Attention abecedarians: absolutely aching to access awesome alphabetic art? Attendez: Alphabet Apocrypha.
Formerly titled Alphabet Horror Vacui, Nathan O. Marsh’s illustrated alphabetic cabinet of curiosities is a dark and wonderful marvel. His comic, rendered in crowquill pen and ink and watercolor, harkens back to naturalist engravings of yore, but Marsh’s alliterative inventions bounce back and forth cheerfully from the archaic to the contemporary. They evoke Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, and Winsor McCay, among others, but this isn’t a kiddie alphabet book (unless you feel like explaining “fleshlight” to your first-grader). This one’s for big boys and girls, and includes such streams of vaguely morbid whimsy as extraterrestrial embryos, bastard badgers and butt biting barracudas, the Kaiser’s kangaroo-court, and my personal favorite, “Disappointed dad declares, ‘Dammit Diane, don’t do drugs & date the devil!’” (Dad has a dumb doberman, Diane is smoking dank dope, and the devil finds the whole affair dreadfully disrespectful.)
Marsh is up to the letter P, a Machiavellian tale of betrayal involving a pig, a python, and poultry. New installments show up every month, more or less, and prints of any page can be bought for $15, a ridiculously rare reasonable rate (see, I can do it too).
Whatever else the next few weeks bring, I’m eagerly awaiting Q.