Tentacle Tuesday: Pleasantly Goofy

I’d like to interrupt the regularly scheduled Tentacle Tuesday with the double whammy of tentacles and kiss-me-I’m-Irish:

GripGlutzandShamrockSquidDanielClowes
It’s Grip Glutz and Shamrock Squid! Originally published in Eightball no. 10 (February 1993.) Story and art by Daniel Clowes, of course. I love stories with no moral.

Shamrock Squid, created by Clowes, is an “open source” character, which is to say that other cartoonists have official permission to use him in their work.

« While Shamrock Squid was originally featured in Clowes’s comic book Eightball as a comic companion to “Grip Glutz” in a one-page ‘gag’, he has also made surprise or cameo appearances in other alternative comics such as Peter Bagge’s Hate and Rick Altergott’s Doofus. The most detailed, epic and perhaps final use of Shamrock Squid was done by Adrian Tomine and Peter Bagge in a 7 page piece in Hate #28 entitled “Shamrock Squid: Autobiographical Cartoonist”, which lampooned autobiographical alternative comics, teen angst, and fandom. It would seem that the gag has gone as far as it can. » (source)

I’m not sure what is implied by “the gag has gone as far as it can”, but since Adrian Tomine is involved, I’ll happily agree that enough is enough.

So if you’re planning to booze your woes away this Saturday on St-Patrick’s, happy drinking!

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Moving on to the goofiness promised, here’s Tentacle Tuesday in all its glory.

Many women get killed. Their corpses are covered in doughnut-shaped marks. A killer in a trench-coat sporting a wide-brimmed hat has been spotted retreating into the city’s aquarium after his crime. “Who Doughnut?”, the story’s title asks, and it is indeed a stumper.

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The intrepid detective follows the killer! His mind struggles with the vital question of who or what could have possibly left such bizarre marks on his victims…

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… and comes up with the answer! It’s…. (drumroll, please)…

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Well, duh. Everyone knows octopuses suck blood (and have a weakness for stylish hats).  « Who Doughnut? », written by Al Feldstein and drawn by Jack Davis, was published in Vault of Horror no. 30, April-May 1953. The art is glorious, and the story – while preposterous – is moody as hell, so do yourself a favour and read it here. As a matter of fact, it’s so well drawn that one forgets the farcical plot and shudders along with the protagonist.

JackDavisWhoDoughnut
The composition just pulls you in, doesn’t it? Although you might wanna watch that… lest you come face-to-face with a vampire octopus.

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Quite on a different note, meet an alien lifeform with an appetite for self-destruction. Which is to say: it likes to be eaten.

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« The CXL spice paste is made up of millions of hive-minded micro-organisms whose sole purpose in life is to be eaten in a delicious meal. If the lettuce is too thick and chunky, the CXL will realise they are being prepared wrong and will strangle the chef responsible. »
Snippet from James Stokoe’s Wonton Soup, published by Oni Press in 2014. Thanks to RG for putting together my hasty photographs of this page from a completely unscannable, thick and tightly-bound book.

Canadian Stokoe is probably best known for his take on Godzilla, which comic left me frankly underwhelmed. However, I heartily recommend the unfortunately unfinished Orc Stain. As for Wonton Soup, it was loads of fun to read. Here’s a summary from Publisher’s Weekly: « Stokoe’s wittily vulgar debut graphic novel follows former-cook–turned–space trucker Johnny Boyo as he fights off space ninjas, returns to the planet of his ex-girlfriend Citrus Watts, and finally faces a cook-off duel with a pair of alien twins who’ll stop at nothing to achieve culinary victory. » That covers the gist of part 1; to which I’ll add that part 2 of Wonton Soup concerns itself largely with Johnny’s buddy Deac’s reminiscences about his mad escapades with a sex bear, which are not for the squeamish.

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Let’s end this cephalopod festival not with a bang but with a whimper… the whimper of a wife who’s getting carried off by tentacles, that is.

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“Sorry, dear.” Cartoon by Gahan Wilson, who can always be relied on to resort to tentacles whenever possible.

~ ds

2 thoughts on “Tentacle Tuesday: Pleasantly Goofy

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