derrida goes to denny’s

Happy Holidays, my friends! I hope you’re ready for one of the dorkiest projects of my college life. Derrida Goes To Denny’s!

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One of the only required courses for my literature degree was Lit 101: Literary Theory & Interpretation. It was reputed to be the hardest course in the degree, and it was only available at 8am, which is about 4am in Standard College Time (SCT).

Our professor was Jody Greene, and every girl in class had a crush on her regardless of their orientation. Jody was just the absolute coolest and blew our little literary-interpreting brains every day.

But she had us studying incredibly dense translated texts by Jacques Derrida, Foucault, Barthes, and more. It was hard as hell. One of Derrida’s essays (of which I can paraphrase approximately zero words to you to this day) was titled “Signature Event Context.” Get it? Because S.E.C. spells sec, which is French for dry! Because his writing was so impossibly dry! Ughhh. He spent a lot of time agonizing over iterability, which… I dunno man. But this is how scholars talk about it, and I dare you to get past a sentence or two, much less both paragraphs:

iterability

Theory: this writer is wildly disguising the fact that he doesn’t get it, either.

There was also an incomprehensible film about him called Derrida’s Elsewhere. Again, I remember nothing about it now. Absolutely nothing.

Anyway, it was incredibly freeing to learn that I could interpret a text with or without the context of history, authorial intention, language, etc., depending on my relationship to the text and what I was using it to illustrate. But oh, we suffered for those revelations! And we studied our asses off, because we did not want to disappoint our great and wonderful Jody.

Long story short, in a delirious haze of studying, a friend of mine and I conceptualized a series of comic strips about Jacques Derrida, which we gifted to our teacher at the end of the class (um and she LOVED THEM). The running gag is that Derrida keeps trying to get out of paying for his breakfast by using literary theory, and his frazzled waitress, Debbie, is tired of his shit.

Enjoy! Or smile, kind of puzzled, at what seems like a punchline, but…

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DAMN THIS ITERATION OF EGGS!!

WTF Mythology!

Back in (yikes) 2011, a friend and I concocted a plan: we were going to co-run a webcomic made up entirely of mythology jokes. We brainstormed a bunch of jokes off the bat, ALL BRILLIANT. Sadly, our schedules never really lined up and the project withered away, though I made a moderate effort at getting it going on my own. I made this crummy Paint logo:

wtf myth logo

I even made a handful of comic strips. The trouble? I can’t draw for shit! My intended partner was the artist in the mix. I am merely a forger of jokes.

So how to get around this obstacle? I set my sights on statues, classical paintings, and stock art. If Ryan North could make thousands of comic strips using the same stock dinosaurs in the same configuration every day, then surely I could find enough mythological figures to fuel a few recurring jokes.

Of course, in retrospect, that couldn’t have worked either because, y’know, copyright law, but it was still wild days on the internet and it didn’t seem unreasonable to pluck a ton of content off a Google image search without bothering to find out where it came from.

Whoops.

I cobbled together a few horrendously bad captioned artworks, which I won’t even share. The only thing remotely funny I managed to make from my limited stolen resources was a series called “Zeus and Hera at Home,” in which Hera confronts Zeus about one of his silly affairs, he denies it, she concocts an unnecessarily elaborate revenge, and he reacts with pained horror. Basically I just loved the expression on this one statue’s face and wanted to use it repeatedly.

My utter lack of drawing ability is a damn shame, because I still have a big file of ideas based on Odin being a dick, Beowulf’s increasingly elaborate bragging, Osiris’s missing penis, and even a dramatization of that one Sumerian story in which a guy has sex with a rock 42 times.

Here you go, the only ones worth posting! If you want to know just how bad the alternative would have been (i.e., me drawing things instead), well… that is a post for another time, cuz yes indeedy I have some comics I made in college and those ones are all literary theory jokes.

Zeus and Hera at Home!

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zeus and hera 3

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