its a big country
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jaguartist

Even fans of Superman keep getting tripped up with the idea that he is invincible. The DC Company still seems to think this, and yet they keep putting him into fistfights with bad guys—because this is what fans seem to want. Stop trying to make him a Punisher rip off and think bigger, Lincoln bigger or Will Rogers bigger.

When I watched the first few seasons of Smallville I was astounded, the writers essentially made young Clark Kent the Adopted kid Steve Ditko and Stan Lees’ early version of Peter Parker—he had to be heroic to make up for all the death and destruction his creation caused. Instead of the inadvertent death of his uncle it was the destruction of his adopted town, and then unleashing a wall of weird on the countryside that only he and his friends could contain. They found a reason for him to be a ‘good deed do-er’. He’s not a boy scout—he is an immigrant adopted by two American parents who is maybe more patriotic than people who were technically ‘born here’. 

I think it is telling that an immigrant would write ‘God Bless America’; you can’t have cynicism in your heart and write such an anthem. That is how Batman would always underestimate Superman, by not understanding that they both try to honor their parents—but Bruce is a mama’s boy and Clark is daddy focused.  Bruce thinks darkness and technology will solve things, Clark knows you have to plant seeds, nurture them and let the sun work its magic. In the end it would probably take a Wonder Woman to break the tie.

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wild in the streets
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jaguartist

I absolutely love the Beatles, but if John and Paul were starting out today they would be creating a music that would make everyone think that everything presently on the charts was trivial and old fashioned.  I keep waiting for the group that’s going to wake up the present world the way they woke up my world. Changing the planet was probably the last thing on their minds; they were probably more concerned with getting paid, getting laid and expressing some inner rage. Maybe the Van Gogh’s are all on Xanax and trained to perpetuate mediocrity/outrageousness to keep us all visually bored. The music industry promotes so many Pat Boones that we never notice the Little Richards anymore and we get to pay to phone in our votes to keep it all grey and homogenous. I’m a believer, indeed.


little mice and little sisters don't destroy all our childhood dreams.
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I started collecting comics when I was seven or eight in the early sixties. At that point you could still order what would now be called golden age comics for 20 or thirty bucks, which of course were out of the price range of a little kid. By ‘65 I did have some Plastic man and Captain America and Human Torches from the 50's and WW2 along with a few Batman and Superman’s from that period, nothing hyper valuable then, but worth a small car now—and yes, all of them along with my first forty issues of all the Marvel staples were torn up by my little sister with my step fathers permission when I went off to prep school in ‘69. I’ve still got isolated issues from that era, but none of my ww2 comics and few iconic issues (although I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my ‘friends’ walked off with them with my sisters blessings). When my mom died three years ago I found twenty or thirty of my old books in her bedroom closet!

 

I never thought to ask my mom if she had any of them. The world is really large and strange. Be assured that little mice and little sisters don't destroy all our childhood dreams.


Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. Thin or Reedy, smile if need be.
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c jaguar 2012

Ten, fifteen years ago I used to fall asleep some nights afraid I might not have a lasting legacy. Lately I don’t worry so much. I look at even just the work I’ve already finished and I realize I’ve already left behind a sizeable cache of honest statements. Possibly for the next few years critics will think I hate women since they will see my drawings and think all the models are portrayed as squat and fat and with ‘bad skin and what ever. Very few women refused an offer to sit for me and none who did were ever displeased with the results that they saw. I draw real women, who are short, and tall and sometimes meaty, beaty, big and bouncy. Some times they were rail thin and if they felt like smiling that was fine but I didn’t need them to pretend to be anything other than the beautiful they were from within. I got to their truth as best I could and never answered to anything other than the shared vision that made itself manifest, or not.

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A thousand Krsna kisses of lust over time
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( You are about to view content that may only be appropriate for adults. )

Wear your love like heaven
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c jaguar 2012 all we ever live for(excerpt)
C. Jaguar 2012

I first met my High School Sweetheart on the early afternoon of Sunday May forth nineteen sixty-nine, out on the estate of our boys prep school on an outcrop near a stone fence overlooking a waterway. I’ve drawn this place from memory many times over the years and actually took photographs of my HSS there a few years ago. I reminded her of our first meeting there as we visited the place a few years ago, two grey adults a lifetime later of a winter afternoon exactly five years ago last month. Like so many things, she said she had no memory of it. Alcohol, chain smoking and probable anorexia had taken a toll on her body and mind. The ordinary ravages of time are what left me bloated and weary, hardly a reflection of the Dionysian boy who had gazed upon the beauty beside me so long ago. 

I have a photograph of her taken seven months earlier in her mothers’ house, sitting cross-legged in jeans and a purple shirt, where she looks exactly as she did the day I first met her. The photograph doesn’t do her justice; none of them ever did. As I sat on the grass next to her for that first hour or so listening to her talk, complain more like it, about the night she had just spent with her best friend and some guy at the boathouse, how he thought he loved the best friend but he really should love her, hah! I smiled, bemused,  “Who cares about last nights fool?” I thought,  “I was clearly falling in love with her, and I wondered how she could not be noticing this rock solid fact.

She was smart and funny. She had horrible posture for a dancer and wore an oversized green army surplus jacked that hid her shapely form.  Her golden hair hung over her face, which was a shame because she was beautiful. Whenever her hair fell to the side I got a flash of her eyes and they were hypnotic and strange, really wondrous. Like the little prince listening to that rose with her big talk there I was listening to her, hardly able to get a word in edgewise, though I somehow managed to keep her laughing all that sunny afternoon. We made plans to meet during the day a few days later on the top of the ramp of the Chinese dog.

As luck would have it the day we planned to meet it was raining cats and dogs. I was sure she wasn’t going to come. But I was fifteen and I rarely got a chance to talk to a girl in private. This was the first time one had suggested we meet in the middle of the day at a secret rendezvous halfway between our boy and girl prep schools. Rain or no rain I was going to be there. For the first time in my life I arrived someplace early. Dam if she wasn’t there waiting when I arrived.

That spring of sixty-nine the ramp was still under construction. The statue of the Chinese dog was there at the top, which is where we met, but the path up the hill was muddy, they had not lain in the cement blocks yet; that would take years.

As we talked I thought the same thing that I had on the day previous, whenever her eyes flashed from behind her shock of blond hair they were incredible. I had never seen eyes so blue and with such an alluring shape. For years after I would search every face I came upon for such eyes as hers and always be left wanting. In her living room in D.C. a few years ago she finally caught on to why I was staring at her face so, “You’re fascinated by my eyes, aren’t you?” she said, as if figuring out some puzzle at long last. “Yes, of course” I admitted, “I’ve been attracted to your eyes since high school.” That is one of the many things I am glad I got to say face to face and clearly to her in her lifetime.

After a while we both had to get back for the rest of our classes it was time for us to say goodbye. We were both soaked. We hugged, even clumsy kids hugged in ‘69, but she followed it up by leaning in and kissing me, French kissing me. At that moment her cat tongue was the only thing I saw, felt, perceived in the entire world, and it was good. I was fifteen, so I guess I must have known about French kissing; and I was a boy so some part of me must have been thinking about trying it at some point, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t expecting it. I was shocked and taken aback and thrilled and yes, a little hooked. I wanted more; goodness help me, I wanted more.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day.

But I remember watching her walk the entire length of the way down the path of the ramp of the Chinese dog in the rain. I have a photo that a passing tourist took of the two of us kissing a few years ago at the top of the ramp. I told her the story of our first kiss there and she believes it; it is a lovely story after all, but again, it wasn’t something she really remembered.

But I remembered. And I will remember all of my lonely days.   


life/death spring 2012 part three
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Ruskin thought his new bride Effie was ‘deformed’ (masculine?) for having pubic hair when he saw her on their wedding night; it was thus never consummated. It was believed that he destroyed a cache of erotic artwork left to him by his mentor J.M.W.Turner who wanted them to be made public after his death. Apparently he just hid them away. Maybe it’s the things that artists wanted to have known posthumously that relatives, for good or ill, chose to suppress, that have had the most deleterious effect on history.

The wishes of the dead do seem like they’d be paramount, but several prominent British figures renounced their faith after spending time in non Christian communities and wanted that reported post mortem. Executors got pertinent records quashed or destroyed in legitimate courts of the times. Spinster ‘aunts’ that turned out to be lesbians; uncles who moved to Paris to live openly with other men, now we might applaud forebears as being pioneers, but there is no guarantee that in the future we won’t, again, prefer to keep such behavior hidden. The court of public opinion is quixotic.

We presently think that sexual orientation and political affiliation give clues to an artists work. Such things may just be red herrings, tantalizing, but easily misunderstood between the respective ages in question. Even given the facts we don’t always draw the most reasonable conclusions. Diarists may have kept personal secrets; or perhaps they just didn’t want their processes and half formed thoughts and sketches available for strangers to paw over.


Romance
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Romance requires, I think, vulnerability, passion, humor and reckless abandon; these things may very well be going on at every moment all around us unseen. People always think of their own age as being hectic and unromantic. The past, and especially the distant past, seems more golden and innocent; but soon even we may look back on this very day and marvel at how young we were and how much love was around us that we didn’t fully notice. 

bob (no laureate) dylan
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The late Steve Allen used to do a comedy routine that essentially consisted of him reciting the lyrics to contemporary pop tunes in a deadpan, verbatim manner. I seem to recall the hilarity of him reciting ‘be bop a Lula’ to the giggles and twitters of his 1950’s audience. It was interesting when, a few years later, he applied the same technique to McCartney’s’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’. I believe he realized he was faced with something he couldn’t have imagined a decade prior, probably couldn’t have predicted the first time he heard a Beatles’ song on the radio. Without Dylan we’d have more “be bop a Lula’ and less real poetry in the world.
He has a body of work that is as quotable as Shakespeare. The cultural impact of his work has been so transformative as to transcend its humble milieu (folk lyricism). Neil Gaiman won a World Fantasy Award for a ‘comic book’, which angered the purists so much that they changed the rules. Not to worry, I don’t think there is another cotemporary lyricist who has Dylan’s cultural gravitas. 


La Lectrice
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Oh dear, this really is eerie. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you wondered if you could continue sleeping with a lover if you found out he or she didn’t read? Another conversation along those lines is ‘would you break up with someone who consistently read novels you loathed?’ I don’t mean like westerns or genre fiction but mawkish, poorly written treacle? There was a movie came out long ago called La Lectrice (The Reader—French, 1988) that my then friend and I were dying to see. The Washington post called it “Excruciatingly literate, overdesigned and dramatically inert” which was good enough for me (Village Voice loved it, which is where we saw it advertised). If we’re ever in Paris at the same time and it’s playing at a revival perhaps we could see it together?

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