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“Pig Surprise.” Plastic Man.

I finished a new painting today, “Pig Surprise,” 40 inches by 30, acrylic on canvas. Or maybe the title should be Tax Time!

I started out with random blotches of paints, and then I started seeing some images. At first I had the picture rotated 180 degrees from this, and the yellow stuff was fire, and the red disk was a setting sun. But that looked dull. So I turned it the other way, got a claw…and added pig snout and ears. Pig Surprise! Poor pig.

Actually I got the title for this picture because when I went to Big Sur last week, my daughter Isabel was teasing me, and said I was going to Pig Sur. A real pig sur prize…

As always you can find more info about my paintings at my Paintings page…prints, note cards, originals, and a book of the paintings are all for sale.

As I mentioned in a post the other day, I’m thinking about having a little green goblin in Header’s skull in Chapter Four. I want to have a creature living in his head and controlling him, but a green goblin seems too much of a default choice, that is, too much like a golden age Kelly Freas image of a Martian. Not that I don’t love those images…

But I had some ideas for making it a little new.

First of all, don’t call it a goblin, call it a voor. Somehow I’ll need a way for the voor to take physical residence inside people’s heads. I’ll mention that the body of the voor’s previous host has no brain at all. He’s not exploded or anything, but his skull is empty.

Second , suppose that I do want a little green man with a gnome look—this makes sense, as a gnome resembles a bald old person, and old age is one of the subtextual themes of this novel. I have a vision of my voors in armies and in underground cities like in, yes, Lord of the Rings. But just to warp it a little, suppose I give each voor an extra pair of arms to suggest a six-legged ant-like quality.

Third of all, I’ll give the voors a superpower that’s along the lines of the implicit biotech in my existing menagerie of space-bending jivas and colony-organism shapeshifting yuels.

To wit, I’ll suppose that a voor is like the Plastic Man cartoon character, who can change his body shape. Unlike the yuels, who are colony organisms, the voors can’t completely change their shape and color, it’s more that they can change the sizes of their parts. They do this via a jiva-like technique of space manipulation. Note that, by the way, jivas can change their own size via space manipulation, so the skills of the voors and the jivas are similar. Perhaps voors are dark-side jivas—comparable to how devils are sometimes regarded as fallen angels.

I’m thinking of the 1940s comic Plastic Man by Jack Cole, by the way. Art Spiegelman and Chip Kidd co-edited an interesting art book about this strip, Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits .

And the character is mentioned (as Plasticman) in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow:

“Four-color Plasticman goes oozing out of a keyhole, around a corner and up through piping that leads to a sink in the mad Nazi scientist’s lab, out of whose faucet Plas’ head now, blank carapaced eyes and unplastic jaw, is just emerging. ‘Yeah. Who’re you, Ace?’” (p.206)

And later in Pynchon’s novel, in the gloomy twilight of the tale, “Plasticman will lose his way among the Imipolex [plastic]chains, and topologists all over the Zone will run out and stop payments on his honorarium checks” (p.752)

The topologists are upset, you understand, if Plastic Man becomes no longer “perfectly deformable.”

10 Responses to ““Pig Surprise.” Plastic Man.”

  1. Gamma Says:

    Shirley said that there was a book of paintings coming out i wondered if yu could let me have a look at the paper quality etc & the binding – otherwise ?

  2. Gamma Says:

    The Plastical Pigs were Money Boxes & yu inserted the stuff in the slot on the piggyback –

  3. Helix Says:

    Cool paintings, I didn’t realize you had so many! It was a pleasure going through them. I like the Big Sur from 2000 a lot.

    The voors remind me a bit of the Yeerks from The Animorphs. They were slugs that crawled in through your ear and then molded themself over your brain to control you. In their natural habitat I think they swam in pools.

  4. Rudy Says:

    Helix, I’d never heard of the Yeerks, so thanks for that. I’d never heard of The Animorphs, I gather it’s a y.a. series of books, a little like Perry Rhodan. Pretty much every possible SF idea turns up in these kinds of series.

    I did write about some similar kinds of things called I think sluggies in my novel FREEWARE, they’re Imipolex plastic control units run by robotic bioplastic beings called moldies. Like the Yeerks they get into a person’s head and control them. It’s kind of an archetypal notion, an SF power chord.

    To make it a little different, I’m supposing that the voor EATS your brain, leaving you skull a hollow shell. The voors weigh about four or five pounds, the weight of a brain. Cute l’il guys…

  5. Rudy Says:

    Gamma, nice to hear from you. That book of my paintings that you mention is called Better Worlds, it’s a print on demand book available via Lulu. I had a blog entry about it:

    The book is very nice looking, with good quality prints, nice paper, and solid binding.

  6. Steve H Says:

    Next you should paint a picture of Pig Sur . . . maybe call the first one Bacon in the Sun . . . so would the voor shape itself into a little green brain, sparking nerve impulses into the chewed-off spinal cord and eyestalks, and have to shake itself back into a little gremlin when the skull bursts open? Seems as if that would be the easiest way to operate a stolen body.

  7. serah Says:

    i have a pig sur prise in my blog used tobe livin among

  8. Rudy Says:

    Thumb Twubble!

    I revised “Pig Surprise” two times in the last couple of days, wanting to get that thumb looking properly situated in the virtual space…

  9. Steve H Says:

    The thumb’s a nice touch – adds a suggestion of sentience to the claw which matches the fatalistic look in the poor pig’s eyes.

  10. Helix Says:

    Ooh, eating the brain, that sounds good. No coming back from that

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