5,000 Characters

387 — Pangloose

This goose may or may not be a rejected swan for yesterday's post.

And the week of birds in French literature mercifully comes to an end with Pangloose, the tutor of Candide and the young man’s travel companion when he decides to take a gander (teehee) at the rest of the wide world, in the classic novel by Voltaire.

Tomorrow starts the theme-week: Squids in German Expressionist Film.

Just kidding.  Please don’t stop visiting my blog…

4 years ago

October 2, 2010


386 — Charles Swan


After my last post, a take on The Phantom of the Opera, I was accused of taking things too far, of stretching wordplay beyond its breaking point, to where the jokes were no longer understandable.

Here.  Charles Swan.  From Swan’s Way, the first book of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.  Do you get it?  It’s a swan, named Swan.  He’s singing Frank Sinatra for some reason.

Why don’t you try coming up with seven bird-themed puns from French Literature?  Seriously, though.  Why don’t you?  If you’ve got a good one, email me please?

4 years ago

October 1, 2010


385 — The Fantail of the Warbler

And I seem to have sunk to even lower depths of half-rhyme and wordplay than ever before...

It works better if you pronounce it “War-bi-ler” with three syllables.

4 years ago

September 30, 2010


384 — Les Miserobins

It's hard to do a tri-color with one color.

Inexplicably, I have decided to push the birds in French Literature to (what some might call “beyond”) its breaking point.

Here’s the poster for Les Miserobins, the musical about sad, sad, French songbirds that contains hits like “Mallard of the House.”

4 years ago

September 29, 2010


383 — Quackimodo

This is maybe the worst play on words in the history of plays on words.

So I guess I’m doing a “birds in literature” week, or possibly a “birds in French literature” week.

This is Quackimodo, Hunchduck of Notre Dame.

4 years ago

September 28, 2010


382 — D’Arterngnon

Man, I messed up that tail.

Actually as sea-birds, I think terns prefer fish to worms, but whatever.

As mentioned yesterday, here’s another bird-Dumas pun.  I would have done all three Musketerns, but a) the joke would have been boring repeated four times, and b) I ran out of space on the Post-It.  Mostly b, though.

4 years ago

September 27, 2010


381 — Cardinal Richelieu

Fun fact: the birds were actually named after the religious leaders, not the other way around.

Enemy of the Three Musketerns.

Tune in tomorrow for more fun bird-themed Dumas jokes!

4 years ago

September 26, 2010


364 — Dogstoevsky

He was going to be put to sleep, but the sentence was commuted to four years of heavy labor with Siberian Huskies.

A friend of mine studying animal psychology just recently finished her thesis on dog guilt.

Of course any student of dog literature knows dogs have a keen sense of guilt from the writings of the Russian Dogstoevsky.  His works include The Litter Karamazov, Notes from the Doghouse, Crime and a Rolled-up Newspaper, and such quotes as “If there is no dog-owner, then everything is permitted.”

4 years ago

August 30, 2010


317 — The Boulderizer

That's f[boulder]ing right, I'm going to take a f[boulder]ing stand against any g[boulder]n s[boulder]h s[boulder]head who tries to abridge my first amendment rights.  [Boulder]!

As some of you may know, when The Artist isn’t doodling, he moonlights as a journalist.  And as such, believes strongly in First Amendment rights, because that’s the flavor Kool-Aid they offer in journalism school.

Therefore The Boulderizer gets classified as a villain in the tags.  (You all read the tags, right?  Sometimes they’re funny.  Not today, but sometimes…)

The Boulderizer thinks he knows what’s best for people to read, or rather not read, and so he gathers up all the books he wants to censor and drops boulders off a cliff outside of his lair in Colorado (guess which town?), thus, well, bowdlerizing them.

 The only way to defeat him is to overwhelm him with profanity, so everybody curse as much as you can!  But not on this blog, this is a family-friendly blog.  (Gotta be mindful of the potential sponsors…)

[Got a little help from Reader SR on this one.  Thanks!]

294 — Sciaticus Finch

"Girl, hunch over, your father's passing."

Who doesn’t love the scene in To Kill A Mockingbird, when Sciaticus Finch explains to his daughter that race-relations are like lumbago?

[Sister N gets credit for the character name, again.]

4 years ago

May 18, 2010


275 — Jake Schnozzerelli, Private Nose

Polanski's gonna have his hands full (Chinatown Joke).

He smells trouble, and knows when an alibi stinks. 

4 years ago

April 29, 2010


271 & 272 — Dr Gecko and Mr Scalyhide

I love that I already have "lizards" "literature" and "science gone wrong" tags at my disposal.

This is 100% based on a true story.  A two-headed, two-brained lizard was discovered in Australia, and though it’s healthy, the big head keeps trying to eat the littler one.

Obviously this is the result of a science experiment gone wrong, where Dr Gecko’s evil twin actually grew out of his shoulder, and is now trying to kill him.

This is what happens when you do experiments trying to discover the dark side of mankind (or rather, lizardkind).

258, 259 & 260 — Skogula, Zernebock & Mista

Not really funny, I know.  But this is my blog and if I want to redefine ancient Saxon gods on it, I will.  So there.

Not a theme week or anything, just one final Ivanhoe post.

In the book, one character (who is supposed to be old-fashioned even in medieval times) curses to the old Saxon gods Zernebock, Mista and Skogula.  The Artist just thought those were cool names, so he looked them up online.  Astoundingly, Google has almost nothing to say about any of them.  The internet is usually the place where mythology nerds catalogue every last critter, no matter how obscure.

Of the approximately ten results, seven were just the quotes from Ivanhoe, one was a myspace page, one said Zernebock was a god of night and that “bock” comes from “bog” which means god in ancient Celt, and the last theorized that Skogula and Mista were Valkyries.

So this means The Artist has total license to make up whatever he wants!

On the left is Skogula.  An animal spirit who flies around making mischief.  He can turn invisible and likes to knock over people’s water glasses.  If you leave a chocolate-covered frog on your windowsill, he will always stop to eat it.  You can catch him and he will grant you wishes.  But make sure to specify that you don’t want angry bears included in your wish (a pile of gold with bears in it, the ability to fly while being chased by angry flying bears, etc) because otherwise, mischievous Skogula will always include them “pro bono.”

In the center is Zernebock.  He is the god of night time, and pickled herring.  It used to be just night, but he loved herring so much that he found the god of herring and murdered him so that he could become the new god of herring.  You do not want to run into this dude.  If you do, hopefully you can throw some herring at him to distract him and run away.

Finally, on the right, is Mista.  She is the goddess of thirst-quenching beverages.  From a hearty ale to a diet Sprite, she is the spirit that imbues liquids with that amazing feeling of “aaaahhh.”  Very good to have around after something salty, like picked herring.

There, The Artist has just redefined an ancient pantheon for you.  If anyone asks about these three (you know, the way they come up in everyday conversation), just point them towards this page, as the new authority on Skogula, Zernebock and Mista.

[Thanks to The Artist’s sister N for a bit of help, there.]

4 years ago

April 18, 2010


250 — The Cubicleiad

Yes, The Artist knows the cyclops is in the Odyssey, not the Iliad.  You know what?  Suck it.  1/20 of the Quest is now completed.  Post 250!  Woooo!

Well, it’s not quite one letter, and it’s not quite a creature, but in celebration of the 250th character here’s the beginning of the epic poem, the Cubicleiad:

Sing, O goddess, the boredom of The Artist, that brought countless characters upon the Internet. Many a marked post-it did it send hurrying down to the scanner platen, and many a parody did it yield a prey to devouring audiences, for so were the uses of Time fulfilled from the day on which Work, king of men, and the great Artist, first fell out with one another. 

In the first book of this long and masterful poem, The Artist, imprisoned in a fortress of three and a half low walls, rejects the “proper” use of his time according to his Job and the Embodiment of Work, and fashions an escape with little more than an ink-bearing scepter, a small stack of yellow banners, and his boundless cleverness.

4 years ago

April 11, 2010


217 — Anton “Chico” Chichikov, Wholesaler of Souls

I'm not ripping off Gogol.  It an HOMAGE.  Gogol's character didn't sell cases of souls out of the back of a van, did he?

You ever wonder how much a human soul would cost?  Of course you have.  Well, here’s an article that can help you out.

It seems a woman in New Zealand had her house haunted by two spirits.  She had them exorcised and trapped in vials of holy water.

Naturally, the next step was to put the two souls up for auction.  She got a little less than $2,000 for the pair.  (To her credit, the money went to charity.)

However, if you’re willing to buy a case of at least six, Anton can get you a much better deal.