Numbskulls idea

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babington
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Numbskulls idea

Post by babington »

A new movie called "Inside Out" features personified characters who operate from inside the mind of a little girl. We've seen this kind of thing before of course, in e.g. the Numbskulls and in a similar vein George's Germs in Wham! But what's the oldest example of this sort of thing? Here's Wells's Phrenological Chart from 1848...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ournal.jpg

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suebutcher
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by suebutcher »

It comes partly from philosophy, at the point when science rejected the idea of the soul and tried to explain conscious awareness as a mechanism in the mind. This leads to the "homunculus fallacy", and the humorous concept of little creatures like the Numbskulls who watch through our eyes and put ideas in our brain's suggestion box. Then there's the little devil versus the little angel whispering in our ears, an image seen in old comics and cartoons that might go back to the earliest printed religious tracts. They're not strictly speaking internal characters, but they relate to our thought processes.

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babington
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by babington »

Wikipedia, that font of truth, tells us that "The non-canonical Early Christian book, The Shepherd of Hermas, of around A.D. 140-150, has a reference to the idea of two Angels, There are two angels with a man-one of righteousness, and the other of iniquity. (Sixth Commandment, Chapter 2). These angels in turn descend into a person's heart, and attempt to guide a person's emotions. Hermas is told to understand both Angels, but to only trust the Angel of Righteousness."

The article links to another on 'tutelary spirits' and this gives Socrates as the first person to talk about having a little person tell him what to do: "You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me…. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician." (Plato, Apology 40b) - so there you have it - the numbskulls go back to the ancient Greeks :-)

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dishes
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by dishes »

babington wrote:Wikipedia, that font of truth, tells us that "The non-canonical Early Christian book, The Shepherd of Hermas, of around A.D. 140-150, has a reference to the idea of two Angels, There are two angels with a man-one of righteousness, and the other of iniquity. (Sixth Commandment, Chapter 2). These angels in turn descend into a person's heart, and attempt to guide a person's emotions. Hermas is told to understand both Angels, but to only trust the Angel of Righteousness."

The article links to another on 'tutelary spirits' and this gives Socrates as the first person to talk about having a little person tell him what to do: "You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me…. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician." (Plato, Apology 40b) - so there you have it - the numbskulls go back to the ancient Greeks :-)
That sounds more like "Jimmy Jinx and What He Thinks". :wink:
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Johnoco
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by Johnoco »

dishes wrote: That sounds more like "Jimmy Jinx and What He Thinks". :wink:
Good shout! :notworthy:

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suebutcher
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by suebutcher »

Here's the first part of a strip about Joan Miro, written with Carol Wood, I drew for an art magazine a few years ago.
miropart.jpg

Lew Stringer
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by Lew Stringer »

suebutcher wrote:Here's the first part of a strip about Joan Miro, written with Carol Wood, I drew for an art magazine a few years ago.
That's great! Nice style.

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TwoHeadedBoy
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by TwoHeadedBoy »

Great stuff there, Sue :D
"Internal homunculi", gave me a giggle that did.

Fascinating thread all round, yep.
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philcom55
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by philcom55 »

That's fantastic Sue! :)

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paw broon
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by paw broon »

Thank you, Sue. I'm a huge fan of Miro' and have slavered over his work both in the Barcelona gallery and, but more so, in the Palma gallery/studio. Wonderful stuff. Is there more and, if so, where can I find it?

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philcom55
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by philcom55 »

I was fortunate enough to see the major retrospective of Miro's work held at the Tate Gallery a few years ago. A truly amazing artist and a genuine original!

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paw broon
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by paw broon »

Oh yes indeed. So, as you probaly know, Miro' collaborated at times with Alexander Calder, and later this year there is a major retrospective of Calder's work at Tate Modern, I assume? Mobiles and stabiles and lots of amazing things from collections all over the world. Well worth seeing, and we hope to be there for it.

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suebutcher
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by suebutcher »

Thanks for the kind words! "Miro's Microbes" is a one-pager like most of our strips, and it's in the book "Art Is A Lie" by Butcher and Wood. I didn't want to put the whole page up because it might upset the publisher's crowd-funding plan. When that's done, I'll post the second half.

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philcom55
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by philcom55 »

It's interesting that Brian Lewis, who drew Georgie's Germs In Wham!, seems to have been heavily influenced by Surrealism in his early work as a Science Fiction illustrator (though I'd guess he was rather closer in style to Yves Tanguy than Miro).
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stevezodiac
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Re: Numbskulls idea

Post by stevezodiac »

Inside Out was mentioned on the breakfast show on Radio 5 Live this morning. I was half asleep but I heard them read out texts from listeners saying the Numbskulls was originally in the Beezer not the Beano.

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