A few words about this presentation. The verbal part had a romantic beginning. I was obsessing over the rhythms of Korney Chukovsky’s poem “Telephone.” Suddenly—very suddenly—occurred to me the first rhymes of what I thought might be an existential masterpiece: “Long time ago there was … a fuzz.” Note the Russian accent. A great deal more came to me all at once. I was in the car. I felt frightened. I thought I might forget. So I uncapped a marker and wrote what I could on a box that was conveniently in the passenger seat. This is a true story. I kept writing more at stop lights, all the way to Chipotle. More came out on napkins there, but that stuff was trash and I cut it. Time I got to my office at school, I had “The Fuzz” that you see below, intact. And I was in a sweat to share it with the world. Over the next few days, I developed illustrations. These had no merit, but I sent ’em to people anyway. People all over the world: little kids, infirm persons. Part two of this story is where I turned to a real illustrator. I know her slightly. She is one of the good ones in Chicago. I had just read her graphic novel, Chronicles of Fortune, in transports of delight, on an airplane. I doubted she would be able to find time to do pictures for “The Fuzz,” as she was six or seven months pregnant and had plenty of other things to do, but voilà, she found the time. I should like to direct your attention to the panel where nobody knows why there was a fuzz. That image is a good meme. The whole thing is memes, all the way down. What else shall I tell you? I plan on writing another piece like “The Fuzz,” called “The Slime” (“Once upon a time … was a slime”). ’Til then, wishing everybody a happy 2018.
Anthony Madrid lives in Victoria, Texas. His second book is Try Never. He is a correspondent for the Daily.
Coco Picard is a writer, publisher, and curator. She is the executive director of the Green Lantern Press and the codirector of Sector 2337. She is the author of the graphic novel The Chronicles of Fortune. TSK, a novel inspired by the ghost of Joseph Beuys, is forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2019.