If you’ve been assiduously following our graphic novel version of The Hunting of the Snark, you will have noticed a steady accumulation of visual details as the story progresses. Such a gradual amplification of things is what the critics call fritter-my-wig or even what-you-may-call-um and believe me, it’s all the rage in the right sort of literary circles.
However, we ‘umble visual artists,
(fixated as always on more alimentary matters) call such an accumulation
of visual tchotchkes "chicken fat". The late, great Will Elder
coined the term whilst inking a drowned fly into a late night rendering
of Harvey Kurtzman’s matzoh-ball soup as a practical joke. After a bit
of the usual overheated vaudeville cross-talk-cum-haberule®-brandishing
and some soft-shoeing with the Pro-White on Elder’s part, the moniker
stuck and generations of artists have been ladling the chicken fat (or
even schmalz if it’s germane to the proceedings) into their more soup-like drawings ever since.
of which is a very convoluted and uselessly byzantine way of saying
that you should keep a close eye on the progression of our Snark Hunt
for it’s growing ever richer in unsaturated animal lipids such as
chicken fat and Martin Heidegger. Naturally, one wonders what Lewis
Carroll would have made of all our messing about with his otherwise
perfectly normal recipe for a bowl of soup … would he have smacked his
lips appreciatively at the our addition of the accurately-besmocked and
bestyed pigherder Witnesses demonstrating the swineless vacuity of this
comic operetta of a legal farce? Would he have slurped greedily at the
tasty bits of the timeless humour of Mister Piggy’s magnum opus hoisted aloft before the proceedings like some sort of philosophical pearls before swine?
would Mister Carroll have paused in mid-luncheon, his spoon poised at
his lips, and angrily demanded this artist to explain post haste what
this other bird, this nonchicken and perhaps even swan-like bird
masquerading as a legal bagpipe is doing in our collation of a Snark
Alas, for Mr. Carroll and his delicate Victorian sense and
sensibilities! This unexpectedly swannish creature is probably the
grotesque and unexpected consequence of this artist using
second-grade-fresh chicken fat in his cheapster drawings, a fly-by-night
chicken fat cunningly adulterated with etymological preservatives of unknown provenance.
dear reader, this sudden outbreak of swans and bagpipes is no accident,
on the contrary, it is a Significant Detail! Curiously, the word
"sound", deriving as it does from the Old English word "swan,"
(properly, the sounding bird) seems to provide a perfect excuse for this
artist to wreak further havoc on the entire chicken fat paradigm and
perhaps even clear the way for a future swan-fat thing-um-a-jig. Or
something along these metaphorically miscegenated lines of reasoning
which so bedevil this production of the Snark …
Without error or flaw indeed, eh?