in two alternate formats: as
README.ANS in ANSI colours and as README.TXT in raw text.

---First off: technical requirements:

This is a diskette formatted and intended for use on MS-DOS and compatible
(Windows 3.x, '9x) systems, though much of the data can be cracked open and
used on other platforms. (or in 2014, using DOSBox.)

---Use and access:

The contents of the archive ARTDISK-.ZIP can be extracted using your favorite
uncompression software: PKUnzip and WinZip are two likely candidates.  (2014:
your OS will take care of it.)

The graphic files with .JPG and .GIF extensions can be viewed in most web
browsers as well as in a whole array of graphics display programs. (2014: your
OS has you covered.)

The files with .ANS, .ASC and .RIP extensions can be viewed with the use of
Goldview, which is included with this archive as GOLDVIEW.ZIP

OMLET003.ZIP and KITHE-14.ZIP are e-mags (electronic magazines) which contain
MS-DOS executables within their respective archives.

The music file with the .S3M extension can be played in all forms of tracking
software (2014 eg. Schism Tracker) and also within WinAmp (or, 2014, VLC.)

2001 Update: click here for an web browser gallery of the disk's contents.
---Credits:

The art contained in this archive is a middling sampling of art produced over
a five year period (1994-99) by the following computer-based artists, all
members or guests of the locally-based (area code 604) computer art group
Mistigris:

Basic, Candide, Corinthian, Coyote, Crystal Meth, Dead Soul, Dr. CPU,
Eerie, Etana, Eto, The Extremist, Feral, Fire from Heaven, Happyfish,
Haquisaq, The Iconoclast, Inquisitor, Jive, Kyo, Lady Blue, The Lite, Mage,
Mordecai, Mr. Flibbles, Muton, Plastic, Prisonernumberone, The Pope, Pure
Voltage, Quip, Rash, Sarcasm, Sentience, Shaolin, Silent Knight, Tincat,
Totoman, Tricolore, ts, Tzeentch, Weird, Zinnia Rock and Cthulu.

---Disclaimer:

None of the BBS phone number information contained within any of the artworks
in this archive is likely to be valid anymore (2014: we can assert with
greater confidence) and we do not endorse calling them up to find out.  In
addition, all files on this disk have been virus-scanned and are to the best
of our knowledge clean.

Neither Mistigris nor The Living Closet take any responsibility for
ramifications in the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or electronic
realms resulting from use or viewing of the contents of this disk.

---Contact:

The distributor and archivist responsible for the dissemination of
this disk can be reached at cthulu@tabnet.ca

Online forums for local-area computer artists also exist(ed) at the (then-)new
TabNet WWWThreads BBS (once at http://bonk.dynip.com, The British Columbia
Community System Citadel BBS (formerly) at http://www.bccs.net and on the
EFNet IRC in #mist.  (That one has actually been inhabited at least twice over
the past 15 years.  For further information on the past, present and future
creative activities of the extended Mistigris community, please visit
mistfunk.tumblr.com or @mistfunk on Twitter.)

For people missing the old BBS experience, Milky Way BBS is still up and 
operational (well, it was back in '99), though its primary clientele consists
of 14-year-old wrestling fans disallowed access to the wider Internet (who in
2014 are, oh my god, 29 year old adults with marriages and mortgages.) It had
four dialup lines: (but can no longer be reached through any of them, so
listing the numbers would serve no real purpose.)

The Living Closet maintain[ed] webspace at 
http://www.minotaurmedia.com/livingcloset

If further steps are made to bind the performing community with the online
one, (done: thank MySpace) it may see some use and/or updates.  (It hosted a
tremendous gallery of big local talents we presented before they got famous,
eg. Shane Koyczan, the Be Good Tanyas, etc... all empty frames in the Phantom
Zone of the Way Back Machine now.)

All contents of this disk and sundry archives are © copywrong 1999, 2001.

                                               Information wants to be free.

3 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-11-02 12:43
Subject:The return of Mistigris
Security:Public

I've hit up nearly everywhere else about this development, which I was probably foreshadowing here first, but it's fitting that I do bring the announcement here (chee, a word I'm typing all the time, which always gets misspelled (and just did here) due to keyboard conflicts -- I hit the "oun" in a cascade with fingers 4, 3 and 2, then "ce" with fingers 2 and 3 on the other hand, but it overloads at "ou", drops the "n", beeps instead, then keeps accepting the rest of the letters. I am a man who makes many annoucements. OK, my digression is total now.) as historical and oldschool news belongs on a primarily historical and quite oldschool forum!

I had many nostalgic aspirations regarding bringing my adolescent BBS computer art creative milieu back to life, if only for a couple of weeks, and there were a few different ways I had considered going about doing it. First and foremost for a decade (for reals) I've been scheming mounting an old artscene computer art retrospective gallery exhibition in an actual art gallery on period hardware basically reconstructing the scene of the crimes -- '90s basement computer rooms. This is, hm, a big feat requiring much movement and organizing of things in the physical space of the real world, where the tendency of inertia is to remain at rest. Despite generating some interest in this from my old peers a few years back, there has been markedly little advance in this aspiration.

As a sideshow for it, however, I thought it might be nice to round up the old crew and release a new computer artpack for old time's sake. In fact, it turned out that I was sitting on a mountain of unreleased computer art I had intended to release circa 1998 but which had gotten caught up in the technological regime change and overall complicated times in the life of a young man. I thought I would release the old art, spiked with a bit of new art, and clear my slate. (Some people might argue that projects left unfinished after a decade are best left unfinished, but apparently not this guy.) To my surprise, we seem to have reached Peak Nostalgia, and many of my comrades from back in the day were displaying considerable interest in participating -- and we ended up getting a lot more new art than I expected. To avoid muddling things by abolishing 15 years of context, I decided to air the new art separately from the old stuff, and under a tight deadline: as our first Mistigris artpack release had been in October of 1994, we would hit a cosmically resonant 20th anniversary if I was able to make the pack happen by the end of October of 2014. Because Many Things Have Changed since 1998, I hit a few speed bumps assembling the artpack (oh, in retrospect it makes sense that three different standards of metadata might not all agree to cooperate and play together), but nonetheless we were able to get the artpack out and online in time to use this suitably Hallowe'eny promotional copy:

My computer art group of the '90s, Mistigris, closed up shop after a final release in 1998. Now, after lying dormant for 16 years, we have just released a new collection of computer artwork in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of our first release back in October of '94.
...
It is said that a poltergeist marks a charged physical site where some tremendous psychic activity once occurred, echoing through time with physical disturbances.
A revenant is an apparition informed by those who loved too much or dared too deep before they departed, bound to return without their flesh to attend to the unfinished business they couldn't let go of and leave behind.
Just in time for Hallowe'en, a writhing cadaver that's been in the ground for over 15 years improbably creeps back to the overworld to once again make its mark in the land of the living.
Ladies and gentlemen, avert your eyes, for I present to you a bold affront against the very Gods, the revival that nobody expected, least of all us: the first new MISTIGRIS artpack release since June of 1998.
MISTIGRIS: THE MODERN PROMETHEUS, featuring 27 new works ripped from the very souls of 19 classic artists in both traditional and contemporary computer art mediums, genres and styles.
Returning from limbo to mark the 20TH ANNIVERSARY, to the month, of its first artpack release.
bit.ly/mist1014
mistfunk.tumblr.com

Because even most of its onetime adherents no longer maintain the period environments needed to enjoy the vintage forms of computer art, it has been added to the 16colours.net site so you can enjoy an art gallery of the pack's visual contents through your web browser. Do note, however, that the majority of the pack's nearly 80 meg filesize is digital music, to enjoy which you will simply have to download it and load it up in your favorite music player.

Because it is not available in plaintext anywhere else, for Google-ability I thought I might like to also include the full text of the artpack's infofile:

Well, as it turns out, 1998 didn't work out quite that neatly, and we never
quite made it to four years.  But let's skip back to February of that fateful
year of 1994...

      Cthulu: "You're such a liar!  NO WAY did you log on to Digital Holocaust.
                                           The phone number isn't even public!"

Creideiki: "Not public to lamers, at least!
When I get home today I'll see if my new user application has been approved."

                                     Phalse: "But where did you get the digits?
                              Private boards are only for couriers and elites!"

Creideiki: "Easy, I told the SysOp that I was a computer artist."

                     Zamfir Worshipper: "How do you think he's going to respond
                                            when he finds out that you're not?"

Creideiki: "How hard can it be?"

And so he, then I, joined NWA, which turned into iMPERiAL, which promptly
collapsed in grand fashion.  And then... Following what appeared to be, in the
microcosm of the BBS-based computer art community, an eventful summer whose
political twists and turns (NATiON!  TRiBE!) would no doubt go down in the
history books, the first Mistigris artpack, MIST1094.ZIP, was released in
October of 1994, coordinated by me, a callow youth of some fifteen and a half
years.  (Yo Cthu, can we get a few more commas in here?)

                  (Well, let, me, see, what, I, can, do,,,,,,,,,)

              (skipping lightly ahead past all the good stuff...)

The final Mistigris release, M-9806.ZIP, was released four months shy of four
years later, at which time the technological landscape looked considerably
different from how the terrain would have been surveyed back in '94.  Big fish
brands in a small pond such as FidoNet, TradeWars, DesqView, Blue Wave and US
Robotics would all be relegated to the status of historical footnotes in a
matter of months; flourishing digital creative environments such as the Amiga
had been diminished to boutique specialist niches and in the wake of Windows
'95 and now Windows '98 (oh, and let us not forget OS/2, which was running our
local train system up until a few months ago), MS-DOS was on its way there as
well.  Heck, ACiD even stopped releasing ANSI and iCE became best-known for
its hirez exquisite corpses!  Cats and dogs, living together...

I interrupt this apocalyptic nostalgia for a moment of perspective: as of
today, it's been 16 and one quarter years since the last (well, "most recent")
Mistigris artpack release.  Otherwise put, a child born on the day our final
pack dropped would now be older than I was when we started operations.  (And
I've been missing the sweet spot my 35 artpack releases with Mist entailed for
half of my life now!)

M-9806.ZIP was an unassuming release, not apparently intended as the group's
final swan song pack; a successor was ready to roll with a hopper full of
computer art (a bit light on the textmode side, admittedly), and there was no
clear indication that the wild ride had come to an end, that we would be
delaying for not just one month, but for... huh, two hundred of them!

So... It's been a while.  Bear with me please as I exercise some deeply
atrophied muscles.

There were some Mist releases you may not have noticed or been aware of, as I
did my part to maintain the viability of the Mistigris "brand" -- scouting for
talent, making inquiries, logging consular appearances at demoparties -- for a
couple of years following what had not yet been acknowledged by me to be its
final conventional artpack release... at least, up until now.  (Admittedly
things have been pretty quiet on the Mist front since 2000 or so, making it
understandable if you'd thought we'd gone down for the last time.  You can't
keep a good man down... nor us, it seems.)

            * artdisk-.zip - Mistigris "Best-of" anthology distributed on
            floppy diskette at a Living Closet event at the Church of
            Pointless Hysteria, July 23rd, 1999.  There were a few problems
            with this well-intentioned attempt to marry a declining computer
            art community with a burgeoning live performance one: first, an
            attempt to survey highlights of nearly four years of releases
            (including exclusive "last chance for me to release these!"
            inclusion of several virtuous works I'd been sitting on for a
            rainy day) on a single floppy diskette biased curation toward the
            compact and minimalist; second, even the people who still had
            working floppy drives in that bold post-iMac world were
            disinclined to pop random disks found at parties into their
            machines, indicating that clearly I was attending the wrong kinds
            of parties.  The original run was in an edition of some 15 or so
            disks, and I think maybe 3 of them were taken.  For a time the
            anthology lived on in webpage form, then faded into cosmic
            background radiation when that free hosting dried up.  The next
            few months will see a reissue of this highlights reel under its
            original filename (see above), for those interested in getting a
            refresher crash course in just why this retrograde dead end is so
            worth celebrating again.

            * prjct006.zip - "Mistigris World Tour" April Fool's release, The
            Project, August 1999.  Humour has pervaded the artscene (perhaps
            inevitable while so insistent on reproducing Rob Liefeld's
            impossible anatomical mistakes) while its participants have
            simultaneously approached its intangible affairs with serious
            rigor, but rarely did we encounter an endeavour with a puckish
            sense of humour so ingrained into its DNA as the conceptual art
            series "The Project" by madASScow.  (I know, with a name like that
            you'd expect a solemn kind of focus, but no.)  When they announced
            a textmode special I found an opportunity to put to use a
            selection of fundamentally unusable naive ANSI art I'd perversely
            squirreled away for another April Fool's Mist pack that would
            never come to pass (or would it?), including the only material
            we'd ever released from one of the greatest polymaths who ever
            sojourned under our affiliation, Talonswift -- and the eminently
            cringeworthy early attempts at ANSI art created by your humble
            author before concluding that his poetry pointed to a more
            promising future.  Speaking of which...

            * getready.zip - "Get Ready To Read", Cthulu's collected
            illustrated lits, January 2000.  Following Israfel's fall from
            grace when ACiD merged with GOTHiC in April '94, there was no
            place for creative writing and poetry in the membership of the
            artscene's top-echelon ensembles.  Because we could never do
            things the easy way, Mistigris found itself a refuge of sorts for
            the endangered form of creative expression (and critically, was
            led by a proponent of the form, who would be impossible for
            another group to poach), boldly forging onward in championing a
            possible future computer art scene where poems didn't have to end
            with a BBS' ridiculous name (or ANSIs be capped with a logo for a
            BBS' ridiculous name, for that matter) in order to be released in
            an artpack.  This approach gave Mist packs a radically different
            texture from those of other groups, who remained largely unswayed
            by our vanguard example.  For whatever reason, my rhymes and
            metres were tolerated and even requested (when backsliding to the
            simpering BBS-advertising mode), granting me the ability to
            appear, in illustrated collaborations, in releases of groups who
            would never allow me to join.  There were a lot of these
            collaborations, commissioned with many highly-skilled visual
            artists, and of course I had the chance to work with more than a
            few Mistigris illustrators, being the ones I had closest at hand.
            By achieving the wider release and more prestigious placement, I
            hoped that the demonstration of the great work we were up to would
            stimulate greater interest in lit generally and Mistigris
            specifically, as its single densest quality hub, but it turns out
            that things didn't end up panning out that way.  (Anyhow, this
            archive was the #1 download from Acheron in the month of its
            release!  A big splash or a rapidly shrinking scene?  You be the
            judge!)

So, here we are.  With the year 2000 out of the way, that just about brings us
up to the present.  I privately noted our 10-year anniversary to myself in
2004, but I didn't expect anyone else who had so enthusiastically bailed out
on that world so relatively recently to have any tenderness for it yet; Mist
had at that point only been put to bed for as long as it had been active --
the corpse hadn't yet rotted enough for flowers to grow over the grave.  I
began actively planning an artscene retrospective gallery exhibition this
year, but though others have successfully pulled off the feat before and
since, and though I was actively helping to run an art gallery in the interim,
a decade has not been enough time for me to bring the dream to fruition.

The 10-year anniversary of our final release, in 2008, was still too soon for
people to look back with a tender glimmer of nostalgia, though perhaps with
increasing age we've become more cognizant of what we've lost and left behind.
I noted (and quite frankly I'm very confident that I was the only one who did)
on my long-term radar in the spring of 2014 that this would, in an alternate
timeline, have been year 20 on Mistigris' schedule for world domination, and
decided to make some easy-pitch inquiries to onetime members with a six-month
lead time.  To my astounded delight, it's been just long enough such that
people replied with fondness and interest.  (Also with much incredulity that
it would be possible, even were it desirable, for them to pick up the tools
they had set aside 16 years prior, and with skepticism that the zenith of
their youthful art had ever been anything worth sharing, creating or
celebrating.)

This well and truly ends with us fully up to speed: making and sharing
computer art reminds me of joys from a previous life, but of course the
greatest thrill has been reconnecting with these old comrades, most of whom
have been off the radar for the better part of two decades and some of whose
real names were never known in the first place!  (which, to be sure, made
looking them up on Facebook quite problematic.)  Not all of the fifty-odd (and
some downright strange) veterans of the '90s computer art trenches I'd rounded
up were in a position to contribute to this artpack, but being back in contact
with them at least opens the door.  I only regret missing out on reconnecting
with those I was unable to locate.  (Lady Blue!  Corinthian!  Grinch!
Skrubly!  Are you out there?)
                                      ...

The thing that prompted the creation and release of the artpack which you are
currently enjoying was my ageing stockpile of computer art which had been
curated, submitted, gathered and stored with the intention of being released
someday in an artpack, mostly dating to the period 1998-2000.  You may note
that this archive here, the one that you are currently viewing, primarily
consists of quite recent work, strangely enough.  I wanted to release a Mist
pack for the occasion and figured that I would finally discharge the pile-up
of history on my hard drive (or as I like to put it, declare a general amnesty
on all imprisoned works of art) -- basically I lined up my old cronies in
hopes of finding an audience for the bygone and forgotten works among their
onetime creators.  But to my surprise and delight, many of them felt
passionately about providing a demonstration of how hot their stuff is today.
That makes for this awesome artpack you are currently enjoying, a respectable
showing in this positively Blocktronic era.  But I'm still sitting on the
backlog.  We considered lumping it all together, but opted against due to the
risk of embarrassing confusion between My Art, 1998 and My Art, 2014.  (One can
really appreciate the depth of tone and maturity of theme in the newer work now
that we see them side by side and can appreciate the wealth of life experience
that has enriched the perspective of their creator.  What do you mean, that's
the older piece?)

So do please keep your eyes open: in the very near future (not just "near" in
the context of 16-year delays) I'll be releasing at long last M-9808.ZIP, the
complete pack we never shared, then another -- containing at least a hundred
pieces of never-before-viewed-by-the-artscene computer artwork.  And then, who
knows!  There are archives and music disks like The Bells Of Yule (hm...
sounds... December-ish) unobtainable today needing to be reissued (I'm sorry,
but: it's necessary), plus I'm sitting on two complete uncoded e-mags and ten
or so competitions worth of unreleased Blenders... and, who knows, having been
reintroduced to the idea of working together, members of the Mistigris crew
may take pleasure in resuming doing so.  I'm going to optimistically propose
another Mistigris artpack release of new work in one year's time, for October
2015.

Do please look for M-9808.ZIP and everything that follows wherever artpacks
are to be found.  Uh... where exactly are artpacks to be found these days?
On IRC?  Did we reconcile with the administrators of the Hornet FTP site?
I'll have to check up on Superunknown and Acheron.

Just kidding!  Of course, you're presumably checking this artpack out on
sixteencolors.net or artpacks.org (you'll have to download the whole pack to
enjoy the music, though!), and we're on Facebook, and many thanks to our
fellow traveller mattmatthew for getting us set up with mistfunk.tumblr.com,
where we can showcase Mistigrisian (OK, contest time: we need a better
adjectival form... Mistigrudlian?) creations both old and new.  (In fact, my
main contribution to this anniversarial release will be going up live there,
exclusively, shortly, because even if throwing mp3s in an artpack is no longer
a big deal, I don't know if we're ready for digital video yet.)

Lost but not forgotten,
cthulu c/o tabnet.ca

Turns out after all this time, I can safely report that I have no trouble
returning to writing infofiles.  (My problem is, predictably enough, stopping
writing them.)
And, of course, the memberlist:
                   . mistigris memberlist october 2014 .

        The following individuals have contributed to this collection:

Bah, Kasha! looked back at her historical contributions to Mistigris artpacks
and wrote a response to them.  Her identity has been feebly obfuscated to
protect the innocent.
                                      ...

Bryan (aka haquisaq) somehow made it through the last 20 years alive.  His more
recent creative efforts include composing hardware-oriented chip music under
the still equally stupid moniker "bryface".  Notably, he has had the rare
privilege of performing his music at chip music festivals around the world -
including places like Japan, Europe, and Australia - alongside many of the
global chip scene's foremost musicians.

He also ekes out his days as a web developer for a creative agency, bikes and
plays volleyball in his spare time, and eats three meals a day, sometimes four.

         bryface.bandcamp.com  / soundcloud.com/bryface / @bryfacetron

                                      ...

Cthulu warns: Don't get me started!  After the computer artscene wound down, I
took up performance poetry with the early poetry slam scene.  My poetic "voice"
was one of discontent and the persona was not healthy to maintain on a long-
term basis, so I switched streams back to music and will have been fronting
"the jug band of the damned" on an unruly accordion for 10 years come January.

  reluctance.livejournal.com / videogamecomicads.blogspot.com / @unwashedmass

                                      ...

The very month Hallucigenia wrapped, Etana launched Keyframe Online, a
a tremendous animation resource.   "Red Haired Girl" is part of her 100 Faces
portrait painting challenge at her homepage at tiltedwindmills.com

                                      ...

Fille of Galza has been in the Mistigris sphere since the summer of 1999 --
that is, too late to ever share creative work with us, until now.  Cthulu made
a guest visit to the 22nd Galza artpack earlier this year and now Fille gets
a chance to return the favour.  Find him on Twitter as @filipdehaes

                                      ...

Kevin Bryce wasn't "there" then, but he is here now.  Hear more at
soundcloud/kevtrax
                                      ...

Livewire hasn't written a babble story like this one since Al's House of Meats
closed up shop, but he's still got that wacky knack.

                                      ...

We're thrilled to have successfully tracked down our elusive Australian member
Maeve Wolf, a versatile visual artist with a portfolio at dashsharon.tumblr.com

                                      ...

Nearly a Mist member back in the day, we were fellow travellers with
Mattmatthew in TeklordZ.  His guest art has represented Mistigris for years on
Wikipedia, and we are pleased to share his unfortunate piece with Blocktronics.

                                      ...

Melodia of Digitallusions was a sole proprietor music manufactory concern.  In
this release we are pleased to present lit from her for the first time in
addition to two songs -- and keep your ears open for much more!

                          soundcloud.com/empressplay

                                      ...

Logoist extraordinaire, Platinum fought the gods of computer security to set us
up a telnet BBS to act as a WHQ.  House odds are typically on the gods.

                                      ...

Better known in a Mist context working in a different medium under different
handles, Psidream now releases drum 'n bass under the Nightfall imprint.

                                      ...

Publius Emeritus II is a onetime Mist member who isn't hiding that effectively.

                                      ...

Founder of EuphoniX, Sentience has given the music a rest and is resuming his
explorations into every other creative medium.

                                      ...

Formerly known as Silver Angel, Tillie continues to live and write in the 604
area.  She's been published in Salacious Magazine, and will be featured in the
upcoming Dirty Queer Anthology. Balancing being a queer, polyamourous feral
leatherwoman and handling donations at a church/homeless shelter, Tillie can be
found at @echnoidsymmetry on Twitter and on the book of face.

[Ed's note: Tillie is currently crowdfunding to be trained as a doula.  I just
wanted to mention it because it very likely is something that has never been
said in an artpack before.  If you wanted to support the campaign, that would
be cool also.]
                                      ...

Tarot violated Finnish law in order to present us his submission, a remix of an
ANSI from 1997, replacing F3 blocks with hot, burning fire combusting through
a ceramic matrix.  (That's what we like to refer to as extreme textmode art.)
He can be found at facebook.com/joakimraaka

                                      ...

Another music machine, Theodoric got a little confused when the scene shifted
(rocking the Amiga, his scene got rocked a little earlier than the PC kids'),
but shaking his head he picked himself back up and has kept on keeping on.
Find more of his compositions at soundcloud.com/theorica


                                      ...

A former Mist member in disguise, Whazzit graces us with an ANSI-illustated
story... and a "Gus".  (No, "Gus" is not the mascot of the Gravis Ultrasound.)

                                      ...

Another former Mistigris member from the very beginning, WI has been jazzed to
discover that we didn't all go away forever.  (As are we, one supposes!)

                                      ...

Zinc, aka J-Ray, has been active in many different art forms since his Kosmic /
Impulse Tracker days.  After experimenting with rock and folk music, he formed
a three-piece live electronic band called Catscam, and continued making music
using live instruments.  He pursued a career in Graphic Design, and dabbles in
visual art, slam poetry, calligraphy, and even dance.  J-Ray is now a
competitive dodgeball player, part of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival
executive, studying Korean, and obsessing over ampersands.

   www.j-ray.com / soundcloud.com/catastrophic-error / Instagram @DesignInVan

                                      ...

Thanks to our guests for the use of the fabulous Mist logos they made for us
before the full scope of our torpor was widely understood: header by Grymmjack
of Polyester, footer by rz and tr, and the fabulous salvaged FILE_ID.DIZ by
mega!

Thanks also to the following folks for emerging from retirement to join us,
if not in submitting artwork to this release, at least to act as moral support.
Here's hoping we get a chance to thrust more of their work to prominence again
sometime soon!

Adri, Ay Lektriq, Coyote, Crowkeeper, Da Vinci, Eoanya, Eto, The Extremist,
Flyingfish, Foolish Bird, The 4th Disciple, Freaq, Genocide Kitten,
God Among Lice, Hacker Joe, Halaster, Happyfish, Ice Cream Emperor,
The Itchy Swordsman, Jake Blues, Konami, Kyo, Mavrik, Melkor, Mr. Flibbles,
Mr. Wrong, Nitnatsnoc, Otnoo Ishphoo, Ozero, Pannekoekologist, The Pope,
Sephiroth, Soul Blazer, Talonswift, Tincat, Tzeentch and Weird...

... And everyone else we couldn't reach or mobilize in time!  Hopefully we can
find a way to work together again someday!  If you were part of Mist in the
past (or wished you had been!) please don't hesitate to look us up!

OK, what else do we include in these things?

                      . mistigris distribution sites .
                          (you're kidding, right?)

                     The Screaming Tomato . (ITS) DOW-NNOW
                        The Jade Monkey . (RIP) BBS-SING
              Dreams of Dark, Enchanted Lizards . (WON) TAW-AKEN
                         Canopic Jars . (NEV) ERL-IVED

Greets to Blocktronics, Galza, and ... OK, I'll bite -- who else is releasing
artpacks in the new millennium?  Hats off to TABNet on their 21st: almost dead,
but impossible to kill!

Cheers to all -- anyone who sees this has got to be all right by us, you
weirdos!
I have further plans to somewhat diminish the splash we've just made of the reception of our unexpected and frankly unprecedented reunion pack by releasing the old and unreleased (and re-releasing the "lost") computer art from back in the day, for the sake of posterity, and then who knows -- with more likeminded people from the past on my side, perhaps my other aspirations for the gallery exhibition will be more possible. And maybe, just maybe, some of us may continue to make art together.

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-08-13 17:49
Subject:The Pen Comic, table of contents
Security:Public

Now that it's all up and posted here, I've been going back and adding navigational links to ease & facilitate reading, enjoyment, and contemplation of contributing to this incomplete masterwork. Furthering such user-friendliness, here's a guide to all of the pages, in sequence, all in one place!

Page 1, wherein a simple question is asked
Page 2: "Blast this god-forsaken pen!!!!"
Page 3: "WHACK! said Mr. Blackjack"
Page 4, wherein the Dread Cap'n Wood makes good his plot
Page 5: "BZAARP!"
Page 6, wherein helpful arrows sequence plot
Page 7, wherein our squire suffers from hallucinations
Page 8: "The hallucinations became religious revelations"
Page 9, wherein a highly accurate map is plotted
Page 10: "So Paris was bombed..."
Page 11: "Thank you for using Super-Loo 2000!"
Page 12: "Better take a look"
Page 13, wherein Soapfrog is found at the scene of the crime
Page 14, wherein Soapfrog and Dr. Ha talk a lot
Page 15, wherein Soapfrog is hated
Page 16, wherein Shakespeare reveals an uncomfortable preoccupation
Page 17, wherein Shakespeare and Soapfrog are made the well-dressed prisoners of Princess Insipid
Page 18: "How possible can it be?"
Page 19, wherein the Segue Piggy announces his later appearance
Page 20: and now a brief interlude for our *newest* hero!
Page 21, wherein the Segue Piggy makes things clear as mud
Page 22, wherein Mac is introduced
Page 23, wherein a window is described in Japanese
Page 24: Once there was a girl who didn't like to get her shoulder sneezed on...
Page 25, wherein Soapfrog and Shakespeare experience relationship friction
Page 26, wherein Clipboard Girl springs Mac from Mc$cum
Page 27: HOW MUCH LONGER CAN MAC LAST?
Page 28, wherein Sheepfrog is birthed
Page 29, wherein Shakespeare and Soapfrog and Sheepfrog meet Syccy and Mac and Clipboard Girl
Page 30, wherein the Segue Piggy falls off the Blue wagon
Page 31: the Development of SheepFrog
Page 32, wherein a whole class stab someone with their pens
Fragment 1 , depicting a simple clown nose
Fragment(s) 2, 5 of them: Clipboard Girl, psychedelic underwater starship montage, two flying sheep, Frogs Had Their History, and a character giving new meaning to the phrase "super-deformed"
Fragment 3 , wherein the Dread Cap'n Wood reads Wittgenstein
Fragment 4: Meanwhile, in Paris...
Fragment 5: Commander Pencil was once a public official
Fragment 6, wherein Soapfrog reveals the land of Pens-ance
Notes and questions

post a comment



Date:2014-08-12 18:57
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 7
Security:Public

We close this series with further notes hidden in the back pages of the binder. First, the brainstorming that yielded the Segue Piggy's tremendous knitting of Mac and Clipboard Girl: revealed, the notion that with sufficient thought, really their partnership was an historical inevitability.



Mac -> Needs mags from Paris, so must eat lettuce from Hamburgers -> CAN'T PRODUCE STARSHIPS.

Wants to light the fireplace on starship <- Clipboard girl

|
|
v
REBUILD PARIS

Soap Frog Glows


And finally, my own master list of open questions -- which predates the final few pages by quite a bit. Here the onion structure of the plot is revealed, with every layer of unanswered question revealing a new layer of also-unanswered question.



Questions in comic + plot problems that need to be answered:

I. Where do pens go when they're used up? - pen heaven, neverending writing, waterfalls of ink, quills returned to birds

    II. Squire needs to get Uni-balle back to London. - More Osysseus-like travels. - Dread Pirate Wood waiting to stop 'im.
    Shakespeare also. - Soapfrog-land above Peninsula of bad gas. Close to London.

      III. Who killed Looo? w/ pen, has black arm -> "follow me". they don't follow.
      |-> soapfrog origin myth: Larf + SF share brain, Dr. Ha loves SF, SF was once frog.

      "flipper flipper flap flap" = I don't know. Why do they take it?
      Spell of amnesia. "Thinking of Maude..."

        IV. When will Shakespeare get his "enima"? -> travel to future alternate dimension
        - Well-timed sidetrack -
          IVa) What did Soapfrog do wrong? to make Sh. forget about en., meant to show.

            V. Where does Darth Vader come back in? -> Starship! -> will save Paris?
            IS THE ADULT Frogsheep
            role pen plays in birth
            - disturbance of Mr. Blackjack throws off SF's calculation, gets SF impregnated (new problems)

            spies? err?

              VI. What are Larf + Dr. Ha building? - ray gun of some sort

                VII. Domestic discord between SF + Sh.

                  VIII. How much longer Mac lasts -> CG's tattoos

                    IX. Pen in eye stuff? -> connection to III?

                    Darth Froggie time problems.
                    + Is the squire the killer?


Sadly, I failed to elaborate on the inherent problems resulting from Sheepfrog growing up into the Darth Vader-esque character -- likely some species of time-loop causality; disturbance in the force caused by Paris' destruction throws Soapfrog's calculations off, diverts them to Princess Insipid, where SF is impregnated and gives birth to Sheepfrog, who matures, flies the starship back in time, and prevents Mr. Blackjack from destroying Paris... thereby preventing the circumstances that bring the Sheepfrog's very conception into being. Thereby not yielding any savior of Paris, thereby causing Soapfrog to be diverted to Princess Insipid, thereby... well, you get the idea. I'm sure it could be got around with 5 minutes of thinking, but loops are fun so why would we want to? Maybe we could end up with an Age of Apocalypse-style alternate timeline. I suppose that depends on the hypothetical future contributors.

← previous page | ? ? ? next page ? ? ?

post a comment



Date:2014-08-12 17:59
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 6
Security:Public

After some shrewd negotiations with a friend who wanted to contribute to the collaborative comic but couldn't figure out a way to make sense of the knot it had wound itself into, we settled on a very satisfying compromise: just draw the end, and subsequent contributors would just have to figure out how to get from point X to point Y. (No doubt via an entirely new alphabet in between. Greek letters, perhaps?)



Soap Frog: Behold! the utopia ~ PENS-ance!

And so, the child of the prophecy's impossible vision manifests in the future revealed by soap frog as the grandiose penultimate utopia -- so if this is the penultimate narrative, whence the ultimate?

It manages to both answer the question posed in the comic's very first sentence and include Soapfrog, which means it closes the book on 95% of the business contained in the colossal sodden work. Still, worryingly, it can't help but end on a question ... but that's a whole 'nother comic!

← previous page | next page →

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2014-08-11 17:00
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 5
Security:Public

We've got some stationary elements, but is it enough?



ONCE I WAS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL...

Inka: "YOU ARE NOT WORTH THE GRAPHITE WHICH IS YOUR LIFEBLOOD COMMANDER PENCIL! YOU... HAVE... FAILED... ME

Nurse: "I'm AFRAID your father's DEAD!"

Pencil: "Nooooo! Inka! What have you done?!"


Relatedness isn't a matter of black and white: you can be more related and less related. This is pretty related for an unrelated contribution, but it would be pretty unrelated for a related one.

← previous page | next page →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-11 05:27
Subject:The Pen comic, extras 4
Security:Public

Another floating page from the artist of the previous extra -- conversely, this one has a very straightforward and obvious home in the extant comic, but putting it there will simply be a matter of pacing.

Last page's mystery artist chimes in with another alternate look at situations we've already witnessed and moved on from. Wow: Paris was bombed and that was devastating. Also: what about that squire and his quest to return the manure-filled Uni-balle to Jolly Olde Englandde? I hate to distract from the amazing sideshow, but, uh, the main plot is calling and it wants a slice of its comic back.


Meanwhile...

Parisian: "Merde."

With the blackeſt of ſtuffs the pen now iſ packed
To England's fair ſhores we muſt now fly
Let uſ depart this blaſted land, pen in hand.

Little does the squire realise that Shakespeare is no longer on Stratford-on-Avon, but situated somewhere in the domain of Princess Insipid. Of course, who knows how long it will take him to get back there anyhow. I suspect the route back may well be less direct than his trip there.

I also found a first draft of the loose blank verse:

Nice copping of a Shakespearian lingo, down to the notorious "long s".

← previous page | next page →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-10 22:48
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 3
Security:Public

At some point I found myself at an impasse, the climax-upon-climax making adding a new, relevant, page overly intimidating for new artists, but outright unrelated submissions officially forbidden. So I suggested that suggestions didn't necessarily have to happen chronologically -- new pages could be inserted between ones already written, to expand the roles of minor characters whose ships had sailed and flesh them out with side-stories. This is obviously one, though where it is going remains unclear.


Cabin Boy: "Dread Cap'n Wood! The keel haulin' be ready for your inspection sir! Arr!"
Dread Cap'n Wood: . o (Says you, squire.)
(Wittgenstein)
Hook hand, check. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, check. The only question is, what has to happen to the plot to put the squire and the Dread Captain Wood on the same vessel? Is this a glimpse into the return voyage, pitting enemies together for tension-fraught mutual aid? What could compel Cap'n Wood to work with the very squire whose quest he previously found to be worthy of ship-smashing?

It's a mystery. Like the episodes in Pulp Fiction, it clearly takes place at some point in the chronology, but the piece of paper itself was found in the back of the binder. Maybe the squire and the DCW have a history predating his employment by Shakespeare? Does the DCW perhaps have a squire of his own? Or is he speaking to someone else, but revealing his preoccupation with the dark work of the squire? I hope someone can get to the bottom of this pressing matter.

← previous page | more extras →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-10 12:31
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 2
Security:Public

Because making a whole post for ever fragmentary piece of marginalia might not be totally worthwhile, I've taken the unprecedented liberty (because, let's be frank, LiveJournal needs all the posts it can get) of bundling together a few wordless pieces of errata for this individual post, discarded sketches or semi-semi-relevant scraps I'd hoped could be harnessed if needed. First up, some fetching sketches of Clipboard Girl:



I, er, can't speak with authority to precisely what is shown in this collection of sketches, but it's prime stuff: ripe, fecund, heady with creativity. And I'll be damned if that isn't Mac's starhip, ready for liftoff. Er, from an underwater hangar. (Maybe this journey has an Atlantean component?)



Next up, two alternate takes on Sycophant the Flying Sheep, prior to the version actually portrayed on page 29. It's true that I can't envision a great application for two Syccies emerging from the clouds, but who knows: perhaps he's part of a flock.



"FROGS HAD THEIR HISTORY" is what I got when I took the comic book binder to one of the Butchershop's "Do_ink" comic jams back when I was helping to run the space from, what 2003-2006? It's lovely, but where does it fit? Perhaps the comic takes a detour to explain Soap Frog vis a vis his whole amphibious line.



This character probably dates to the same event. Mysterious, disconnected... perhaps this represents the sensation of travelling through time in Soapfrog's soap dish, being impregnated by lightning bolts, or recovering from a session with Mr. Blackjack.



Maybe they can be used and worked in, maybe not! Fear not, there are four more pages to go, plus the notes.

← previous page | more extras →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-09 21:25
Subject:The Pen Comic, extras 1
Security:Public

Flipping through the worryingly large quantity of blank pages in the back of the collaborative comics binder, I came across the following illustration someone had made, perhaps burying a rejected first draft or homesteading by laying claim to a page in the comic's future and ensuring that someone, once they got to page 50 or 60, would be confronted with needing to work a clown nose (Shakespeare's, presumably) into the plot.



Extreme close-up! Probably it pre-dates my divesting the Bard of his rubber schnozz (not a deliberate move on my part, I was merely reflecting the reality of the lower illustration of his unadorned visage.) Now this could be a complete panel on its own, or it could be part of a greater picture. I think it would be a great cut from a panel of eg. a planet, starship / Darth Vader context, then returning the reader to action planetside with another round object thematically echoing it. That's what we'd do if this was a film storyboard. (It doesn't have to be a planet; it could be a marble, a navel or a nipple.)

There are more of these, most more substantial than this.

← previous page | more extras →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-09 06:14
Subject:The Pen Comic, page 32
Security:Public

This contribution is frustrating, as it obviously shares an important theme -- the mighty pen, and all that follows from its power -- with the story's central narrative, but at the same time, only contains thematic rather than narrative echoes: it's about the same thing, but it isn't the same thing.

But it could be worked in. Unlike some new material we've seen ultimately incorporated into the comic, it's merely largely unrelated rather than entirely unrelated. As long as there's a single strand of spiderweb connecting them, they can be reeled in and bound together.

AT SCHOOL, EVER JUST WANT TO JAM YUR PEN INTO YOUR TEMPLE?
- SCRATCH - SCRATCH - SCRITCH - SCRITCH-SCRATCH -SCRITCH -SCRATCH -SCRITCH -SCRATCH -SCRITCH - POKE - SCRATCH

OR MAYBE YUR EYE SOCKET?!

... BUT YA DON'T, CAUSE YA KNOW YA'D REGRET IT?

"OH! MY EYE! WHY AM I SO DUMB?"

SO DON'T YA THINK IT'D BE BETTER IF YUR WHOLE CLASS SUDDENLY STOPPED TAKING NOTES, AND YUR PROFESSOR SHOUTED 'NOW!" IN A LITTLE GREEDY SHRIEKING VOICE, AND THE OTHER STUDENTS ALL STUCK THEIR PENS INTO YA AND RAN AWAY?!!!

"HA HA!"

"OH. DAMN THEM!"

YUR WISH'D BE FULFILLED, AND YOU COULD DIE BITTERLY EMPASSIONED WITH ANGER! HOORAY!
Also: gross! But -- good use of highlighter for colourful contrast, something hitherto unknown over this comic's 30-odd pages.

← previous page | extras →

post a comment



Date:2014-08-08 21:43
Subject:The Pen Comic, page 31
Security:Public

Here terminates our narrative to date. Back on-track, but only one panel into the page before petering out...


The Development of SheepFrog

dy = ∫xdx


There is more, of course, but if you treat what we have hitherto seen as a continuous narrative (not that it is), none of the remaining fragments have clear and obvious hooks where they join up with what has thus far transpired. Some parts, as you shall see, clearly belong to the story's final act; others are b-sides and out-takes, practice sketches rejected for different approaches. Being basically unable to draw, I retained them as I found them, secure in the notion that if I couldn't produce the drawings needed to finish the comic, I could at least write an ending around the existing art fragments. Well, that didn't happen, but perhaps you can incorporate them into your upcoming contributions? The process begins here on this page, and specifically on the remaining untapped 75% of it.

← previous page | next page →

4 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-08-08 17:07
Subject:The Pen Comic, page 30
Security:Public

ONE panel after explicitly stating how the Segue Piggy would usefully fill people in with the plot, the following artist opts to hamstring that option and destabilize one of the few factors in this thing stabilizing the chaotic plot. Well, that's what I get for associating with contrarians!


Segue Piggy: hello.
do you remember me?
People often ask me why I am only a head...
it is a mystery to me...
I think I shall go MAD
aah ahha ha ha vomit modern Art

I CAN SEE!
AND HEAR!
AND I SMeLL
BLOO

Dearest mother,
It has been a year since
I last wrote to you.
I have fallen so far
I have a Blue habit
I cannot stop
please send ingredients
- Segue Pig.

Mommy Pig: Only one being can help save my poor, addicted, decapitated son - I'll attract his attention using the renowned DR. HA-SIGNAL!

AND THUS, failing piggy plot advancement...
Rowan once more attempts to lure subsequent contributors into picking up the long-dormant Dr. Ha-and-Larf thread, potential sources of exposition to replace the now out-of-commission Segue Piggy, but thus far, to no avail.

I apologise for the array of realistic porcine mammaries. Another regret: succumbing to the easy western influence of superhero comics. There's no good reason Dr. Ha should have a Bat-signal.

But to combat regrets with affirmations: I dig the drop of snot hanging from the pig's snout in the mystery panel, and the vomiting modern art works pretty well. And the way the "o"s in "BLOO" are pig snouts? Inspired.

← previous page | next page →

5 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-08-07 23:32
Subject:And now, for a change of pace:
Security:Public

This exchange cracked Jen up. I gather that it's basically Essence of Rowan, distilled and bottled: part of its ineffable me-ness is my simply being in the situation in the first place. I have to say that the choice of growan as my e-mail prefix has proven to be a major tactical misstep, and led to more misdirected mail than I ever could have imagined: legal documents, medical records, invoices, and the ongoing saga of Greg Rowan's overdue library books in Australia's Gold Coast (he likes to take out Led Zeppelin fake books and then keep them out a little bit too long.)

Lynn Johns <john*****@aol.com>
8:19 PM (3 hours ago)

to hstickney5, rjsmith, jaylabarre, m_bassingthwai., bassingthwaite., goergehoffman65, mshmoo, idahomorris, me, lisafeb4, whitepearl11771, sippond, rrr, jenniferlawton., hgoodell, rphippard, russell0130, kschnyer, kelliestevens26, cutts_66, melissacashman, cashman6, stormracing13, dclout603, ablair

Good Evening Football Parents!

Can you believe our first scrimmage is in 2 weeks??!! Crazy right??!!

We are looking for more parent volunteers to help with double session food sign ups, as well as set up for the food during the double session days. If you purchase anything for the players, you can save your receipts and get reimbursed by turning them into Coach Avery. Double sessions are 8/13-8/26. Please see link below for sign ups. Every little bit helps!!

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c044daaab23a0f49-huskies

Also, during our home games, we will need volunteers to help with chains and 50/50 raffles. No experience necessary!! Home games are scheduled for 9/5, 9/26, 10/11, 10/17. We also have scrimmages 8/22 and 8/29 that may require volunteers. Please contact Bob Smith if your are interested in sighing up for these duties 209-5867.

Don't forget to check out monadnockfootball.com and Monadnock Football Boosters facebook page!

Go Huskies!!!

Fondly,
Lynn Johns (parent volunteer and HUGE Husky fan)

P.S. Stay tuned for more info about team dinners and away game food needs!

Rowan Lipkovits <growan@*****.com>
8:59 PM (2 hours ago)

Hello, excited football parents. I am sorry to intrude on your conversation with unrelated concerns, but I have been left with few alternatives.

I am not one of you; I do not have a child in Monadnock high school. I don't live in New Hampshire. I have never watched a full football game.

Why, you may ask, am I on your e-mail list then? I find myself wondering much the same question. My best guess is that due to a slip of the finger, one of your cohort accidentally submitted my e-mail address to your list when they intended to submit their own. This means two things: one, that person wanted to receive your updates and is not receiving them; and two, this person (that is, me) who lives in another country is receiving them accidentally. As did all of you, I received several of them today alone, and am somewhat concerned that things will really ramp up as football season progresses. I put up with it in silence last year, but here is my chance to nip the problem in the bud.

If I could unsubscribe from this list, I would, but I can't: you all have to agree to stop sending me e-mail. That's not just a matter of removing me from your address book: purging me from the ad hoc list means that you absolutely cannot simply "Reply to all" from earlier postings or you will all continue haunting my inbox until the end of football season, and I will be a very sad man.

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and good luck to your Huskies.


I'm not filled with hope: many of the e-mail addresses are @aol.com, and immediately after firing off my message I was notified that at least six of them are invalid right off the bat. If they can't be bothered to remove six error-bouncing addresses from their list, what hope do I have?

I only hope I'm not driven to escalate my campaign of list-removal with disruptive tactics. Would that I could just tell my e-mail provider "send all messages containing the word 'football' into the trash immediately", I wouldn't require the cooperation of these well-intentioned AOL users.

6 comments | post a comment



Date:2014-08-07 23:22
Subject:The Pen Comic, page 29
Security:Public

Genius is fleeting, and then it's left to the schlubs to pick up the pieces. To wit, our superstar artist took off here 75% of the way through another page of sheer brilliance, and the task fell to me to finish it off. I did what I could, but the best I could do was kind of like gliding an engine-stalled airplane into a controlled crash landing.


Soapfrog: "THaT IS A bURDeN TO BE RELieVEd of, FOR SURe. DO YOU tHInK THAT WE STILL HaVe tO WEAr-"
William Shakespeare: "This accursed nose of a fool? Nay, says I - even now hath I divested the proboscis from mine stately features. Hark --
Mac: "WA."
Syccy: "I ha-aave come to give ma-ahy chaald his she-eep na-ame. But wha-at are the-ese new people doing here?"
Baby: "MOTHER. FATHER. THE UNSEEN PORCINE GUIDE AND THE OMNISCIENT NOTEPAD SHALL RENDER YOU SATISFACTORILY INFORMED. FOR NOW, LOVE ME. MY WOOLY ESSENCE DEMANDS MAMMALIAN NURTURING THROUGH LACTATION."

The smudging of the soft graphite is criminal; this should be one of the best pages in the comic, not an angry cloud. I dig the classic Shakespeare portrait and the size mismatch between him and the frog; the sheep's emergence from the clouds is also inspired, as is Soapfrog's lettering. As for the rest, I just tried to follow the bold lead and draw which characters as I was capable of drawing (Clipboard Girl is right out! She does not suffer from any old war wounds), letting their personalities guide the way. I'm still quite pleased with my Shakespeare and Soap-Sheep lines, and the little accent I threw in to the baby's pupil. As for the sheep portrait, I'm sorry. Maybe I should have done two panels of Mac.

← previous page | next page →

4 comments | post a comment


browse
my journal