Tag Archives: fairy tale

The Great Brush Off

Rapunzel_edited-2.png

Yes, is this Locks of Love? I was wondering if it would be possible to schedule a pickup. No, actually, the postal charges would be kind of astronomical. 

Given the utter failure of my last fairy-tale based comic, which was reviled and downvoted across a wide variety of Internet platforms, I naturally decided to do another fairy tale based comic, this time omitting any references to cannibalism, my stepchildren, or the putative desire to combine the two.

Just to set the record straight: I don’t eat children. I was a vegetarian for half my life. I’ve never even eaten veal, or suckling pig.

Oh, OK, lamb, yeah.

Anyway, my interest in Rapunzel is of 2 parts. Part the first is the historical derivation and evolution of the story. Most of us know a tale in which a girl is held prisoner by a witch, who punishes her when she inadvertently lets slip that she has a boyfriend. The Grimms cleaned it up a bit for their middle-class, proto-bourgeois audience. The version they originally collected was about a fairy who finds out her young charge has strayed only once the kid is so super-pregnant that her clothes don’t fit anymore.

Part the second is my obsession with long hair. According to my Internet research, being obsessed with hair can be referred to as chaetomania. If you’re sexually obsessed with it, it’s usually called trichophilia. But I just like having it on my head, and I like it on other people’s heads too.

Truth be told, I haven’t even had a trim since autumn of 2011. Of course, Rapunzel should call Locks of Love or Wigs for Kids and have her discarded crowning glory reworked to crown a child with none. (I’ve heard some rumors about Locks of Love not being on the up and up, but according to Snopes it’s either a malicious lie or a lack of understanding about how charities work or how human hair wigs are made.)

What I like about this comic, aside from the puns and the hair, are the ways that Rapunzel’s oppression is bound up in her hair, which is what a lot of modern reworkings of the story conclude. By severing her own bonds, Rapunzel liberates herself, removing the prince and the witch from the equation. There are quite a few stories set in the 1920s in which this is a theme. Cut your hair and fuck the patriarchy!

That said, I’m not cutting my hair. The patriarchy can go fuck itself.

The calligraphy in the last panel isn’t 100% to my liking, and I was going to redo it, but the Fox said he liked it and I have a headache, so I guess I’ll let it stay.

 

A Simple Geometry

Diamonds, triangles, and squares

Triangles and diamonds

Once I read a Navajo fairy tale in a picture book about a weaver who became some obsessed with perfection in her work that she became trapped in her own art, as if she sewed her soul into the design. Navajo weavers always leave a “way out,” some imperfection in their pattern, to prevent this spiritual entanglement, a fact of which I was reminded when we visited Tuba City in the Navajo Nation last week.

This mandala also reminds me of that legend. The turquoise color and the shapes reflect some of the art we saw on our journey. Of course, I never have to worry about leaving myself a way out of my mandalas, since it’s been many years since I even imagined that perfection was possible in drawings. This one is pretty tight though, even if it skews a bit.