Who Let the Pigs Out?

Dear Readers,

We are forever thinking of new ways to delight and entertain our audience. Many of you know already—and if you don’t, we hope this will be a pleasant surprise—that we not only write different strange texty stuffs but we also produce strange comicky stuffs!

So, given that boredom is the enemy of blog readers everywhere, we have taken it upon ourselves to present to you our new comic strip ‘Trottersville’. Well… technically speaking, it’s not completely new. Tony produced some original versions of this series more than ten years ago. One version was presented to the internet in black and white, and another version was in colour. It seems that he couldn’t resist the perfectionist’s obsessive need to refine and refine and refine. Ah, the mad, balmy days of youth!

Over the years that followed, this series got buried under heaps of exciting new plans and projects, but then Tati entered the room and flipped the script—in a figurative and literal sense. She saw the potential in this funny little piggy comic, and pestered Tony into bringing it back to life. And so a ‘restoration’ project of sorts was born. ‘Trottersville’ would shine again!

We like to think that the series has been further refined with this latest incarnation. Whole strips have had their scripts tweaked or rewritten from the ground up. All strips have been completely redrawn by Tony and coloured with the able assistance of Tati. Yes, even Tati couldn’t resist the urge to join in on the fun of making comics, and it turns out she’s a natural! We hope you like our work!

So, if you’re as excited as we are—and we’re pretty freaking excited!—and you wish to see our brand spanking old/new creation, you’re very welcome to join us at these online digs:

Tapas          WebToon          Patreon          Ko-fi

We plan to update these sites with a new episode of ‘Trottersville’ every Saturday, and all of them will be open and free for everyone. Sounds too good to be true, yes? But it is true!

Oh, and there will be a special surprise for our dear patrons. In addition to a new, shiny-as-fuck penny of a strip in your Patreon mailbox every Saturday, we’ll also provide the original black and white counterpart that was created by Tony back in the good old days. And we will be utterly delighted to hear what you think about our hellbent, unkosher adventure in general. Holy crap we’re excited!

Strap yourselves in, guys. It’s gonna be an oink fest!

Your Tati & Tony

PS: By the way, Tati is also hard at work translating the series into Russian. This is something that makes Tony feel insanely happy because he loves seeing strange looking pigs say ё, ю, ж and other funny symbols in speech bubbles. Maybe you will love this too. Stay tuned!

BUT IS IT ART? // Stheno

 

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TATI: It looks like you’re obsessed with Gorgons, Tony.

TONY: Only insofar as they’re fun to draw. Especially this one!

TATI: Yes, I saw you had a lot of fun with this. Is this a man or a woman, by the way?

TONY: A woman. Stheno was the oldest of the three Gorgon sisters. She was immortal too.

TATI: Hmmm… so, it’s not a bunch of penises here…

TONY: Nope. Just a bunch of pubic snakes that would be very unfriendly to one if it ever got close.

TATI: Now it’s getting interesting, Tony! So, do you have a theory about Gorgon physiology? Every hair is a snake? Not only the hair on their heads?

TONY: Exactly. Everywhere there would usually be hair, are snakes instead. So, it stands to reason they wouldn’t have any form of hair removal. No Brazilian wax for Stheno!

TATI: I had hoped for this answer, Tony. Now I’m going to have fun!

TONY: That sounds… ominous.

TATI: Hee hee hee…

TONY: Now you’re scaring me.

TATI: Question number one. Her brows. Where are the snakes?

TONY: Oh, she plucked them.

TATI: Plucked? But plucking doesn’t get rid of all the hair. It only makes the brow a different shape, or thinner. There would still be snake heads there.

TONY: Okay, then Gorgons don’t have eyebrows.

TATI: But I see them on your drawing!

TONY: Oh, shit. Erm… Those are cosmetic tattoos!

TATI: And what about the lack of armpit hair?

TONY: Laser hair removal!

TATI: But moments ago you said something about no Brazilian wax for Stheno!

TONY: Next question!

TATI: Hm. Okay. Your wish is my command. What kind of black liquid is that dripping around her feet?

TONY: That’s blood from a… well, penis. It got too close. Can you see it lying there in the middle?

TATI: Oh, so this blob is a penis? I was sure it was her reflection in the water. Or a part of her left leg. I dunno.

TONY: Nope. It’s a penis. A willy. Man’s bouncy ball buddy. A one-eyed wonder weasel. Hitler’s salute. A salty pube kebab.

TATI: Okay, you can stop phallomorphologising, Tony. I got it. It’s a penis.

TONY: Well, I didn’t want there to be any ambiguity.

TATI: Where’s the head?

TONY: Erm. What?

TATI: The head, Tony! The man’s head! His noggin. Pate. Bean. Dome.

TONY: Oh! I thought you were still referring to the penis!

TATI: Sigh. It’s plain to see where your thinking centre is located. I’m referring to the upper part of the human body that (usually) contains the brain.

TONY: Are you saying that there should be a man’s severed head at Stheno’s feet?

TATI: Of course! Let’s speak sense, shall we?

TONY: Well, I could have put one there, but I felt that a severed penis would be a more powerful statement of her independence and ferocity.

TATI: But a man approaches Stheno with an obvious intent to copulate. (I don’t comment on his taste though. They say never speak ill of the dead.)

TONY: Perhaps he was attracted to thickset women with unmanageable hair? I don’t know!

TATI: Obviously, his head was equally as close and important a target as his penis. Agreed?

TONY: Well, yeah! What’s your point? Are you saying I should have drawn a severed head instead of a severed penis?

TATI: No. I’m just trying to be logical. At the same time Stheno’s lower serpentry was busy with his penis, her higher serpentry would have been busy with his head. But, for some strange reason, the snakes on her head look clean and pretty relaxed. Do they have a different attitude toward men?

TONY: Maybe her ‘higher serpentry’ was tied up in a neat little bun at the time? I don’t bloody know! I just drew the damn thing. I didn’t think too much about the logic of it all!

TATI: It’s evident that you didn’t think at all, Mr Artist. Let me tell you how it should loo—

TONY: Oh. Fucking goody.

TATI: The serpents on her head should be dripping with blood also, and the man’s severed head should be laying somewhere around.

TONY: Somewhere around, huh? What if it’s just out of shot? Did you think of that? Huh? Did ya?!

TATI: Of course! Her posture, actually, can point to the possibility that she has just kicked the head off his shoulders—like a soccer ball—and her happy expression can mean that she scored a goal.

TONY: See? I didn’t need to draw a man’s severed head after all. There’s a perfectly legitimate story behind its absence.

TATI: Well, I’ve just explained it, Tony. What would you do without me? Those angry art critics would tear you apart with their tricky questions!

TONY: Really though? It’s not like they’re even paying any attention.

TATI: Yes, they are! And we need to invent an explanation of why the snakes on Stheno’s head are clean. Only then will I allow you to post this picture on your Instagram.

TONY: Oh, I’m sorry, your highness. I didn’t realise I needed your permission!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

THE CRUMBCAST // He Said, She Said…

Guess what? I’ve gone and done the unthinkable, and re-recorded episode twenty-five of The CrumbcastJoining me for this reboot is my wife Cassy whose talky talky abilities far exceed my own. Seriously, she knows how to keep a conversation going when all I tend to do is waffle on like a prat. She’s got the gift of the gab, you could say. And, actually, Tati and I have often discussed the possibility of making Cassy our agent…

“So, why redo this instalment of the podcast?” you may or may not be asking. Truth be told, I was deeply unsatisfied with my previous effort, and felt it would be better to have someone to conversate with. My recording experiences with Peter have given me a taste for this, and so I’ve decided to continue in this vein. And anyway, does anyone in their right mind really want another long, tedious, rambly monologue by me? Of course not!

So, what do we talk about this time? Well, what don’t we talk about! Let’s see… The Crumble Cult strip Subversive Element‘. Blue hair. Tattoos. Sluts. How to make a sister write your comic for you. Hell, social mores and more! Y’all are gonna have a great time with this one, and mostly because my better third is so utterly intelligent and engaging!

Oh, and please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. And maybe even leave a question you’d like us to answer in the next Crumbcast. We can’t promise that we’ll be able to address everything, but we’d love to try! So, go ahead. Ask!

PS: To listen to the podcast, click on the image below. Yes, it’s real magic in the digital world, I tells ya! No pesky sciencey stuff here!

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

BUT IS IT POETRY? // lethal bloom

a lunger on a hospital sheet
embraces the last spring
bursts into blossom with scarlet poppies
with every coughing fit

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TONY: Hm. I wonder…

TATI: Good luck with such a tedious task. I’m going to the sex shop before it closes. Do you need anything?

TONY: Yes, I do. While you’re there, would you purchase me an answer that will scrub away the question mark that lingers above your poem ‘lethal bloom’?

TATI: I appreciate your sense of humour, Tony. Will you die from curiosity during the next hour?

TONY: I’m not a cat, so… no.

TATI: Then I’ll be back soon. You’ll have a chance to prepare some genuinely interesting questions. Not like the last time.

TONY: How long must a poem be to be considered a legitimate poem?

TATI: You men are too preoccupied with sizes. How long must a penis be to be considered a legitimate penis?

TONY: Says the woman who’s going to a sex shop.

TATI: According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world’s shortest poem is one letter long. It’s by Aram Saroyan, and comprises a four-legged version of the letter ‘m’.

TONY: Damn. They’ll accept anything these days, won’t they?

TATI: Yes. You’re unbelievably quick-witted today. What happened?

TONY: What can I say? I’ve had my cornflakes. Anyway, back to your poem…

TATI: Back to my poem.

TONY: Yes. Were you worried that it might be considered a little on the short side?

TATI: No!

TONY: Okay then. I must say I do admire how you’ve managed to pack so much meaning into so few lines of poetry. That takes real skill.

TATI: Thank you. Again, do you need anything from the sex shop? There’s a big clearance sale on. Buy two, get one free. You can have the free one.

TONY: As long as it’s not a dildo then I don’t mind. You know, we haven’t even discussed the poem’s themes yet. I’m beginning to get the feeling you don’t want to talk about it.

TATI: What? You said you’re not a cat, and I can’t wait forever! And by the way, I will choose whatever I want for you, so beggars can’t be choosers!

TONY: This won’t take too long. I promise. All I want to know is what your poem’s about.

TATI: Life. Death. Spring.

TONY: Wow. You really unveiled the mystery there.

TATI: Tony, I’m late. I need to buy stockings and an eye patch!

TONY: I can’t imagine you in stockings. But you with an eye patch… now that would be way cool!

TATI: So, I may go after all?

TONY: Sigh. Fine. Go. Far be it from me to delay you on your all important quest!

Tati rushes out the door, slamming it behind her. She rushes back in mere moments later.

TONY: Did you forget something?

TATI: Yes, you idiot! I forgot to check my watch! The sex shop is closed already, so there is no point me going now!

TONY: Hey, that only happened because you wasted time not answering a simple question!

TATI: Sigh. Ask your questions. Anyway, there’s no fun at a hospital without stockings and an eye patch.

TONY: At a hosp—OH! I get it! You wanna indulge in a little Tarantino cosplay, yes?

TATI: No cosplays, silly Tony! Just some volunteering in the tuberculosis department.

TONY: Erm. Okay. It’s probably best if you don’t tell me about your perverted extracurricular activities.

TATI: Germane to the matter, I believe you had dozens of questions about my poem.

TONY: Oh, no no no! I’m done with that. I have no more questions. Besides, I’m tired. I think I’ll just rest here for a bit.

Tati finally seems to be lost for words. Tony plonks himself down on the sofa, his arms folded behind his head. Tati shrugs to herself, lights a cigarette, and plonks herself beside him.

TONY: Those will kill you, you know.

TATI: I know.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Moon Me

 

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TATI: Tony, if you were an art gallery guide, what would you tell the visitors about this picture?

TONY: You mean, other than it was drawn by a rank amateur? Damn. I don’t know. Do I have to comment at all? How’s about I say it’s a silly little scribble that has no real meaning? Would that be good enough?

Tati takes on a nerdy expression and a dull academic tone.

TATI: Nope, I mean something like: ‘This picture presents a crescent man with a pretty athletic pair of legs and a sexy butt. Its arms look weak, and despite it being an Olympic athlete from ancient Greece it has a lot of trouble because of its heavy head. It can’t run and it falls over every time. This fact frustrates the crescent man, and makes it yell from helplessness and despair because it didn’t win Dolichos in 720 BC.’ A professional description, dude.

Tony goggles at the picture with a slack jaw.

TONY: Are we seeing the same thing?

TATI: ‘The artist’s intention is to show the tragedy of the character, its physical and spiritual torments.’

TONY: Oh, okay. Sounds good. Let’s roll with all that stuff you said.

TATI: And it should be a discobolus, not a runner!

Tony is starting to warm to this now.

TONY: That sounds feasible. Someone give the moon man a discus!

Tati waggles her finger before Tony’s nose.

TATI: I suppose it has a discus already.

TONY: Or maybe it is the discus?

TATI: Exactly. It could try to grab itself by the nape and throw itself as far as it can. But, alas, its hands, as I mentioned before, are too weak.

TONY: Yeah, that seems a bit strenuous for the poor geezer.

TATI: It hasn’t got a chance in hell.

Tony sniffles. He looks at the crescent man with deep pity. He had no idea that the character had been leading such a dramatic life up until this point.

Tati smiles and pats his shoulder.

TATI: See, Tony? It isn’t so hard. You take a turn now. What would you tell the visitors about this picture?

TONY: Erm, let’s see: ‘Drawing of a middle aged moon man whose parents would have liked him to have made something of himself but he only ended up disappointing them with his poor life choices. He is screaming in frustration at having been outshone by the surrounding stars and planetary bodies. Now both of his parents are dead, and his hopes of redeeming himself in their eyes are dead too. The drawing has rough pencil linework that has not been cleaned up for the final version, and the background is of a nebulous, unspecified setting because the artist couldn’t be arsed to render it in any detail. The moon man himself hasn’t even been carefully posed, therefore it looks like he’s puking up one of his legs. God, the artist is a hack. Tear this drawing off the gallery wall and burn it immediately. It’s a silly little scribble that has no real meaning.’

TATI: WOW, Tony! That’s a horse of another colour!

TONY: No, a horse has four legs.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019