Sunday, February 19, 2006
Lint In The Nose Furnace
One of the week's best wheezes is over at The Stranger, which reviews cartoonist Jeff Lint's The Caterer:
Desperately out of print since 1976 (when the series was cancelled because of issue nine, in which Marsden goes on a killing spree at Disneyland), The Caterer is arguably the strangest comic book ever published. Word bubbles crammed with postmodern rants are paired with action-packed panels illustrated in stereotypical '70s form. Reading it is essentially an exercise in tolerance and bewilderment....It sounds too good and crazy to be true -- which, of course, it is. Lint is literally a legend:
"I need a coffeepot the shape of my severed head," Marsden says in a phone call to his college's faculty office. This is the opening panel. Rather than question the demand, the blond secretary lets Marsden continue: "If you take a catfish by the whiskers and pull outward it inflates into a life raft. I know this for a fact, Mister Skeleton."
Further compounding The Caterer's weirdness is that author Jeff Lint never lived. Existing halfway between Kurt Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout and whoever the hell JT Leroy is, Lint is—if I have this correct—the creation of British sci-fi novelist Steve Aylett. Aylett has written an entire faux-biography of Lint, called Lint, which was published last year. According to Lint, Lint ran with the Beats, was trippier than Philip K. Dick, and had a fan in the young Ann Coulter. A representative sentence: "On July 13, 1994, Lint had a near-death experience, followed immediately by death."There is, of course, a Jeff Lint website dedicated to the books of the illustrious Mr. Lint, such as One Less Bastard (1946), Nose Furnace (1958), I Blame Ferns (1959), and Turn Me Into a Parrot (1962). If you already have the Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, this may be the next essential addition to your library of nonexistent literary titans....