Mean Machine

Back when I was in art school, just embarking upon my illustration career, I produced a comic strip. I don’t believe this strip was created in response to any assigned homework; it was merely an expression of stuff I wanted to do, out of the box, as it were. Here is the entire art board… The Title and Subtitle reads: THE MEAN MACHINE, An Enthralling Account of the Dastardly Deeds and Otherwise General Nastiness of a Run and Rankle Crank.

(If you click on each image, you can get more detail)

I was wild about fanciful and elaborate graphics back then, and it’s difficult to decipher the text even when confronted with the actual art board! My influences at this time were Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelites (William Morris), R. Crumb, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Mervyn Peake… (probably getting too serious about this!) And, of course, the psychedelic afterglow of the times– think Yellow Submarine.

Now, I’ll break the strip down into detailed bites, so the story can unfold…

“As a Nuclear Gastronomist, Dr. Fobbe was shunned and degraded by his colleagues for his soothly sorcerous and ‘overly ambitious’ theories”

“Within a fortnight, elaborate plans were drawn up for the construction of a mechanical mega-digestor whose name would soon be upon the terrified lips of every soul (were it royalty or peasantry) in the land”   (Blusterbile!)

“Three winters found Dr. Fobbe diligently at work upon his implement of digestion”

“Yet, now, NOW all was finally in GEAR!”  …”Late one night, Fobbe might have been seen to push (fool as he was) the fatal button that unleashed this world’s most diabolical esophageal weapon!”

“And so, Blusterbile (complete with whetten appetite) now began his long and infamous career”  to be cont’d.

…But, of course, it never was



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