Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Take Care"

The final "Mr. Saturnhead" strip is a fitting conclusion, at once tipping its hat to previous themes (e.g., the "dream job" recalls the employment anxiety of "Occupational Hazard") and holding out hope for the future. The movement from despair to a life "full of possibilities" is swift and potent, but this text-heavy send-off transcends valedictory sniffles by featuring one of the funniest Saturnhead panels ever—#3, which suggests a whole secret universe of nonexistent Van Morrison albums. Only one full title is visible; the adumbrated album name cut off by the right border is apparently "Gypsy Jigmeister—Live!" The strip's title, however, comes from Big Star's Third, an album the artist listened to incessantly at the time.

A previously unseen fair copy has also been reproduced above. Significantly, the final panel is blank—an equally resonant farewell. The sun-window combination is drawn twice, as are practice runs for the puddle (panel 1) and upturned face (panel 4). The marginalia in the upper-righthand corner (cut off due to scanner limitations) reads in full: Can I trust you pen. It's a poignant glimpse of the artist beseeching his materials for one last good go.

The Yale Herald, April 24, 1992 (Vol. XIII, No. 13)


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