Last January, after seeing a couple of my newspaper blackout poems, Winston Smith e-mailed and recommended to me a book called “A Humument” by an artist named Tom Phillips. In the mid-sixties, Phillips took an old Victorian novel by W.H. Mallock called “A Human Document” and started blacking out the pages to make a new book, ” A Humument.” Well, I thought this sounded pretty interesting, but was too lazy to look it up, or even Google it, and pretty soon I’d forgotten all about it.
A year later, Drew Dernavich e-mails me a link to Humument.com, the official site of the book! Little did I know that you can see every page from the book online. (There’s also a new edition you can buy online from Amazon.)
I see no necessity to apologize for the imperfections of this or of any similar imagery. Analogies of this kind are only intended to assist us in our attempt to make the complications of mental functioning intelligible.—Sigmund Freud, talking about his dream diagrams
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I think I might use this someday as the epigraph for one of my comics. I collaged it onto the front of my sketchbook, with a few changes:
Clive Thompson made the great point, “your tools help determine how you think. So long as Freud used realistic modes of drawing, he was hemmed in by the dictates of straightforward physiology. To ponder the abstracts of human behavior, he needed to turn to abstract comix.”
Read some more about Freud’s drawings.
Graham Rawle is a collage artist and writer. His latest book, Woman’s World, is a novel created entirely from fragments of text cut out of early 1960s women’s magazines. Meghan read about him in the latest issue of I.D. magazine:
First, Rawle wrote a straightforward novel. Then, Photoshop be damned, he used scissors and glue to clip words and phrases from the magazines. He catalogued the clippings thematically, scrapbook-style, in what amounted to 11 volumes of starter text. Finally, he went back and married the two, translating the original narrative using only the fragments he had collected, so that simple sentences like “What nonsense!” became “That’s all tosh and table margarine.” For Rawle, merging writing and design meant thinking obliquely about both. “Doing collage, you have to make do with what you’ve got,” he says. “When I make pictures, if I can’t find the right hat then I cut up a photo of a tomato.”
This is the kind of thing I want to do with my newspaper blackout comics poems. Outstanding.