Saturday, June 05, 2004


I was searching in my incredibly messy apartment for an old issue of The Comics Journal when I came across an old "comic book" that I'd forgotten about: Lex Eicon and the Numerologist, by Jerome McDonough and Michael H. Price. I put "comic book" in quotes because, although it's in a comic-book format, it's not actually comics. It consists of thirty-seven unconnected (with one exception) prose vignettes or prose poems (they're too fragmentary to be called stories) by McDonough, one for each letter of the alphabet ("Lex Eicon," get it?) and digit and one extra. Each of the vignettes has an illustration by Price, but the vignettes seem to have been conceived independently of the illustrations. Here's the complete text of "3":

"We call them Faith, Hope, and Charity," beamed the father of the dainty, dancing dollies.
"That may be great in Little Rock," grumbled the cigar-spittle-covered agent, "but they won't take it in Queens."
The shadow of a frown nearly creased the smile-encrusted face of a dolly.

Some of the vignettes are longer, but they're all similarly puzzling and inconclusive. And yet the book, and McDonough's language, has a strange fascination. Doing a Google search for "Lex Eicon and the Numerologist" brings up several places it can be ordered from.

McDonough seems to have primarily written plays for teenagers. I wasn't able to find any of his plays in any of the libraries I have access to, but from the bits I could gather about them on the Web, they don't sound particularly interesting, unlike Lex Eicon (which was originally written in 1973, though only published in 1996).

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