Saturday, August 26, 2006

"A Chair in the Room Is Worth $25–30"


The artistic life is often referenced in "Mr. Saturnhead," usually on a meta-level; in this strip, isolation is seen as a precondition to creation. Alas, the wordy setup obscures the joke, which is simply that, sans chair, our hero will not be able to write anything of sufficient length to be considered a novel. But the punchline itself is confusing, the title is ungainly, and matters aren't helped by the distracting presence of an odd shape on the floor in the first panel. (Was it added after the appearance of the lightbulb in the fourth?) Still, the writing-as-imprisonment theme has an indestructible appeal, perhaps expressed best in the depopulated second panel.

—From The Yale Herald, January 18, 1991 (Vol. XI, issue 1)

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