The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

From the Sketch Book of Lawson Wood #2

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The Lament

3 comments :

Vanwall said...

It's interesting to see this selection of Wood's, and the first for that matter - the usual stuff here in the States has been the more commercial offerings. I wasn't aware of this side of his work - nice brushwork and composition, with a bit of a dark side subject- not as cartoony.

Richard Gibson said...

Hey Rob, I'd never heard of this guy, when I picked up these images I did a quick search and was suprised how prolific he was and how he has a very distinct style, dark side - yes.

How did you come to hear about him?

Vanwall said...

I attempted the career of illustrator in my youth, until I had to eat regular. Wood was a very funny, sometimes cruelly so, cartoonist and painter that was one of that particularly English syle of comics prevelant from the turn of century (Ahem, 20th!) thru the the Second World War - Ally Sloper's 'Alf 'Oliday, Weary Willie and Tired Tim, Puck; Comic Cuts with Tom, the Ticket-of-Leave Man; Dan Leno's; Chips; Beano - Wood and all these others can kind of blend together, altho Wood was distinctive enough to work the higher level mags. I was fortunate to run across the Penguin Book of Comics back then, which led to much research into the English end of the illo world. Wood's humorous stuff could be seen here in the States if you worked hard enough looking, but it wasn't easy.

His monkey pieces were the most common, as they were viewed as most "common", and I wondered how much of an anti-social streak he had - the caveman stuff was using a pretty buckshot approach to commentary. These latest you've found are more painterly, and I'm glad you're digging them up - Wood deserves a bit of exposure.

BCNU