Sunday, 27 November 2011

Little Historical Titbits

Like most people, I think I'm still reeling from the vast amount of Comic events that have gone on this week and trying to get my thoughts in order! Going through my photos of Thought Bubble, I managed to find these Photos I took in the Leeds City Museum of some great little Neo-Classical ladies' fans...

 Aren't they great? I love the little motifs and decorations that go into the borders around the delicately painted scenes, and no surface of the fan is left untouched; even the supports have little scenes filigreed into the ivory. I'd really love to try and include some of these flourishes as comic panels. This would be a great way to actually think about presenting a comic strip as well, for anyone willing to experiment with fan-making, as well as drawing a curved, radial comic. As a format, it's neat, compact, and easily portable; plus a lifesaver on hot days! Why not enjoy your favorite funnies whilst hob-nobbing with the duchess at the Opera? 

On a similarly decorative note, my charming boyfriend recently brought me this wonderful bar of finest Kazakh chocolate that he was given by a foreign agent. The packaging is insane. In case you can't tell, it's gold-embossed, with a prominent blue silhouette of Kazakhstan. It looks more like currency than any chocolate bar I've ever seen, and we half expecting to find a golden ticket to visit Mr Wonkovitch's marvelous chocolate factory when we opened it. 

Instead, what we found was some of the nicest chocolate I've had in a long time, dark as sin and slightly bitter (just the way I like it) with rich body and a slightly salty, smoky aftertaste. Overall, really excellent choccy! Watch out, Switzerland! 

Finally, I came across this little magazine in a market in Soho, and just had to have it. 

As expected, Eve's Own consists mostly of fairly "dainty", soppy, formulaic romance short stories and serials, with a handful of sewing patterns and home-keeping tips. But the jewel in its' crown is the extensive "Eve and the Editor" section, in which anonymous bright young things pour their hearts out to a fusty, male "Agony Uncle". "Old Solomon" deals with these sensitive issues with an authorial voice that is almost audibly pompous, plummy and patronising. My long-term, mixed-race (part asian) gay boyfriend and I had a good laugh over this little snippet; 

Dear me. Unfortunately, this is fairly representative of Solomon's replies and prose in general. I have to admit, as a piece of Psycho-History, these Agony Aunt sections are an amazing way to get inside the minds of women of the distant past; to discover what their anxieties were, how they conducted relationships, and how an oppressive patriarchy idly dismissed their troubles. A great resource for anyone wanting to write historical fiction. But I can't help but hope that Mournful Mollie stayed with her Chinaman. 

I think I'll leave it at that for now. Until next time, dear little pals, 


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