Q&A with Bry
Q: So Bry, did you google “elephants” to do this?
Wait. First, right off the bat, can I let the people reading this know that there’s a free pdf or jpg they can download?
Q: Nog did the same exact thing when we interviewed. He gave away Hell online.
We talked about that one night, both doing that. So he did, great. Okay, it’s sitting here at this link at our other site, smallwhisky.com, the old non-commerce site. You can download the Elephants, print it out, and tape it together if you can’t afford to buy it. If you can afford to buy it, great. But if you can’t, print it out, put it together, and stick it up somewhere. It’s perfect for a pub, I think.
Q: ...Where were we?
Yes. I did towards the end google “elephants” to round this up to 118. But I’d been squirreling away elephant references since forever. High school. I mean every other kid sitting in chemistry class totally disengaged must stare at the Periodic Table of the Elements and substitute Elephants in his head, right?
Her head. So it always seemed like something I should actually follow up on, a Table of the Elephants. I shouldn’t’ve been surprised when I finally last month googled Table of the Elephants to see dozens out there. But most of them don’t discard the elements motif entirely. And I’m glad I had an excuse to sit down and make myself draw lots of little elephants.
Also I want to mention the 5x4 is slightly different than the 4x3. When I saw the shot on the site of the little girl with the 4x3 in her room, I thought about #67, which is Batir the talking elephant. On the 5x4 print, one of Batir’s word balloons says “penis” because that’s one of the words, in Kazakh, that Batir says. Probably that’s what all the little boys standing at his cage or enclosure or whatever taught him to say. Anyway I left it on the 5x4 but changed it on the 4x3 to “eat.” Childhood innocence is hit on enough in the world, and it’s important to maintain as long as you can these days. I didn’t want to be part of that assault.
Q: Speaking of. You start out with Loxodonts and Oliphants. What’s that about?
Various researchers and elephant enthusiasts have proposed these terms to distinguish the species of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from that of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Loxodont means shallow ridges between the molars.
Oliphant comes from old Greek for ivory. Fortunately there are better ways to tell loxodonts apart from oliphants than going up and looking at their teeth.
Q: What’s with the 11th elephant?
Say it accenting the first syllable, not the second. And make the e soft, not hard.
Q: E-le-venth. E-le… El-eventh. Ow.
Right. Same for the 111th. You try coming up with 118 anything.
Q: What about the other categories?
Cousins are related to elephants by DNA. Eccentrics are basically anomalies that have been documented to some extent. Captives are of course the ways we’ve tried to make money off them. Places speaks for itself. Namesake is all those things people have associated with elephants for one reason or another. Noble, which like Transition is found on the Table of the Elements, is just remarkable people or elephants… I feel like I’m explaining things anyone’d be happier to figure out on their own.
Q: The Rogue category is sad.
It is sad, except for Groucho.
Q: The Desperation category I guess speaks for itself.
I was getting down to the wire.
Q: Anything you find people get stuck on?
Well if you do get stuck or have questions, send me an email care of the site and I’ll get back to you. But let’s see. Snuffleupagus is under Non-Existent because for years on Sesame Street only the kids could see him, not the adults, who believed he didn’t exist; the show changed that to not reinforce issues of abuse kids might know were happening but that adults didn't believe.
Also, Piglet being chased by the Heffalump; he appears elsewhere as well, in three other places.
But do email me if you notice something you want to know more about.
Q: Anything else?
I used to have, under Captives, an entry for Transport. It was of an old VW bus seen from the front, with its front doors open, and with the tire mounted under the windshield. Bryan Frame noted that if you do that and stand out in front from twenty feet away and look at it, it looks sort of like an elephant. (see below) No one ever got that at all in the print drafts. Just before going to press, it occurred to me to my astonishment I’d not in all these years added Elephant Garlic to my list, though I’ve known about it since forever. So I substituted the one for the other.
On my tombstone, I can see it. Blind spot for Elephant Garlic.
Q: And you’re sure you want to just give this away?
I know, little goofy. But Nog and I agree it’s important to share experiences of art more, to look at and talk about them together, and not just send each other YouTube links. Art’s the Krazy Glue that holds the culture together. Things we contemplate together change how we are together.
But yeah, if you want to buy it, that would be good.
Q: Thanks, Bry.