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Deeper Into My Love Of The Bad

Pursuant to a recent post, wherein I found that santakiko shares my fascination with yellow pages illustrations, I decided to have a look in the Nacogdoches phone book. It cheers me up, OK? I'm not hurting anyone. And now that I know that there is one person in the world who shares my peculiar interest, I feel a little less self-conscious about it.

Anyway, I regret to inform you that standards are rising in the world of yellow pages clip art. I couldn't find anything really mystifyingly bad. I guess that like the loss of biodiversity, it's part of the price we're paying for the new postindustrial media society. But that's okay - we can just learn to find more to appreciate in the three types of potatoes, two species of frogs and only one billion advertising images we have left.


I've been looking at this for several minutes and I still can't tell what those globes in between the A and the 1 are supposed to be. Grapes? Old fashioned streetlights? At first it looked like there was supposed to be a VCR in between the A and the 1, but the slot where the tape goes in would have to also be the hyphen that connects them and I just can't see that kind of visual punning coming from the artist who drew this.

Update: I have been informed that the globes are some ancient medieval symbol of the guild of pawnbroking.


It's hard to find a choking illustration that isn't surreal. This one's just average, really, but I do like the tilted head and quizzical look of illustraton 1. Where are my facial features? he seems to be saying. I also like the specificity of "food-choking".  These signs and symptoms may not apply to persons who have ingested bits of food wrapping.


Babies as advertising icons creep me out. And babies in Native American festoonery, selling carpeting... well I just need an answer. I'm not sure what my question is, but it needs an answer. I'm going to try and forget about this now.


Is that ice... or a great big booger? Is it going to ooze over the Jesus fish? Subtle, I know, but with this disturbing trend toward competence in yellow pages illustration it's getting to where you really have to keep your eyes peeled.


For some reason, local businesses often seem to come in pairs, with similar-looking ads and sometimes (though not in this case) similar-sounding names. But I like the fact that they both use inept but literal line drawings of their work processes. Really creates a sense of excitement about the service. Also clears up any misconceptions you might have about what exactly they do; it's all right there. On the basis of these illustrations, I believe I would go with Martin Brothers. Their concrete all appears to be in the proscribed area, whereas Mr. East Texas Concrete looks like he's trying to clean up a spill with a floor waxing machine.


Another business dyad, but this time they're both using alligators to sell septic systems. I wonder about the roots of this peculiar local custom. It must work if they're both doing it. But why? WHY? And how exactly does Jesus come into the picture?


I like the copy-of-a-copy look of the draftsmanship in this one, particularly in the details of the driver's wrinkled work wear, as contrasted with the blank solidity of the steamroller.  It looks like some other illustration was projected onto a piece of poster board and traced with a sharpie by someone who had never actually drawn before. That's a hard effect to get. Andy Warhol was really good at it. That must be why he's a giant of 20th century art.


This does not look like a reputable outfit.   This strange bird looks like Foghorn Leghorn gone bad. And he's smoking on the job while spraying a dangerous gas. He also looks like he was drawn by three different artists: one who drew the original bird, a less skilled cartoonist who rapidly sketched the lower half of the body and finally, someone in the office who tacked on the excessively detailed spray paint apparatus.


This little guy in the corner here... is he pointing that thing at me? Why is he wearing Arabic curly-toed shoes? Why does he have a mohawk? Is he related to that carpet-hawking baby?  Can I just live with my vermin instead of having this guy come over?


And yes, I've saved the best for last. It's the official mascot of my school... IN JAIL.  Good ol' tree-hatin' Jack, so he got a little hopped up after a hard day choppin' down those GODDAMN TREES... so what? The constabulary didn't gotta haul off and throw him in the can. I mean JESUS H. CHRIST on a CHOPPING BLOCK, can't a lumberjack have a good time in this town anymore? Who do you think built this town, them college kids?  Get me my fuckin' lawyer, shit-bird.

And there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed our little tour of the Nacogdoches arts scene.  Anybody says we got no culture is just blind as a bat is all there is to it.



As far as the pawn shop one goes, the three balls in that configuration have been the symbol for pawnbrokers for centuries.


The rest are all quite silly.
omfg..it's a good thing no one was in the store while I read this as I am turning inside out with the laughies, complete with tears falling down my face. I can't even begin to tell you what good you do for me on a regular basis.
I am so glad you enjoyed this. While I was working it, I wondered if I had really lost my marbles.
The sad thing about all that crappy art is the amount of money those places pay for the ads. Some of those ads certainly run upwards of 5K to 10K.

It always used to make me weep at how little Yellow Pages exposure our small business could afford --- our display ads were always tiny, yet the cost were ginourmous.
They're probably cheaper in this small Texas town, but then businesses have less revenue, too. I wonder if competition from the web is pushing down yellow pages rates.

However you look at it, it's a lot of money to spend for stuff that looks so incredibly cheesy.

It's me, rocko...

oddgrlout is my sister. JB and I are at her house, so you know. I laughed like an idiot while my sis was singing and now she is mad at me. Funny stuff, friend That. Thank you for causing me to anger my sister.

Re: It's me, rocko...

Any time, buddy. Spreading sibling dissonance is my middle name.
I really love the ones with the Jesus Fish casually inserted in there. Actually, I do like that so I know which businesses to avoid.

Here's my favorite from our Yellow Pages.

Carefully censored so you won't notice the bear is humping your heater.
Boy he's really going at it, isn't he?
Workin' up a sweat!
astute art criticism-think you should get another master's.
but why? why !!!
seriously, Grip the dog was looking at me laughing and questioning my judgement.
God, I need you !
(oh, p.s.: I've read far enough back now to know you're bound for scotland)
~heaves a sigh~
a landmark study, sir!