CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.

December 7, 2019 (permalink)

From Le Journal Amusant, 1898.
Jonathan notes: "I'm guessing it's a sort of sendup of the 'bicycle craze,' but it's funny how some of the items pictured probably anticipate backyard children's vehicles and amusement-park cars of the late 20th c."
#vintage illustration #silhouette #art #animal car #rabbit car #giraffe car #turtle car #unusual cars #unusual vehicles
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December 6, 2019 (permalink)

Ah, the classic circling of the obvious anomaly, a practice as old as anomalies themselves.  From Lumières Dans la Nuit, 1980.
#vintage illustration #ufo #red circle
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December 4, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Hellboy.  From Nebelspalter, 1923.
#vintage illustration #demon #donkey #hellboy
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December 3, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a 1967 precursor to the "one weird trick" advertising meme.  It's an ad for CliffsNotes literary study guides.
#vintage illustration #vintage ad #feather #chaucer #cliffsnotes
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Here's a precursor to The Elephant Man.  From Le Journal Amusant, 1905.
#vintage illustration #art #hybrid #long nose #elephant man #elephant trunk
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December 2, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the Eleven Pond song "Watching You, Watching Trees."
From Mars Hill's 1972 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage photo #vintage yearbook #double exposure #face in the trees
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November 27, 2019 (permalink)

"Remember Thanksgiving with a Christmas present."  It's a precursor to holidays colliding in The Nightmare Before Christmas.  From The Rotunda newspaper of Longwood College, 1971.
#vintage illustration #christmas #art #thanksgiving #turkey #vintage headline
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November 24, 2019 (permalink)

Exotic weddings go way back.  From Le Journal Amusant, 1906.  See The Collected Lost Meanings of Wedlock.
#vintage illustration #art #lion #exotic wedding #big cats
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November 15, 2019 (permalink)

Jonathan notes: "I can't help feeling that 'retroactively Kafkaesque' applies both to the appearance of the writer depicted in the illustration, and to his human-insect colleague. I see from Wikipedia that the date of the illustration, 1908, happens to be when Kafka's first stories were published; but it doesn't seem like he was well-known yet, and 'The Metamorphosis' was yet to come."
From Lustige Blätter, 1908.
#vintage illustration #art #hybrid #trapped #kafka #insect man #ink #kafkaesque #circle
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November 14, 2019 (permalink)

Today we have "typo glitch bug" gremlins, descendants of the printing press hobgoblins.  From Hampden-Sydney's 1914 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #imp #vintage yearbook #hobgoblin #printing press
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Here's a precursor to "ram-raiding," or driving a car through a shop window for looting purposes, as popularized in the 1994 Jude Law film Shopping.  From Der Bärenspiegel, 1926.
#vintage illustration #teddy bear #mannequin #ram-raiding
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November 13, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Why Cats Paint.  From Dame Wiggins of Lee and Her Seven Wonderful Cats, Written Principally By a Lady of Ninety, 1923.
#vintage illustration #anthropomorphism #cat #artist #artistic animal #cat artist #artistic cat #clever animal #cat painter
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November 12, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).  From Hampden-Sydney's 1914 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #bird #the end #bomb
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November 11, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to those fun bendable toy animals.  From Der Bärenspiegel, 1926.
#vintage illustration #bear #bendable
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November 10, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the Snuggie blanket.  From Fliegende Blätter, 1924.
#vintage illustration #public displays of affection #sleeping bag #snuggie
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November 8, 2019 (permalink)

Decades before the platform shoe craze of the 1970s and the floppy hat craze of the 1960s.  From Der Bärenspiegel, 1941.
#vintage illustration #vintage fashion #shoe #platform shoes
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November 6, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to the eerie atomic bomb test with mannequins in the Nevada desert in the 1950s.  From Der Bärenspiegel, 1930.
#vintage illustration #mannequin #atomic bomb test
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November 5, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981).    From Fantastic magazine, 1968.
#vintage illustration #time bandits
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November 3, 2019 (permalink)

Nearly two decades before Philip K. Dick's VALIS, there was a book called VAIS, on similar themes.  From Flying Saucer News, 1963.
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October 31, 2019 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to The Singing Detective series and film by Dennis Potter.  From Cornell College's 1923 yearbook.
#vintage illustration #vintage yearbook #forensic #musical #the singing detective
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