NFTed

Our Dear Readers,

Do you know what an NFT is? Truth be told, we barely know ourselves! (At least Tony admits this. Tati, as always, pretends to know everything like an insufferable smarty pants.) Still, let’s attempt to define this in words we can all understand.

In a way, it was easier in the good old days, back when absolutely everything was physical. Who has it. Which one owns it. That sort of thing. But now we live in a digitised world. Our personal data can be stolen, our art can be copied and printed on t-shirts without our consent, and our songs can be swiped and shared anywhere online. (By the way, have you checked your bank account today? You sure nothing is missing?)

Let us take boobs as an example. Tony, being the pervert he is, loves to draw them entirely too much. He draws a pair, posts them on Instagram, and is happy for a while with the likes and lovely comments he’s getting… and then he forgets about the post altogether. Who owns the picture now, after it has taken up residence on the internet? Tony? Everyone? No one?

NFT Delicious 3

So, anyway, let’s return to our NFT muttons. Basically, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital files that run the gamut of art, sound and video, and other kinds of creative work. But while the usual digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the magic of NFTs can provide one with proof of ownership. In other words, if Tony creates NFT boobs, he won’t need to prove his ownership of them, and can therefore sleep peacefully. He won’t need to clutch them to his chest like oversized pearls because they cannot be snatched away.

But this is good news not only for the perverted Tony, but also for you, Dear Readers. NFTs can be used to commodify digital creations. What does that mean? It means that boobs can now be sold in an official capacity! You can buy them like they’re the Mona Lisa or sell ’em on like they’re rarest trading cards on Earth. What an historic day for boobs!

P.S. By the way, despite our crude jokes you really can buy boobs from usOf course, this is only if you happen to have a few spare coppers in your crypto-wallet.

P.P.S. No Banksy was harmed in the making of Tony’s booby collection.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2021

Looking Back, Hoping Forward

TONY: Hoo boy… 2020 was an absolute train wreck, wasn’t it?

TATI: Do you think so?

TONY: Totally! You don’t agree?

TATI: Nope. (Give me Fresh Salmon please…)

TONY: Really, Tati?! So, you loved 2020? (Erm… here ya go.)

TATI: It is not the year that makes us, but we that make the year. Do you agree, Button?

BUTTON: Bring on 2021, I say!

TONY: Hm. I never thought about it that way. Makes sense, I suppose…

TATI: Let’s not think about what 2020 took away from us. Let’s recall what we added to 2020.

TONY: Making lemonade from lemons, huh? Yeah, let’s do that. You start!

TATI: I am pretty proud of relaunching Trottersville. (Okay, Pale Coral now…)

TONY: Yeah, that was pretty cool. (Pale Coral comin’ right at ya… I guess?) And we made a new postcard series with the characters from that strip too. I love those postcards! Do you, Button?

BUTTON: Hells no! Nothin’ but silly talking pigs. (And their pinkest piggy arses!) You should make a comic about me instead.

TONY: And we joined Tapas and WebToon, two cool comics websites that are now home to Trottersville. It’s great to have somewhere to put this strip after reworking many of the old scripts, then redrawing and recolouring them.

TATI: I participated in a translator’s contest. I also began translating our comics into Russian and Ukrainian. And we contacted some comics publishers and got some rather warm feedback. It’s cool, don’t you think, Button?

BUTTON: What?! Why bother with silly translations when you could be ghost writing the memoirs of my extraordinary life?

TONY: All of this kinda makes 2021 seem more hopeful, right?

TATI: Don’t you feel so? And we’re in the middle of preparing some new books and launching a cool new video channel too! (Tony, that’s Shadow Rose! Can’t you tell the difference?)

TONY: How the hell are we managing to do all this?! We must hate sleep or something… (Sorry. Is this it?)

BUTTON: Sigh. Why does no one listen to me?

TATI: I don’t know… but, Tony, do you still think 2020 was a train wreck and gave you nothing but a deficit of hand sanitiser and toilet paper? (And I asked for Fandango, not Flamingo! Even Button knows the difference!)

TONY: God. Those empty store shelves still haunt my dreams… Still, I have to agree. It hasn’t been all bad, has it? What do you think, Button?

BUTTON: That’s nothing! I’ll show you what a real wreck is!

TATI: I agree that it hasn’t been all bad. And I believe our dearest Readers will have at least one nice thing to remember from 2020. (Crazy Strawberry now please…)

TONY: We can hope! (Jeez. Aren’t they all just the same stupid pink?! Just point at the correct freaking one already!) And anyway, we should at least wish all of our Readers a Happy New Year. May 2021 be a year of renewal and reconstruction!

TATI: As for us, we promise to continue making cool stuff—despite pandemics and closed borders—and (hopefully) bring you some joy with our creative effor…

TATI & TONY: BUTTON!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2021

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Axis by Alice Munro (Excerpt)

Avie waited until they were comfortable to tell Grace about her dream.

“You must never tell anybody,” she said.

In the dream, she was married to Hugo, who really was hanging around as if he hoped to marry her, and she had a baby, who cried day and night. It howled, in fact, till she thought she would go crazy. At last she picked up this baby—picked her up, there never was any doubt that it was a girl—and took her down to some dark basement room and shut her in there, where the thick walls insured that she wouldn’t be heard. Then she went away and forgot about her. And it turned out that she had another girl baby anyway, one who was easy and delightful and grew up without any problems.

But one day this grown daughter spoke to her mother about her sister hidden in the basement. It turned out that she had known about her all along—the poor warped and discarded one had told her everything—and there was nothing to be done now. “Nothing to be done,” this lovely, kind girl said. The abandoned daughter knew no way of life but the one she had and, anyway, she did not cry anymore; she was used to it.

“That’s an awful dream,” Grace said. “Do you hate children?”

“Not unreasonably,” Avie said.

“What would Freud say? Never mind that, what would Hugo say? Have you told him?”

“Good God, no.”

“It’s probably not as bad as it seems. You’re probably just worried again about being pregnant.”

Эви подождала, пока они устроятся на сиденьях, и начала рассказывать Грейс свой сон.

«Только никому не разболтай», – предупредила она.

Во сне она была замужем за Хьюго – парень действительно не давал ей проходу в надежде, что Эви согласится стать его женой, – и у неё был грудной ребёнок, который плакал день и ночь. Вернее, орал благим матом, доводя её до белого каления. В конце концов она взяла младенца – это совершенно точно была девочка, – и снесла в тёмную подвальную комнату с толстыми стенами. Она заперла дочку там, чтобы не слышать её бесконечного плача. И ушла, позабыв о ней. А потом оказалось, что у неё есть ещё одна малышка, спокойная и милая, которая выросла, не доставляя родителям никаких хлопот.

Но однажды уже повзрослевшая дочь заговорила с матерью о своей сестре, спрятанной в подвале. Оказалось, что она знала о ней с самого начала – сломленная и позабытая всеми затворница рассказала своей сестре всё, – но теперь с этим ничего уж не поделать. «Ничего уж не поделать», – кротко повторила любимая дочь, отрада и утешение матери. Всё равно, её покинутая сестра ничего не знала о жизни снаружи, она больше не плакала и давно смирилась со своей участью.

«Какой ужасный сон», – сказала Грейс. «Ты что, ненавидишь детей?»

«Не без причины», – ответила Эви.

«Что бы на это сказал Фрейд? Ладно, это неважно, но вот что бы сказал твой Хьюго? Ты ему рассказывала?»

«Боже, нет».

«Возможно, всё не так плохо, как кажется. Наверное, ты просто опять переживаешь, что забеременела».

 

Original story by ALICE MUNRO
Translation by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2011

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Desire by Sudeep Sen

Under the soft translucent linen, the ridges around your nipples harden at the thought of my tongue.

You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ — arch yourself deliberately, wanting the warm press of my lips, their wet to coat the skin that is bristling, burning, breaking into sweats of desire — sweet juices of imagination.

But in fact, I haven’t even touched you. At least, not yet.

Твой пеньюар стекает мягкими полупрозрачными волнами, и рябь вокруг сосков дрожит при мысли о моем языке.

Ты выгибаешься упругой тетивой, предвкушая прохладное прикосновение моих губ. Их влажность успокоит твою пылающую, пьянящую, пряную кожу, истекающую липкими соками желания.

Хотя я еще даже не коснулся тебя. Пока не коснулся.

 

Poem by SUDEEP SEN
Translation by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2017

Authentica (Fragment #023)

Here you are!”

Maybe I’d plopped my notebook down a little too cocksurely, but I was feeling pretty confident. Hell, I’d been sweating over this essay for two whole nights, rummaging through the dullest monographs and sneezing up billows of agelong library dust.

The professor picked up my notebook with two fingers, kind of like it was a filthy toad. Well… actually, I consider toads pretty cool. Take, for example, Hypnotoad or Kermit. Or, even, Jin Chan. I remember, once…

“… plague!”

His harsh voice made me jump. Damn! It looked like I’d lost the plot again. I needed to concentrate. What the hell was he saying? Yes, toads were  The Second Plague’, but had I said something about toads out loud?

I raised my eyes and stole a look at his reflection in the dim windowpane. Then our eyes met. For a fleeting second it seemed as though his glance was flaring a bright orange, but when he turned to me, his eyes were yellow as always. This angry look was a storm warning.

“Too vague! Up in the air! It’s a mere dalliance with the topic, not an exploration!”

Why was he always on my case? But there was no sense in arguing… at least not now. This morning, I’d heard how Uranus had said something about the Moon being in Aries and that one should avoid open conflicts. (If someone had said to me some months ago that I would make decisions with an eye to this cosmographic crap, I’d have given them a Screw Loose sign. But this University can make anyone superstitious like the last pea goose in existence.)

I took my unfortunate essay and went to the door. I had almost stepped into the corridor when his acrid voice struck my ears.

“And don’t forget that using translations in research is  ‘mauvais ton’. If you want to get a decent result, you must work with authentic texts only!”

Huh? Ball and Tzara? In the original? I fucking like it!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017