Mar 25

Jeff Jones: 'Check out my one-eyed lizard'Click for larger image

Tat Wood Comments: Fifty years on, the title’s still hilarious. But note how Jeff Jones has emphasised the turtle’s head and the hero’s arms while leaving it ambiguous what exactly is going on or how many limbs each party is supposed to have.

Published 1969

You might remember this from here and here.

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 6.33 out of 10)

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32 Responses to “Servants of the Wankh”

  1. fred Says:

    If his name isn’t Ja’q Jer’q I blame poor writing.

  2. THX 1139 Says:

    For freedom – or petite mort?

  3. Ray P Says:

    Ninja is holding a big white balloon? It’s a surprise party?

  4. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Notwithstanding the vaguely Faux-zetta-ish cast to the brooding male figure, this cover just screams “I got an A in the finger-painting seminar at the Unknown Artist’s Institute!”

  5. Bruce A Munro Says:

    “Just jump onto the turtle’s back, Bob. It always works for Mario, right?”

  6. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    I don’t mind paintings being a bit muddy and messy. But having said that, either that leg’s painted all wrong, or he has one hell of a battle scar down his thigh. I also get the feeling the artist had a pet snake or lizard or, yes, a turtle, that got used as a model as the deadline loomed. (The work rate maybe slowed down by frequent fits of giggles at the title)

    P.S. How can I have only just noticed that the lizard/dragon only has one leg. I’m off to get another coffee.

  7. Bibliomancer Says:

    Servant of the Wankh
    Sittin’ in a tree

  8. Tor Mented Says:

    (Shatner voice:) Waaaaaankh!

  9. Tor Mented Says:

    The cover has a rare example of a one-use, disposable sword. (Note the hilt.) Once you stick it into something, you can’t pull it out again without shredding your hand.

  10. JuanPaul Says:

    Nothing compliments a healthy Wankh like a nice cup Tschai.

  11. Tor Mented Says:

    Reminds me of this Captain America panel.

  12. Tor Mented Says:

    By the way, what do you call a person from Wankh?

  13. Tor Mented Says:

    I could have been a servant of the Yanks.
    I could have been a servant of the Manx.
    But I rubbed someone the wrong way
    And I regret to this day
    That I became a servant of the Wankhs.

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tor M—And do they speak Wankhish?

  15. Tat Wood Says:

    @Tor (12): the only way a person comes from Wankh is with IVF.

  16. Tracy Says:

    In more recent editions of the books Wankh turned into Wenkh. Sort of like how the Berenstein Bears became Berenstain Bears.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    This could only have been better had it been written by Michael Moorcock.

    @VLTTP: Must have been terribly jarring for our hero to go across Tschai by hops.

    But as @Tor noted, this guy isn’t terribly prepared for anything.

  18. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Verylatetotheparty: now I picture it BOINGING along in a series of one-legged hops.

    Maybe rather than a near-nude barbarian he’s actually wearing a tight white jumpsuit with stripes on the pants and black cuffs?

    No face, but a fine horseshoe mustache. What is his right hand doing? Is he holding onto (that black patch with white spots) his boot? Is he stuck in the bend of the branch and trying to pry himself loose?

    @Tracy: wasn’t it the other way around?

  19. Francis Boyle Says:

    Tyrano-turtle: “I get it dude, you can’t draw feet but would it have killed you to give me a flipper or two”.

  20. anon Says:

    @Bruce A Munro @Tracy: I’m sure you already knew this, but it’s just a case of the Mengele effect.

  21. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    @JP #10…I need to try that sometime.

  22. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    ‘Hi Jack, I need a quick word about the UK reprint of Servants of the Wankh. I got this letter from the publishers – no, no, it’s not about any of the book covers. Doesn’t go into much detail, just says, “We are concerned that Servants of the Wankh by Jack Vance may sound unintentionally amusing to contemporary British readers.”‘

    ‘You’re kidding me. First that one legged lizard thing and now this.’

    ‘Yeah I know, I mean, what sounds so funny about “Jack Vance”? I tell you, I’ll never understand the British.’

    ‘Um.. okay, I’ll have to use some kind of pseudonym then. Let me think… Got it, tell them I want it published as “Servants of the Wankh by Jack Hoff”, problem solved!’

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: yes, giant BOINGS across the landscape. (Seems that’d affect the dude’s ability to Wankh.)

    @anon: that was a good ep of X-Files Redux.

  24. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: But if the giant BOINGS are timed right and he doesn’t fall off the lizard…

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @VLTTP: I guess that’s why he’s clinging onto… WTF that is with whatever limbs he has. The impact on landing each BOING is going to be quite something.

  26. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GSSxn: Well I assumed big mossy tree branch, (Only four limbs in the whole picture and one of them belongs to a tree.) but maybe monopedal turtleosaur has a very long unkempt tail.

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @VLTTP: Maybe he has to climb up a tree to mount the thing, and hasn’t begun to BOING.

    Or, like you said, an unkempt tail. Who knows what else monopedal turtleosaurs have as other anatomy?

  28. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GSSxn: Well if the turtleosaur species is evolving into giant snakes it might explain why it only has one leg left. Over time they will BOING less and less until they become completely boingless.

  29. Tat Wood Says:

    Jeff was in good company – Bonnard couldn’t do feet either.

  30. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Transcript: Secret Meeting of the Board of Governors, Unknown Artists Institute.
    Time: Unknown
    Place: Unknown

    Chair: Fellow Board members, we have a motion on the floor to smooth over our venerable motto, carved above The Olde Entrance Arch.

    Member: You mean, get rid of the School’s Motto, “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”? But it’s been there since our founding!

    Chair: Yes, that is what I mean. Many alumni are concerned that it is too harsh, even traumatizing, for today’s generation of more sensitive students to have to look at.

    Member 2: So then we’d have no motto?

    Chair: Well, funny thing, I was reading an interesting article on Bonnard in The Guardian today and came across this great line: “Feet are very hard – even the old masters had trouble with them.” I think that would make a great new motto, still lowering expectations, but in a more sensitive, slightly whiney way better suited to today’s youth.

    Member 3: I’m all for it, but we’d have to add “and Hands” after “Feet.”

    Chair: Good, it’s settled. Fetch the chisel.

  31. Tag Wizard Says:

    @B.C. et alia,

    90% of your comments that end up in moderation are because you misspell your email address.

    The other 10% get flagged by our comedy quality filter.

  32. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Dear Tag Wizard, sir,
    I am not sure which cohort I generally end up in, but whichever it is, I sincerely apologize. Thank you for the guidance and the benevolent oversight, on both fronts.

    Properly chastened I remain,

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