Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Inking In The New Year

Last year on New Year's Eve, I got a tattoo to mark the occasion. It wasn't something done on impulse; I had a design picked out for some time. It just seemed like the last day of 2007 was a good time to do it. So this year, I'm repeating history – not that you asked, but I figured I'd share all the same.

I'm getting a tat of a bat (hey, I rhymed) on the back of my left bicep; the original illustration is by Dave McKean from the hardcover of "Arkham Asylum" and will be all-black. I may get another tattoo in the spring or summer, probably my last because I've resolved to only get one arm inked, and leave the other alone.

As of now, the leading final candidate design is Jack Kirby-esque, of a Hopalong Cassidy-style cowboy astride a scarlet tyrannosaurus.

It's an interesting concept, I think, considering I'm not really a fan of Kirby's. I think his imagination was terrific, but feel Kirby's art style is an acquired taste. However, there's something about his "Devil Dinosaur" which is goofy and charming – the adventures of a perpetually cranky, red t-rex and his sub-human pal, Moonboy, who naturally speaks English despite living 200 million years before the language was invented.

That's called "suspension of disbelief," kids. Go with it.

I think PBS should sack Gillian Anderson as host of "Masterpiece Theatre" and replace her with Moonboy. I'd kill to hear his sublime introduction to the 736th episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs" in which Devil makes a guest appearance as Lord Stanley Redbottom, the fifteenth Earl of Kent.


Lord Redbottom’s appearance in this episode (titled "The War Comes Home") does not go well, when at high tea, his stubby hands spill orange Darjeeling on his new cummerbund – prompting his lordship to fly into a rage, destroying the main parlor (shown below), and upsetting a plate of gooseberry scones.

Then, when told by a lowly servant that the house has no club soda with which to treat his newly stained garment, Lord Redbottom responds thusly to such insolence...

...before resuming his tirade by "bonking" a priceless, 17th century harpsichord to bits.

Following this last, ungentlemanly outburst, Lady Bellamy has had quite enough - bidding his lordship to depart 165 Eaton Place at once, adding that she may be forced to reconsider his standing invitation to Sunday breakfast. For his part, after bidding his hostess goodbye and making a mild restitution, Redbottom makes his way to a corner pub, and proceeds to get pissed drunk.

Curiously, this was Devil Dinosaur's only appearance in "Upstairs, Downstairs" although he remains a fan favorite at BBC conventions.


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