Dreams of Rarebit Myth: In Which I Suffer a Fever and Envision I Am Three Men.

faked by Wednesday, December 13th, 2006


Winsor McKay’s Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend.
Rick Veitch’s Rare Bit Fiends.
Paul Pope’s A Rarebit Fiend: “The dream comic is a mode rather than a genre.”

Updated on 12.14.06: Last nite the Diplomat corraled me at Hal & Mal’s and confessed puzzlement over a panel. Luke Skywalker is the obvious focus of panel two (except in the Sallyverse), and it was generally accepted that Bruce Springsteen was the subject of the third, with multiple people teasing a “Dancing in the Dark” meaning from the shadowed hands.

Most people missed the first panel. I was laid up in bed all day Saturday, wracked with fever, and troubled by dreams—or nightmares—about the writer James Kim, who died last week, not long after his wife and children were found in the Oregon wilderness.

In the dream I was either with James, or was James; I cannot recall. But I vividly remember clutching at snow-covered branches and pushing them from my way as I walked along the banks of a river.

As my fever warped and stuttered, the nightmares fell away, and I was comforted by the myths of my childhood. Then Jedis fell way to more recent myths, and the dog-eared copy of Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia nestled underneath a crush of yellowing New Yorkers and seventies Legion of Super-Heroes slid into my consciousness.

Thus the hands are not those of Bruce and an elfish Courtney Cox dancing onstage in Birmingham, but literal (if tiny) recreations of the hand paintings in la Cueva de las Manos in Argentina. Mine were just little pieces of cut-out paper with India ink atomized across them—a little too densely, I fear.

Loss, redemption, permanence.

8 Responses to “Dreams of Rarebit Myth: In Which I Suffer a Fever and Envision I Am Three Men.”

  1. Illness is good for you, I do believe—this is lovely. Except I’m feeling stupid for not knowing which James this is. Love the Bruce panel—hands reaching out of the darkness of the crowd, hoping to be pulled out of the dark to dance in it? The detail work in panel two is reasonably awesome as well.

  2. Sally says:

    Without the names, I would guess:

    Santa Claus
    Dale Earnhardt
    Michael Jackson

  3. The Diplomat says:

    dude, you’re the heaviest.

    so let me set this level: Loss, redemption, permanence…fine. all good and well. “Dreams of Rarebit Myth” refers back to the dream-nature of Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend, fine on that count too, but don’t you think that you might yourself be the rarebit fiend? I mean, Welsh rarebit, or rabbit, is nothing of the sort. it’s effin beery cheese on toast, just the kind of thing you’d order at Fenian’s while all your friends busily beef-ate. You dream lusty dreams for bacon bits and pies shepherd, that you deny yourself when waked. It’s the same reason you became a lawyer, I think. I think too that I may still be drunk. Nevermind this.

  4. The Diplomat says:

    ps – can I have this strip?

  5. Dr. Wagner says:

    Dale Earnhardt? Where’s that from?!

  6. d-ashes says:

    Excellent, Gorjus…

    The highest fever I’ve ever had in my life was 104°, experienced on the lower bunk of my room in the Pike Haus @ Millsaps, which was on the floor. At one point I looked across the room, along the floor, and saw a covered wagon about 2 feet tall being pulled by a single, 1.5 foot tall turkey. That’s when I decided it was probably time to go to the doctor.

    Not quite as epic or artistic as your fever journey, but it definitely qualifies as my most fervent Pike Haus hallucination, and that’s saying something.

  7. Sally says:

    Wagner, it’s the driving glove that “Luke” is wearing. Mr. Earnhardt’s race car has broken down, and he is using that fancy flashlight to look under the hood.


  8. vendela says:

    without the names, i think it would look like a kid climing a tree and then that kid’s hand as a man at work…maybe as an electrician, and then the last panel is the man’s ghost print which means he died. childhood-adulthood-death. or somethign. i like sally’s better.