Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Land of Cokaygne

Imagine my surprise when Anu Garg's Word of the Day today was "Cockaigne!" I've spent this week and the better part of last working on an awesome 4-page comic based on an anonymous 14th century poem about said mystical land of earthly pleasures. See below!

This is for Stumptown Underground's June issue, which has the theme of "myth/folk tales/fairy tales." If this submission don't get accepted, I'll eat my hat! I really busted my patootie on this one.

Back in 2005-2006, when I was a senior at Columbia University, I attempted to write a thesis paper on the poetry of the Goliards, semi-mythical wandering, drunken scholars of the later middle ages, probably best known from the Carmina Burana. I even learned medieval Latin so I could read their doggerel in the original! But no thesis came of it, and maybe from this comic you can see why. It's just a bunch of crazy nonsense! I lost credit from the course and almost didn't graduate :-(

The text of the poetry portion of the comic was freely edited by me based on the original Middle English and two modern translations, all available here. (WARNING: The sex in the original poem is much less consensual than what I've depicted here. Even so, I recommend you give it a read, as there are many beautiful and hilarious parts I had to leave out of the comic for space considerations.)

1 comment:

  1. Me like. I'm wondering if I'm getting the right impression when you switch from your Apostrophobic style to a more gritty and real style (small complaint, the wrist on the sleeping worker seems a bit thin). Pining for your salad days? (I kid, kind of)

    Also, Does Cockaigne have any etymological significance to everyone's favorite thing to do with a hundred dollar bill?


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