Well, it’s a quiet Saturday night—that’s how it gets, eventually—and I found this scan of a dusty slide of one of my old acrylic paintings. I wanted to see how it looks on a web page, so… Huh. Interesting. The image has meaning for me, and it works as a symbol. It’s based on a photo I took of a carp carcass that someone had impaled on a fence post at Betterton Beach, about a mile and a half from our old house. Yup. We used to live that close to the water. Sometimes we’d hear foghorns from ships on the Bay.
One of my many unfinished ventures was a comic strip based on the dead carp in this picture. I called it “The Adventures of Corpy the Carp: He’s Good and Dead!” The idea was that all kinds of things would happen to this dead carp without his having to do anything, of course, because he was dead. Most of the time a mangy kitty-cat sidekick would drag him around. Just what the world needed, another comic strip cat! But the dead fish is golden, too bad.
I could never decide whether Corpy would “speak” (with thought balloons), because, you know, the dead thing. There’s a lot more comedy available that way, but I have to say that pure sight gags are killer. Gilbert Shelton is a master of that, you know.
Eventually I made a welded steel sculpture based on that carp, one of the most striking things I ever produced. A dentist in Galena bought it from a gallery show of mine for $1,200, woo-hoo! I remember I delivered it myself; the thing nearly fell apart in my truck, but man, was it gorgeous. When I unearth more slides, we can all have a look.