Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Rudy Rucker writes to let us know that this Thursday, his daughter Isabel will debut “Unfurling,” a 400 foot long graphic novel drawn on a scroll of paper, at the SOMArts gallery in San Francisco. It’ll be on display through the 27th.

I didn’t see Rudy’s entry at first. Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing saw it and wrote about it Monday, but I didn’t see Cory’s entry right away either.

No, the reason I know that Cory Doctorow knows that Rudy Rucker’s daughter has a 400 foot long graphic novel scroll at a gallery in San Francisco is simply because the first comment on the BoingBoing thread (by “Shay Guy”) was “Somebody tell Scott McCloud.” And I was ego-surfing.

In the movie Beetlejuice, I always figured that the idea that you could summon the demon just by saying his name three times was meant to have a sort of childlike campfire ghost story quality to it. Ridiculous, but in a kid-logic, dreamtime way.

In Zot!, I played with the idea that all anyone had to do was type the proper name of my electric assassin 9-Jack-9 into any terminal anywhere in the world and he would appear. I figured that the unique quality of the name “J9AC9K” made the chance of anyone accidentally typing it infinitesimal, and therefore give it a certain weird credibility.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!


“Somebody tell Scott McCloud.”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

— Arthur C. Clarke

Discussion (10)¬

  1. rikchik says:

    Don’t forget Usenet figure Kibo, who would appear in any thread that mentioned him by grepping the entire Usenet feed for his name. I once posited that Beetlejuice and other similarly summonable entities were grepping the worldfeed in a similar way – requiring a triple repetition cuts down on false positives.

  2. Livia Labate says:

    You are one crazy creative dude!


    my terminal must be broken.

  3. Bryce says:

    Ah, but how do we explain ‘Candyman?’ Dude obviously didn’t carry a laptop…

  4. John McLeod says:

    Funny I should check here today. This morning was discussing same topic (Rhonda Byrne calls it “The Law of Attraction,” but it’s actually the basis for something vaguely sinister out of the 19th Century called New Thought) and my interlocutor dug up a version by R. W. Emerson. Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book looks at this in some depth.

  5. Repeating a name to summon or banish a demon or spirit goes way back in folklore. It’s actually where the word “Abracadabra” comes from.

  6. John says:

    You got me curious about the one statement, so I plugged in any variation of “9JACK9” that I could think of right into Google. Something interesting came around with “9jac9k”. When I say interesting, I meant in a more left-brain-story-idea-to-kick- -around-in-everyone’s-head-for-a-while, rather than anything earth shattering…a “Jack is back, baby. And he’s up to….probably maintaining server files…(Or is he?)”

  7. Jacob says:

    I wonder if anyone would publish a schrol mainstream to be sold in a book store next to all the codex? I don’t see why not. I mean, I guess the machines might not be suited to the shape and format. But that seems like a lame reason to limit the format that can be sold in a normal bookstore.

  8. Tater Tot says:

    Entered J9AC9K into graphing calculator today in Math. Had to delete it before teacher saw, but got a huge thrill anyway.