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I’m Not Obsessed With Elephants, You’re Obsessed With Elephants!

We approach the ending of the epic that will cement David Malki !’s reputation as a panopticonic pachydermic panjandrum, The Elephant Of Surprise, with reckless disregard for sanity and panel count. The latest installment (the next to last, if there be any reason left in the world) is 27 panels of mayhem and at least five new variations on the sick elephant key phrase. It’s like a woodcut sestina.

One thing that I note is that both the current update (TEOS, part 9) and the previous (TEOS, part 8), contain links to much older comics — Wondermark numbers 13, 245, 425, and 838, from 2003-2012. All of them relate to elephants somehow. The latest just so happens to contain within in words that can be fit into Malki !’s current obsession with variations on the phrase check out my sick elephant.

Which presents two possibilities: that Malki ! foresaw all of this, going back to the infancy days of webcomics and has been laying the groundwork for the past fifteen years, or that it’s all a giant hoax and the referenced comics never existed in the first place, dropped into the history of Wondermark at this late date, his entire archive redone for the sake of maintaining the illusion that these earlier comics just so happened to be adaptable to his present whims¹. He’s just enough of a madman for either to be true, and certainly determined enough to pull either of them off.

The wrap up of The Elephant Of Surprise (part 10) is due this week, and will likely cause all of Wondermark to collapse into a singularity of cross-reference so dense, so complete, that not even light can escape.

Spam of the day:

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Do people really go looking for doorbuster sales on furniture? Doesn’t seem the sort of thing you could drag out of the Wal*Mart through the madding crowd.

¹ Having in my possession all of the Wondermark books, I can confirm the first three strips appear in print and are likely genuine, or that Malki ! is cooking up more interesting things in his workshop that he’s previously let on, things that are capable of altering the contents of my books years after the fact.

Conveniently, the putative strip #838 appears in no print collection and the volume, Friends You Can Ride On, will by sheer coincidence not contain strip #838. Not content with the assumption that nobody would wait until the April 2019 release date to see if strip #838’s existence could be confirmed or not, Malki ! has put off the moment of reckoning for years, perhaps a half-decade or more. Only the most determined (or deluded) could keep their eyes on this prize for that long and my friends, I am that man.

I mean, have you seen the upper tiers of his Kickstarter? Somebody is getting a book with all the pages individually glued together. Somebody else is getting a book with random Sharpie censor bars applied to dialogue. There were options to receive books that had been set on fire, or … that’s it. That’s it! That’s where the proof that all of this was faked will be found, in the copy set on fire, the copy blacked out, the copy glued together, he’s taunting us with the truth almost in sight. Only Nicholas Cage can help us now!

gary it’s just a webcomic


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