May 26th, 2006
It is well-known that on a certain evening in Hamburg, a summer night in 18__, a concert was held which permanently afflicted all in attendance gravely and irreversibly. No one knows—or will tell—how such a collection of instruments were made to play in harmony; no one knows—or will tell—how such dumb constructs of wood, brass, and bone came to possess such powers as they had.
Some whisper that the Devil himself was the conductor that night; others say no, it was merely a man (Herr Manfred Fleigruben, of the Hamburg Academy, according to the programme) who somehow picked up Charon’s baton instead of his own. No person who attended the concert could ever shake the shadow of despair from their shoulders henceforth, and many became wretches from that evening till the grave.
In the years since the incident, no full account has been made of the particulars. Contemporaneous articles speak vaguely of the concert’s ‘effect’, or allude cryptically to its ‘consequence’. The sole surviving copy of the programme in the Royal Library has now faded into illegibility, presumably due to poor paper-storage protocols in that darkest sub-basement of the Reference Archive.
It is said that all attendees of the concert died childless—even those who had already had children. The concert hall itself burned to the ground within a month; Germany was at war with France within the year.
Yet tales remain. Forensic analysis of surviving roof-beams (long since up-cycled into Frankfurt dining-tables) have revealed minute vibrational impressions left in the soft Bavarian wood. Eight years ago, a stack of copper photogravures from that night was unearthed in a Helsinki flea-market, labelled simply as ‘ihmisiä musiikilla’. And time-travelling tourists have left no end of oblique references to the event in various classified advertisements throughout the decades.
Like many of the marvels from before the age of film and electronics, the concert exists as a ghostly impression upon history, an ill-remembered, fading scar on humanity’s craggy, lumpen corpus. We shall spend one year opening that wound to see what jewels it may contain.
Here, for the first and only time, is what was heard on that evening, a night black, without any stars.
They’re here. They’re beautiful. Shipping now.
Our store closes for the year after Friday, December 19.
Those of you who subscribed to Cards Against Humanity’s special Ten Days Or Whatever Of Kwanzaa promotion this year will be receiving a special Funny Pages Zine — a newspaper comics section with a bunch of holiday-themed comic strips in it!
This year I was honored to be asked to participate as well. Here’s a preview of the comic I made:
You can read the whole thing here!
All of this year’s (and last year’s) comics are on the Funny Pages Zine tumblr.
OBLIGATORY CALENDAR UPDATE: As of this writing, 57 copies remain.
The 2015 calendar is off to print! I’m really proud of it!! (Click these images for a closer look)
I drew 29 pictures of weird orchestra members, and my regular collaborator Max Shepard has painted them. They look pretty sweet. And of course there is a story too — the terrible, forgotten legend of the Concert of Conscience.
If you’re not familiar, the annual calendar is a tradition around here. It started way back in December 2007 when I decided I wanted to make a calendar, and because calendars are only really useful for a short time, I figured I’d make it limited-edition (and thus SUPER FANCY).
The 2008-2012 calendars were hand-screenprinted; then, for the 2013 edition, I changed over to the hook-based, two-cards-up “progressive” design, and a watercolor aesthetic.
As of this writing, only 82 calendars remain (of the limited run of 250). All calendars are individually signed & numbered. We expect to start shipping them within 7 days. Get yours now!
Over at my TopatoCo store I’ve got a bunch of rad stuff too, including this new mug:
Based, of course, on this classic comic about drug addiction.
TopatoCo has a million packages a minute moving through their hands, so they have set up a series of very precise shipping deadlines worth taking a look at!
I can’t personally 100% guarantee anything will arrive before Christmas because the post office is bananas, but we are definitely shipping as fast as we can and hoping for the best!
I hope we got some stuff you want