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November 21, 2006



You know, not so much in her earlier drawings, but here? Zoe's turning into James Thurber.


with whom is our well-mustached vizier cavorting?


well, here's a go:

the grand vizier has contrived a plot with the king of spain to steal the bat-eared fiend's bowl of prize-winning grapes.

etage the first: the vizier dons his special fly-boots to establish a rapport with the bat-eared fiend while the king of spain, using the skills he learned in college, constructs a rope ladder.

etage the second: the vizier learns that the bat-eared fiend can only look straight if no one but it touches its ring. (secretly, it turns out that removing the ring will induce an epileptic fit in the bat-eared fiend.) so the vizier procures a scimitar from his scimitar shack a couple blocks uptown with which he may remove the aforementioned ring.

etage the third: the king of spain realises that if he and vizier manage their felonious deed their only hope of escape will be through a worm hole. so he sings the bass section of a gregorian chant and, voila, a worm hole has attached itself to the end of his rope ladder.

etage the fourth: they confront the bat-eared fiend whilst it is admiring its prize-winning grapes. the vizier flanks from the left, grabbing the ring, and menacing the bat-eared fiend's hand with his sword. the king of spain arrives from the right and makes a grab at the bowl of prize-winning grapes, when ... DUN DUN DUN!

... the king of spain realises he has no arms and no hands. although this never stopped the homestarrunner from manually manipulating objects, the king of spain not so lucky.

we don't get to find out the rest of the story because zoë has freezed the frame of action, but it looks like the king of spain is trying to get around his predicament by trying to inhale the bowl of grapes.


I am sorry you have not been honored with more competition so far, aaron. Your entry combines the ring of truth with the steady drumbeat of terrible falsehood. Who knows how it will end?

ben wolfson

First let's get straight on the most basic level, identifying the various elements of the pictures. I'll start with the first, because it's traditional. On the right, we already know that we've got the grand vizier; he wears a turtleneck, holds in his right hand a butter knife, or perhaps a curved dagger, and has a downwards-pointing erection. (A derection?)

To his left is a person with no arms from whose shoulders gouts blood, or perhaps a person with gossamer wings. This person has a prominent nose and a self-satisfied smirk, and wears a samurai helmet and unitard emblazoned with a feline visage.

Rightmost, is a tree-shaped person wearing a double dunce cap above which floats a worm with a halo. A comet is careering earthwards to his left, so he has jumped away (hence his distance from the ground) in the hopes of avoiding certain death. A sinister periscope lies directly in the comet's path—who could be spying, and will the spying continue much longer?

It should be noted that flies have attached themselves to the feet of each of the two leftward characters.

I'm not sure what's going on in the scene, but I hope to have cleared some ground for those who come after.

M/tch M/lls

One thing I love about kids' art is the seemingly random attention to certain details that you'll see during a particular phase. I remember in some of Zoë's earlier drawings every person had fingernails (and I think knuckle wrinkles) drawn in. In this one the tied shoelaces stand out.

Great stuff, and that is indeed a nice bonnet.


My guess is comparatively prosaic, but I think it is based on sound deduction. Here goes:

The grand vizier and his girlfriend (whose taste in fashion apparently runs towards clothing with pictures of evil dogs), having tied up the king, are now running off with a great quantity of the king's gold in order to enjoy a shave and a pipe-smoke or cosmetic ear-reduction surgery, respectively.

Wax Banks

The apparent visual pun on 'wormhole' - i.e. a hole with a worm crawling into it, presumably passing through the very fabric of spacetime itself - is presumably Zoe's stylistic nod to Leo Bloom on the beach: 'I. AM. A.' That the pun is high-literary and low-sexual-comedic (torn fabric, wormhole, etc.) might be read by other critics as too facile, long on the entendre and a little short on the, um, 'double.' But casting aspersions on her use of the facilities seems...coarse, somehow.

Also: Zoe made the right choice using Steve Jobs as the model for the Grand Vizier.

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