Roots and Beginnings - “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
In which a book created expressly for children contains a perfect, and perfectly adult, nightmare. I read “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe’s masterpiece of meticulously planned and executed cruelty, in Tales of Mystery and Terror, a collection of several Poe stories abridged for young readers by Marjorie P. Katz and illustrated by the studio of Conan comics veteran Pablo Marcos. That means that someone, or a series of someones, thought it was a good idea to offer elementary schoolers access to a story in which a man avenges an insult by bamboozling a drunk into the catacombs below his house, locking him in chains, walling him up alive while mocking his pleas for mercy, and leaving him to die a slow and agonizing death. Thanks, Scholastic Book Fair!
No, really, thank you, because I can think of few other stories that set my imagination on fire like this one. I think it can do a mostly tender mind good to contemplate the worst-case scenario, a horror without possibility of a happy ending. That’s an emotional black rainbow, a whole spectrum of dark thoughts and behaviors and images impossible to access any other way, and young brains are ravenous brains. I’ll never forget the image above, of desperate Fortunato peering out of a single hole in the wall, a hole about to be filled. Or the jingling of his bells when his captor Montresor drops the torch into the alcove before he walls it up for good. Or his carnival costume, making him look as foolish and ineffectual as Montresor secretly knows him to be. Or Katz’s helpful translations of the story’s Latin phrases: “Nemo me impune lacessit / Let him who would offend me beware!” “In pace recquiescat / Let him rest in peace!” Or Fortunato’s broken, sad laughter when he realizes there’s no escape. Or most especially his desperate plea — “For the love of God, Montresor!” — meeting an answer as cold and blank and impenetrable as that wall — “Yes, for the love of God.”
That’s the moment when you realize what’s truly frightening about being left at the mercy of another person: Their definition of mercy may be wholly alien to your own, rendering your struggles not just fruitless but meaningless. The intensity of these ideas and images is almost sensual — damp stone, muffled screams, work sweat, torchlight, the sound of bells jingling in the dark.
Taxi Comic - 2 pager for the upcoming “Pixar’s Cars Comic” by myself, Mickey Z and Patrick K
preview page from short comic for 2012 MONSTER anthology
This Actually Happens A Lot
My fourth year film at CalArts
Whoot!!!! Go TOM!!
Seriously guys, check out his work. Tom’s story telling sensibilities are really genuine
This is really good. It’s so full of charm too!
I thought this was really great!
Loads of sketches!:3
Click to view larger (in DA)