Monday, January 17, 2011

Rippin' Good Time

Part of a comic English postcard series in which little doggies get up to mischief and talk about it. This one's from 1909. I didn't realize at first what precisely was so disquieting about it---not until the word 'rippin' flipped a switch. Memories of Jack the Ripper were still very much alive in Britain in 1909: though the last of the Whitechapel murders associated with him occurred in 1891, he had never been identified or caught. (Nor would he be.) Something about the strange position of the dismembered doll makes me think the artist was familiar with the grisly crime scene photographs taken of the Ripper's victims. Jack was far more bestial than any dog.

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