Qu’est-ce que??

Cidu Bill on Jan 8th 2013

Oscar saw this on Facebook and sent it in. No additional context. The French, bien sûr, is “Nothing” followed by “What is this abomination?”

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Marilyn Manson, comics, humor | 23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Qu’est-ce que??”

  1. Bob in Nashville Jan 8th 2013 at 05:43 pm 1

    Interesting that they would go with his cover of a Eurythmics song for such a strip.

  2. The Ploughman Jan 8th 2013 at 05:47 pm 2

    I feel like it’s showing how people would react to the Marilyn Manson “sweet dreams” video in a past distant enough to really have no concept for his mode of design (not being familiar with motion picture technology in general, I’m guessing, enhances the terror). I feel like there’s a much more specific context to this particular room that I’m not familiar with (maybe the man with the projector is supposed to be Georges Meiles?) Maybe a cultural thing? Does the misspelling of “disagree” indicate a non-native english writer?

  3. JHGRedekop Jan 8th 2013 at 05:48 pm 3

    No idea what particular significance Manson would have to 18th century French puritans, but Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams is up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO2GTOL20q4

  4. JHGRedekop Jan 8th 2013 at 05:49 pm 4

    “Desagree” does look like a more French-ish spelling…

  5. nile Jan 8th 2013 at 06:21 pm 5

    it reminds me of the old Dutch Masters Cigar box logo and ads. The Dutch Masters would come to life in the commercial. I’m not sure how that relates, but it could be another clue.

  6. Elyrest Jan 8th 2013 at 06:23 pm 6

    Marilyn Manson did Sweet Dreams? There’s something so wrong with that very idea.

  7. JHGRedekop Jan 8th 2013 at 08:04 pm 7

    The choice if “Sweet Dreams” is probably because that cover was Manson’s first MTV hit. Dunno if the “Happy Birthday” refers to the band or Brian Warner himself, but if it’s the band, that would make sense of the choice.

  8. John Small Berries Jan 8th 2013 at 08:07 pm 8

    I agree with the Ploughman that it looks like the artist was referencing a specific thing with the setting. It looks kind of like a courtroom; the closest images I’ve been able to turn up are the Rembrandt and van Neck “anatomy lesson” paintings, which don’t have discernible details in the backgrounds.

    The cartoon is dated 2008, but oddly it doesn’t turn up in Google Image Search or Tineye (in order to see if the context is explained anywhere).

    It’s a mystery.

  9. fuzzmaster Jan 8th 2013 at 10:50 pm 9

    Too small to be a phantasmagoria, so it’s a magic lantern?

  10. Kilby Jan 9th 2013 at 12:06 am 10

    @ “Desagree” (4) - I’ve never heard Manson’s cover version, but this spelling also recalls some of Lennox’s quirky vowel pronunciations in the original recording.
    P.S. Not that I think that anything about this cartoon made it worth digging up four years later.

  11. mitch4 Jan 9th 2013 at 01:17 am 11

    So am I totally off base in thinking some connection was intended with The Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”? The refrain in that uses “Qu’est-çe que çest?”, a slight expansion of Bill’s headline.

  12. jjmcgaffey Jan 9th 2013 at 02:11 am 12

    Thanks a lot! I’ve never heard Marilyn Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams (as far as I know, I’ve never heard Marilyn Manson), but I now have the stupid song stuck in my head…arrgh! I know just enough of it that it keeps popping up, but not enough to sing it and get rid of it. Something else, anything else - I’ll go to It’s a Small World to kill this earworm if I have to!

  13. rundstyk Jan 9th 2013 at 04:29 am 13

    Just a little linguistic correction: The french word in the first panel is “rien” meaning “nothing”. The mentioned “bien sur” does not mean “nothing”, but “sure”, “OK” og “naturally”.

  14. Cidu Bill Jan 9th 2013 at 04:53 am 14

    rundstyk, you misread my intent: I meant “the French, of course, is…”

  15. Pete Jan 9th 2013 at 05:45 am 15

    In the top right of the title bar you can see the phrase “Harding was here” and “Midam/Adam”

    Googling that, I discover that it’s a page from a graphic novel, about a time traveller. He uses his time machine to meet famous artists, so John Small Berries might be right about the Rembrandt connection.

    No wonder it didn’t make sense as a stand alone cartoon.


  16. Daniel J. Drazen Jan 9th 2013 at 10:07 am 16

    I’ve seen the Manson cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” something I could have done without in my life. Apparently the Dutch guys feel the same way.

  17. MollyJ Jan 9th 2013 at 11:29 am 17

    I could be wrong, but the vibe I get is that the (intentionally) disturbing image of Marilyn Manson is “nothing” to the old Masters. But when he starts torturing a good song, *that’s* an abomination!

  18. Pinny Jan 9th 2013 at 01:26 pm 18

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but the guy with the projector is showing the pilgrims the music video of Marylin Manson’s, “Sweet Dreams”. (I know this because I followed JHGRedekop’s link above to the video and saw the first few seconds. That’s as long as it took me to react to it. Not my taste.)

  19. JHGRedekop Jan 9th 2013 at 01:37 pm 19

    For reference, here’s the original Eurithmics video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeMFqkcPYcg

  20. Dave Van Domelen Jan 9th 2013 at 02:20 pm 20

    The “nothing” is supposed to be the tail end of what the guy is saying just before the projector is turned on. He’s just saying it’s a blank canvas. Then Manson shows up.

    Still dunno what the deal is other than maybe a time traveller shocking the mundanes, but at least the “nothing” makes sense.

  21. Pete Jan 9th 2013 at 05:39 pm 21

    I’m sure it would make sense if we saw the whole novel, not just one page.

  22. Lola Jan 9th 2013 at 06:00 pm 22

    The Manson video is definitely an homage to the Eurythmic’s. Lots of the same freaky imagery, though Manson’s takes it to a more disturbing level. This, of course, tells us nothing about the comic at hand.

  23. Keera Jan 10th 2013 at 11:02 am 23

    *shuts off the YouTube video in a hurry* NOOO!!! My ears! My ears! You may not replace Annie Lennox’s great voice with that horror! (And that suddenly explained the comic to me, French or not.)

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