Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Curious Contents of Canopic Jars

This morning I found hidden within the canopic jar I purchased from an antiques dealer last Wednesday (whose shop has since vanished altogether, by the way) an epistolary of singular interest. Normally, I would not dare inspect the contents of such a vessel; let me be quite clear upon that distinction. My discovery was made solely upon the clumsiness with which I attempted to relieve the artifact of dust, which resulted in its subsequent enterprise to the checkered floor so fine for walking yet so destructive to a clay proprietor of the dead. To my bewilderment, that which revealed itself from out the rubble of pottery was not in fact, the ancient sand of gore but a folded bit of tanned paper bearing the initials S.S. I reflected a moment and considered the situation. It seemed the only logical counter to such an event would be to inspect the paper and observe its contents, which I did, but leisurely, so as not to appear too eager. I observed a single record in what seemed to be part of either a correspondence to a friend, an imaginary friend, or simply an entry in the authour’s own diary if he had one. If he hadn’t, I would suspect the former two possibilities suggested – unless the writer decided upon keeping a journal that very day and this was the start of his chronicle. In either event, the entry itself is unquestionably strange. It runs thus:

October 22nd, 1889

Shipment received from Cairo last evening was discovered empty this morning. Why, oh why did I wait to inspect it? At the o’clock of it’s arrival I had been late for a lecture in Paisley’s By The Sea and settled upon opening it in the morning. As I reached the foot of the stair the following day I observed the box had been opened, seemingly from within, and the contents missing.

I have since discovered curious tracks leading from the grounds into the moor. I shall investigate directly.

That was all that had been recorded. The significance of its contents is objective, and indeed, the mystery presented is very plausibly of natural instigation. Though the fever that haunts my brain naturally suggests otherwise.


Illustration © 2011 by J.E.Larson

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Bat-Man Mystery

What melodramatic melodies the dread shadow of the Bat-Man plays upon the walls of an Old Dark House! That fearsome creature of the night created by the adventurous mind of Bob Kane in 1939 is silhouetted perfectly within the looming door frames and rain-soaked windows of a ghostly estate. It is this pairing of character and setting, which is so uncannily suited to one another, that inspires these series of images.


Batman is a registered trademark of DC Comics

Batman created by Bob Kane

Illustrations © 2011 by J.E.Larson

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dreaded Dance of the Hamburglar

From this morning's Mysterious Missives of Mystery:

Last evening at tea this paper accepted a parcel containing intelligence of a singularly provoking nature. The dispatch was authoured by none other than the distinguished Mayor McCheese – that merry magniloquent hitherto silent for so many years. It is true that communication from the strange and bewildering region of McDonaldland has been scarce if not entirely nonexistent, and that the authenticity of any news claiming origin to its boundaries may certainly be subject to ribald incredulity and utter disbelief. My own skepticism concerning this delivery was given not a nail to revolt as the dispatch bore the unmistakable seal of the good mayor’s office. In tones of great dismay (adjudged audibly as the message was set to a wax cylinder cleverly disguised as an oversized roll of Necco Wafers) the good mayor confessed his morose temperament was the result of the reappearance of one thought deceased some time ago following an illogical campaign of evil deeds limited to the purloining of hamburgers and confounding victims with incomprehensible mutterings garbled beyond any method of deciphering. Hamburglar! What nightmares that name conjures! Many suspected the inexplicable dialect of the rogue was either a tactic of terror, or a separate language altogether. In either event, the villain’s speech has never been understood by any living soul save the dread Captain Crook, who is believed to have been lost at sea soon after the bandit’s supposed execution. After which a less fiendish and more lovable personage usurped the primary scoundral's status as his corpse was presumably laid to rest in the McDonaldland Cemetery.

The incoherent and illogical fiend known as the Hamburglar is suspected to have resurfaced, quite literally, after nearly twenty-five years of supposed interment. It is now attested that a wave of burglaries has commenced in the region of McDonaldland which are in character suspiciously similar to those previously implemented by the muttering miscreant long ago.

Suspicions of his return prompted the exhumation of his grave under the supervision of the rogue's capturer, Officer Big Mac. Attendants looked on in horror as the villain's coffin was unearthed and opened to reveal a wax dummy attired in his trademark stripes and cloak.

Where the villain had secluded himself these great many years is open to the wildest of conjecture. What is known with relative certainty is that the original Hamburglar has returned to haunt the shadows of McDonaldland, and heaven help any unsuspecting hamburger.

* * * * * * * * * *

In truth I have always been fond of the Hamburglar, as well as the entire cast of McDonaldland. The representation of the character in the early eighties is what I remember most clearly, and as a child I was delighted at how spooky he was then. The illustration below was inspired by these memories and of the Hamburglar's portrayal at that time.

Robble, Robble.