Congratulations in advance! Just picked up Upside Dawn from my local library. I rank this among your thickest books to date. You could really hit somebody on the head with it. Its girth alone is strangely satisfying (even as it's not all that heavy).
Thanks! Don't lose the book on your foot.
Is that a Norwegian expression? Like, ‘Don't let the door hit you on the way out?’ I thought it would be funny to comment on the superficial aspects, at the same time it genuinely does come across different somehow compared to previous volumes. I'm getting a start on the book now. I'm jealous that Conrad Groth got to edit this (I wonder how he got that job?) and C Hwang got to design it. I noticed they tweaked the colors on the back cover to create a unified palette for the exterior. The effect is somewhat ‘supercharged’ or hypersaturated compared to the earlier coloring you shared for that image. It's an interesting effect. I don't dislike it, but I do find it jarring.
Also, are the vampires really supposed to be ‘dyslexic’ as touted on the back cover? I interpreted the name changes as anagrams designed to both obscure and retain the identity of the vampire. I don't know what makes good cover copy, but I sometimes wonder about Fantagraphics’ approach.
No, it's not a Norwegian expression. But if a book is heavy enough it's gonna hurt if you drop it on your toes. And no, the vampires are not meant to be dyslexic. The title of the story is a take on the Spanish, I believe, film Vampyros Lesbos. But the story is actually more influenced by the Hammer films with Ingrid Pitt.
Oh, the story title! My bad. I completely forgot it. That's where Fanta got the dyslexic part.See, that's a funny thing: If you know the movie reference, you'll be in a better position to decode certain aspects. If the back cover hadn't planted the seed, would I have keyed in on the lesbian undertones? (Later, I wondered if I was imagining them.) But for someone who knows the original film title, it all clicks more firmly. In that light, the ‘dyslexicos’ seems like a funny nod to the anagram conceit within the story.This was my favorite story by this point in the book because its narrative was more fleshed out, traditionally goofy, easily appreciated. The last page threw me, though. I didn't know how to take that ending. How did the vampire survive? Was there a joke I wasn't getting? (Looking again: It's 2022. OK. The cycle is repeating. But still, is there something more I'm missing, a contemporary meaning or joke?) I had a similar feeling with The Prisoner in the Castle. I got the Prisoner TV reference but don't know the series well enough to be sure I understood the ending. I recognized the ball but didn't know what it meant. Seemed like a bit of formal play, with the disappearing panel, and I could appreciate that.I've still got a ways to go, but I was wondering if concepts were given greater emphasis in this collection than endings. Like it's almost a sketchbook of story ideas.
The vampires always survive. Dracula is killed at the end of one film and is then back in the next one. I figured it would be the same for a female vampire. The Prisoner in the Castle not having a real ending comes from Kafka's novels famously not being finished. The Castle being a novel I've never read actually, so there was some guessing involved.
…And the reappearance allows for the third version of the name, completing the dyslexia joke. (Maybe my antennae are off this week.) I did not know that about Kafka. Ha!
Aha! Rereading Vampyros, I figured out what was missing for me. Early on, I'd had a bit of difficulty tracking the women's names and making sure I knew who was who; I made a point not to miss this. That last panel, for me, would have been perfect if it had revealed Angelica, with blonde hair and freckled face, now calling herself Marcilla. For one thing, it would have implied all sorts of horrific offscreen violence in the elided panels (after the vampiress's defeat), plus it would have been a payoff for that open question, ‘Do you want to live forever?’ that we never got an answer for, and a consummation to their relationship.It's the gloomy message: You can kill the vampire, but you can't stop the vampire gene. We're all gonna die.That's the big twist my brain expected from that last panel.
I just reread the interview you posted a while back with your French editor. It's interesting there was a Monty Python story that didn't make the cut, as they appeared in the opener and I Remember (via Fawlty Towers). It would have completed a ‘rule of three’.I didn't realize the male bird in Woman, Man, Bird had to put on a hat in order to talk! I assumed it was simply his dating (or relaxing) hat. The story still made sense to me, but it adds something to know that.
I guess Woman Man Bird will make a bit more sense for those that have read Shhh! The Python thing was just a two-pager, but yes, it would maybe have worked well in the Etc. chapter. Anyway, there's already Athos meeting David Bowie and Van Gogh. And Captain Kirk!
Yeah, probably just the right amount of Athos, as is. And Sartre. (‘Could you top me off?’ cracked me up.)What did you think of my suggestion for the final panel of Vampyros? Sometimes, I get an idea that feels really inspired (mostly because it feels consistent with the story's direction). I realized you could even keep the hairstyle but the change the color and add freckles, and it would be like Angelica had chosen to mimic Carmilla. That last panel feels like the missing link, unlocking the whole story.
It could have worked, but Angelica was a very innocent, naive character, so I don't see her as a vampire.
Ah, they're all innocent until that first bite. Even the once sweet young Carmilla.Actually, Carmilla's other victims were simply sucked dry, weren't they? What determines whether a victim dies or becomes a vampire?Anyway, it seemed like Carmilla was offering Angelica eternal life via vampirism (unless they were making plans to have a surrogate carry their love child?). It is called Vampyros (plural?), so I'd feel gypped if there was only one in the story.