Salad Entropy

Episode Two Hundred Thirty Six: Salad Entropy.
In which we disperse.

1 comment:

  1. This is a weird one in that it's simultaneously disappointing while also being satisfying by being itself in its own way.

    I had this idea, for the first panel, that I'd cherish the ink lines on a close-up for a character that looked like it came from Jeff MacNelly's Shoe - a sad, curmudgeonly, rumpled, hard-drinking, stogie-smoking bird - except less 'pop-culture sanitized' in the way of Shoe, and more 'hidden-gem depths' in the way of Walt Kelly's inimitable and philosophical Pogo. Of course, 'inimitable' has a definition, and to zoom in and cherish lusciously-drawn lines, you need to first be able to draw lines that are lusciously-drawn. This guy is not even a close second.

    Anyway, consider it a first draft.

    What's going on with the rest? A close-up of Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy, cooling her mouth with a fan after eating spicy food. Nancy is an interesting one in that Bushmiller has a lot of reverence from the cartoonist community, but I never liked the strip growing up. I was impressed, however, with the Estate's move to hand the strip to Olivia Jaimes and allow for the quirky, contemporary direction in which she has subsequently struck. Kudos. Anyway, this close-up was a risk - emulating the 'air' lines was a hit-or-miss prospect - and I think it somehow hit right on target.

    The third frame is an excerpt from George Herriman's Krazy Kat, and the iconic Ignatz brick that wallops Krazy, perhaps the central theme of the strip: abuse taken as affection. I've been mulling this dynamic, lately, at work, and how my employment agreement is wrapped up around such a zipping projectile. The letterbox formatting, here, was an incidental necessity allowing the zip-lines and the brick full attention, while avoiding the introduction of the other elements in that original frame. In essence, the letter-boxing announces that edit, and (literally) frames it. It also incidentally balances the light/dark balance that we saw with frames one and two, giving frame three its own form. (Primary structures: One is diagonal & triangular, two is circular, three is rectangular.) This leads to the final frame:

    Which is just a sad, small circle on a slashed incline line. There is no shading here, which makes me think each attempt at a primary solution did not work. This is just a failure, a ball sadly trying to roll up hill, and there is nothing else to do. Somehow, though none of this was planned, this all worked out perfectly. Which is, of course, what the collage nature of this strip is all about.

    The bird guy, though, looks too satisfied for what I wanted. I wanted dead-drunk defeated. As I said, first draft.

    The title from a mishearing (for decades) of a Robyn Hitchock lyric on the song 'The Devil's Coachmen' (Queen Elvis, '89): "The universe is based on sullen entropy / it falls apart as it goes on." I had always heard that as 'salad entropy', which, for Hitchock, is not such a wild mis-reading. Still trying to get my head around what 'salad entropy' means, despite the fact that it only exists in my own mind. This will be a painful process, if I continue to live, that will only grow exponentially.



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