I'm halfway through this March Madness mission (whoop whoop! Achievement!) and so decided it was high time I threw all logic and reason to the wind and got really irreverent and odd. I thought about psychedelic art and how cool vintage picture books that use surreal, phantasmagorical and other 'out there' imagery are. Why does everything have to be logical? Why does everything have to be clear cut, rational and easily understood? Why haven't I written anything really, terrifyingly obscure, hyper-bizarre and ber-arty yet on this picture book quest?
I've got anthropomorphic apes escaping from Alcatraz and the notorious Casanova Croissant causing scandal on the cusp of the French Revolution (my favourite tale so far) but they're all existing as surreal elements within a logical framework in the fetters of realism. Eager to get avant-garde and smash rulebooks, today I've scripted up a story that's tentatively titled "Algebra Zebra and Other Mind-Expanding Mathematical Mysteries". It's not avant-garde but it's certainly surreal and it offers up the opportunity for an artist to spew out a whole load of psychedelic imagery and wondrous weirdness.
The story - if you can call it that - centres around a schoolgirl who struggles with maths and consequently finds herself being instructed in algebra by Algebra Zebra. She doesn't understand his formulae, so Crabman Arithmeticklish the crustaceo-schoolmaster hybrid shows up and initiates the "special mathmagick treatment" which is like an acid trip through technicolour landscapes of numbers, mathematical symbols, dream beings and all sorts of psychedelic bizarro craziness. Logic and 'real order' is not relevant here - I want it to roll out like a maths lesson composed by someone who's overdosing on LSD or whose mind has been possessed by Adventure Time.
It's been so much fun to write (I get the biggest kick out of scripting up the off-the-wall outrageous stuff) and if I was lucky enough to find an artist who could deliver Yellow Submarine-style visions of otherworldly, imaginative absurdity it'd be brilliant.
I might just keep on channeling 'batshit crazy' from hereon in. Nonsense stories and surrealism have the most appeal to me and I know at some point I'll see if I can conjure up a completely avant-garde tale. It all just makes me wish there were more in the way of bizarre art picture books on the shelves of book shops and that I'd had a psychtoic zebra as a maths teacher when I was in high school. A few hallucinogenic trips would've really helped me understand trigonometry...