Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Would Prefer To Not Be Disfigured

Penelope Tree, From Wiki:
"John Lennon, asked to encapsulate Tree in three words, called her, "Hot, Hot, Hot, Smart, Smart, Smart!" She has been extensively compared to The Beatles for inspiring the swinging 60's movement and for galvanizing a generation of young American females. Scars from late-onset acne ended her career in the early 1970s: "I went from being sought-after to being shunned because nobody could bear to talk about the way I looked."[2]"

Penelope Tree is kind of a decent starter gun for this topic. At least as good as any. Relevant in as much as she was the muse for my Fashion Pirate piece of artwork. In a lot of ways, she sort of incapuslates in her biography, why I am personally so drawn to beauty in my work. It's something I think about from time to time, beyond my comics and into my life, because it does come up. Both in terms of how I feel about myself, and how I feel about others-- And really how I sort of asymetrically stack my weirdo queerdo values.

What stands out to me about Tree, beyond her otherworldy beauty, is the fleeting nature of that beauty. There's a horror in her story that mixes with the intoxicating high of her aesthetics, that fully reasonates with me. This notion of disfigurement leading to isolation and abandonment, and almost a horrific loss of status--is definitely a leading phobia in my life, and in some ways my work. I feel like beauty is intrinsically horrific, mean-spirited, and destructive. But it's also defiant. It struggles up against time and incidence, and tries to latch on for as long as possible. But it does leave. Even if nothing happens. One minute you're Farah Fawcett, the next minute you look like my grandma. And with that comes a resignation and re-evaluation of worth. A delusion that comes by way of survival.

I think it's no shock that when you see someone beautiful, you're reaction is the same as if you bumped into a frankenstein monster. You gasp. You lose some measure of courage. And the part of you that wants to keep moving is losing the battle to the part of you that keeps looking back. I think this is one of the reasons why more often than in any genre, horror relies on an attractive lead. It's also no suprise that the Italians knew this best in their Giallo films. I don't know if that's a simplistic read on it or not. But it probably works okayish for this point.

As for me personally, in my work, I think my views on beauty also are influenced by the aesthetics of beauty that most appeal to me, which do tend to be largely eccentric alien looking actors or models. Or it's vice versa, and the aesthetics I'm drawn to have to do with an overarching sense of detatchment and weirdness. I'm kind of rambling now, because I'm hungry on food. So I might come back to this and try to tease out what I'm talking about.

This all came from some thought I had in a car about beauty being horrifying, and how I fear getting old or disfigured, or ugly, and being shunned, and that the Penelope Tree bio sort of has a lot of elements of my worst fears in it. And I think a lot of my conceptions of beauty, and projections of it, have to do with those fears. Beauty that is either internally or externally disfiguring into isolation. Yeah. I'd say that's a decently large theme in most of my comic work I've been doing the last several years.

So yeah.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Interview with Moi

Someone decided they wanted to interview me, which I know must seem like a completely mad prospect. The results of this debacle are here:

Aris Asks: Aris Asks Sarah Horrocks

If you ever wanted to see someone gush about Jamie Mckelvie and David Lafuente art, this is the interview for you.

I also touch on why in the world I'm into superheroes, which is actually a longer tangent I need to throw in this blog, because it's something I've thought a lot about, and I think it explains why superheroes matter.

Also I talk about your mother.

26. So what's next?

Like I said, this year I've got about three major things on my agenda. Right now I'm just doing the writing, and then from June until December,I'll be locking myself in somewhere and doing the art for said books. Oneof them is a book about Western-Bondage. Another is about Ghosts, Zombies,and a boy with a Lampshade on his head in the future. Both of those aregoing to be between 3-5 issues that I'll put out somewhere, some way. Sothey are quite long all things considered. I'm also doing another webcomicthis year which will be much shorter than Ophelia, the idea right now is todo it in a series of pods that are small and self-contained, but combine atthe beginning and end, like how Morrison did Seven Soldiers. But muchsmaller. Probably 30 pages total for the whole thing. And much moreconducive to being read in short bites on the web. Those are the things I'mdoing for sure. I also have some projects with other artists that couldtrickle out here or there, I'm not for sure. I do plan to get a comicI'vebeen sitting on for about a year now about James and Dolly Madison--I planto get that out there in some form. But yeah, it's going to be another busyyear.

27. Last minute plugs?

Of course! One of the places I actually donate money to, and spend timewith--that's actually beyond my general state of selfishness is This is a site run by my friend Bernard Dolan. Itis this amazing corporate watchdog site, where you can type in pretty muchany company you want to know about, and find out how they rate across humanrights, workers rights, environment--those type of things. So you can getinformation on the companies that you are putting money to. Money is thebiggest voting block in America right now, and you can't really beparticipating fully if you're not in possession of information. This sitegives you that. Plus, I'd ask anyone if they have the time or inclinationto see if they can help with some of the wikis for various companies. Ifyou're a research nerd and like looking things like this up--it's the sitefor you. Its good people, who work really hard, and an extremely importantproject from my vantage point. Check it out! Oh also. Buy Phonogram theSingles Club! I'm not really affiliated with Keiron or Jamie. I'm justsaying as a lover of comic books, support this book. I say it almostselfishly because I want them to continue to make these books and I wantJamie McKelvie to become fat and rich. Plus it's an extremely great book.And in a time when so many books aren't giving you value for your buck, thisbook does it in spades. There's no ads in it. It's just chockfull offantastic stories and talent. If floppies have a big future, it's becauseof books like this. Plus, the concept is super cool, and the extras are forthe floppies only.
Go read it in it's entirety, and subscribe to Aris's blog. Few people love comics more than him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


This was quite fun, though I'm still sort of trying to get the hang of it.

Masks-Gothic by mercurialblonde featuring Balenciaga bags

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fashion: Fall 09 -- Bruises and the Fetishized Superhero

Yes so, I do this each season, at least I have been doing it the last few seasons. Just because I'm a huge nerd, and I like fashion and find it to be one of the artistic mediums that does inspire me in my writing, yada yada.

First off, I've got about 71 looks I pulled from the runways, that are over on my flickr. If you just want to scroll through a more comprenhensive dose of my tastes.

Flickr Looks Fall 09

Second off, my generalized reactions to this season. Honestly, it was pretty depressing. And that made me mad. Yes I get it we are in a depression, and everyone wants to be sensative to that. But fashion can be so uplifting and inspiring--put on a damn show damnit! Most of the clothes aren't accessible for the general population anyways. The least you could do is put on a show that we can all still enjoy. I found much of the season, especially New York and London, to be entirely too reserved and safe. The colors for Fall are black and blue, which not unsuprisingly are the same colors of a bruise. Which is appropriate because so much of the industry is acting like a beaten puppy. Grrrr.

That said, there were a lot of things I really liked. There's this whole vein of superhero inspired ideas that gets the comic book fan in me excited. From the mad scientist gloves, to the body suits, to the boots, to the masks--a lot of these looks could go right off the runway to fighting crime. Which I think is neato. But again, that's because I'm super lame.

EDIT: Leather was also way in. Which, I can sort of appreciate, but as with furs, it's not something I have any interest in wearing, and any appreciation I have for furs or leather, is tempered by my hatred of it. I'm good with fake leather or fake fur. But real leather or real fur, is fucking stupid. Anyways.

Anyways. Here are the shows with some pics, that I liked most. Which again, if you want to see more, go to my flickr for that.

Or go to and see the complete collections. I think is a tremendous resource. They have videos of a lot of the shows, and they have a huge database going back some years, so you can really see how a designer has progressed, and put the work in context. I also think their reviews are generally fun to read, even if they tend to be overly positive. But I do think they give you a good idea of what went on. Anyways. I can't say enough. I like that site a lot, and it makes me happy that they do it.

1. Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 09
his was far and away my favorite show of the season. And I realize after the big deal I made over western bondage last season, to pick another show built around subtle bondage flourishes, makes me suspect. But I really thought almost everything that came down the runway in this show was amazing. To me this is "Superhero-bondage Chic". And in a season where so little truly stood out, this one definitely did.

2. Fendi 09
or whatever reason, I tend to not enjoy the Italian shows as much as I would want. And honestly, I do feel a little guilty picking like....three Karl Lagerfeld shows. It's probably super cliche, and super trite. But the man is a fucking genius. And his own personal style is so amazing. To me he's the Mick Jagger, Chuck D, Bob Dylan of Fashion. Anyways. This was my second favorite show. It had a very warrior vibe, and unlike a lot of designers Karl wasn't scared of showing some color. And it really worked. The red dress and leather leg warmers was maybe my favorite look of the entire season. It's just so badass.

3. Marni
I'm a fan of all things Marni. It's my favorite line, and I love Consuelo Castiglioni. Her sensibilities are just so RIGHT. To me anyways. Fall 09 wasn't as love at first sight as Spring 09 for me. But this is kind of a grown up mature Marni, that still retains the things I like about it. It's still quitisentially Marni, but in a very grown up chic way this season. Which I still enjoyed. I'd also add that you saw the knee high socks with sandals look that was hugely featered in Marni's spring show, all over the place this season. And then I'd also chuck in that Consuelo is also on the mad scientist glove crazy train. Just saying. Her sense of what's right, in any given time period, perfectly jives with my moods.

4. Dries Van Noten
I honestly don't know if I liked this, or was made to like it, or what. My initial reaction was kind of meh. But it's a collection I keep coming back to and liking. It's just so pure. Everything is at it's essence. And again, in a season of blacks and blues, it was so nice to see color done this way.

5. Topshop Unique Fall 09
eah. Topshop. For whatever reason, they rolled out a really great collection, that I felt was both really with it, in terms of the trends I like right now, and still advanced those sufficiently to interest me. To me their collection was like space alien 80s cool. They also had lots of color, and shine. I love this coat by the way.

6. Tao Fall 09
ohn Galliano kind of was on this tip for his show as well. Which was kind of this russian, scandanavian folkloric style. I think Tao did it best. Pretty nifty stuff.

7. Karl Lagerfeld
already covered this, but I love this man. While a lot of people were trapped in the 80s this season(Marc Jacobs), Karl does this crazy blade runner 2099 helmet madness, with these soft beautiful touches pushed in. My favorite thing from this collection is the pants/leggings. They are just the right level of looseness, and the right material, they just made everything look tremendous.

8. Chanel
ast Lagerfeld I think. I always love seeing where Chanel ends and Lagerfeld begins. I felt like this collection was just a stream of little Lagerfeld's going down the runway. I think the Chanel end of it, really adds a polish and chicness to Karl's ideas, and you get these just really cool, but classic looks. Oh yeah, and the almost Kirby/New Gods-like Bodysuits should impress any nerds that are still reading this blog.

9. John Galliano Fall 09
ometimes I wonder if I just like Galliano in theory. A lot of his stuff, I feel should move me, and it just doesn't. At any rate, here's what I was talking about in relation to Tao. Don't get me wrong though, I like a lot of his stuff. I just don't LOOOOVVE it. I do like these red flourishes with the blue though. To his credit too, this, Hermes, and Dior--none of these shows were timid.

10. Alexander Mcqueen Fall 09
his is the perfect collection to end with. Defiant, angry, beaten down. Alexander McQueen's collection for Fall had this brilliant "fuck you ness" to it, while also fully feeling the weight of tragic destruction. This was a show that was more a commentary on the state of fashion. And it was pretty horrific. To some extent, I think McQueen had the definitive word for how I'll remember Fall 09. And just this depression era in general.

Some honorable mentions: The gloves at Proenza Schouler , Fucking Crazy Prada, The Marc Jacobs I really like: Louis Vuitton, Louise Brooks references at Dior, and Vivienne Westwood, just because.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This is a video of my friend B. Dolan performing a death defying leap as Evel Knieval at the Paid Dues Festival(and a few other places). It's sort of the proto-performance of what would become Skycycle Blues, which is one of my very favorite things, I've ever experienced.

Anyways. It's really awesome, and most of the people who read this probably have already seen it. Still. Thought I'd share it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kiss Kiss Go Go: Completed

So this is a comic I made over christmas called Kiss Kiss Go Go Comic. The whole reason for it, was to capture momentum. To do something fast, and quick--with lots of action and romance. Sort of the polar opposite of Ophelia. Initially I was going to send it out to friends in a small printing as a New Years card. But as it's nearly March, and I'm much for those plans. Plus I am not sure I like it as much as Ophelia honestly. But it's still pretty fun.

Anyways. Right now the only ways to get it are going to my flickr and reading it as a set there:

Kiss Kiss Go Go Set

Just look at the images here or on my work blog.

Or if you are a .cbr fan, I have one of those files too, which I can email you, if you send me some mail at mercurialblonde at gmail dot com.