japonisme: st george & the dragonet

08 April 2010

st george & the dragonet

[Narrator:] The legend you are about to hear is true. Only the needle should be changed to protect the record.

[St. George:] This is the countryside. My name is St George. I'm a knight.

Saturday, July 10th, 8:05 pm-- I was working out of the castle on the nightwatch when a call came in from the Chief. A dragon had been devouring maidens. Homicide. My job, slay him.

[St. George:] You call me, Chief?

[Chief:] Yes, the dragon again, devouring maidens. The King's daughter may be next.

[St. George:] Mmm-hmm. You got a lead?

[Chief:] Oh, nothing much to go on. Say, did you take that .45 automatic into the lab to have them check on it?

[St. George:] Yeah, you were right.

[Chief:] I was right?

[St. George:] Yeah, it was a gun.

8:22 pm-- I talked to one of the maidens who had almost been devoured....

[St. George:] Could I talk to you, Ma'am?

[Maiden:] Who are you?

[St. George:] I'm St. George, Ma'am. Homicide, Ma'am. Want to ask you a few questions, Ma'am. I understand you were almost devoured by the dragon, Ma'am. Is that right? Dragon?

[Maiden:] It was terrible! He breathed fire on me! He burned me already!

[St. George:] How can I be sure of that, Ma'am?

[Maiden:] Believe me.I got it straight from the dragon's mouth.

11:45 pm-- I rode over the King's Highway. I saw a man. Stopped to talk to him.

[St. George:] Pardon me, Sir. Could I talk to you for just a minute, Sir?

[Knave:] Sure, I don't mind.

[St. George:] What do you do for a living?

[Knave:] I'm a knave.

[St. George:] Didn't I pick you up on a 903 last year for stealing tarts?

[Knave:] Yeah, so what do you wanna make a federal case out of it?

[St. George:] No, Sir. We heard there was a dragon operating in this neighborhood. We just want to know if you've seen him.

[Knave:] Sure, I've seen him.

[St. George:] Mmm-hmm. Could you describe him for me?

[Knave:] What's to describe? You see one dragon, you seen 'em all.

[St. George:] Would you try to remember, Sir? Just for the record. We just want to get the facts, Sir.

[Knave:] Well, he was, you know, he had orange polka dots...

[St. George:] Yes, Sir.

[Knave:] Purple feet, breathing fire and smoke...

[St. George:] Mmm-hmm.

[Knave:] And one big bloodshot eye right in the middle of his forehead and Uh, like that.

[St. George:] Notice anything unusual about him?

[Knave:] No, he's just your run-of-the-mill dragon, you know.

[St. George:] Mmm-hmm. Yes, Sir. You can go now.

[Knave:] Hey, by the way, how you gonna catch him?

[St. George:] I thought you'd never ask. A Dragonet.

3:05 pm-- I was riding back into the courtyard to make my report to the lab. Then it happened. It was the dragon.

[Dragon:] Hey, I'm the fire-breathin' Dragon! You must be St George, right?

[St. George:] Yes, Sir.

[Dragon:] I can see you got one of them new .45 caliber swords.

[St. George:] That's about the size of it.

[Dragon:] Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You slay me.

[St. George:] That's what I wanted to talk to you about.

[Dragon:] What do you mean?

[St. George:] I'm taking you in on a 502. You figure it out.

[Dragon:] What's the charge?

[St. George:] Devouring maidens out of season.

[Dragon:] Out of season! You'll never pin that rap on me. Do you hear me, cop?

[St. George:] Yeah, I hear you. I got you on a 412 too.

[Dragon:] A 412? What's a 412?

[St. George:] Over-acting. Let's go.

[Narrator:] On September the 5th, the Dragon was tried and convicted. His fire was put out and his maiden-devouring license revoked. Maiden devouring out of season is punishable by a term of not less than 50 or more than 300 years.

[listen to the irrepressible stan freberg do this live!]

and thus our sojourn into the realities of george barbier, and back into the lap of the calendars!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entry is crazy funny. Thanks for the good humour and great art!

09 April, 2010 04:44  
Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

Elegant work !

09 April, 2010 06:44  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks, olivia! hearing from you is great because it tells me that 1.) great comedy doesn't age (this is over 50 years old!), and 2.) i would bet you don't even know the old tv show this was based on: Dragnet. (there are lots of clips on youtube.) so.... cool!

another one of stan freberg's pieces is here. also from dragnet.

and dom-- so glad you like it!

09 April, 2010 08:22  
Anonymous evan said...

Stan Freberg sounds suspiciously like the Firesign Theatre...er...or vice versa...Danger. Nick Danger, Private Eye...There was a crash of gunfire in the distance, then my door banged open & she walked into my office, armed with a pair of smoking 38s. She also had a pistol in each hand...& what was he doing standing in my office with my contract in one hand and a pickle in the other?...the few lines I can remember.

I love the old word play stuff. One of my other favorites, a little off color, the very little I can remember (seems to be a theme)- The King, the Queen & the rest of the court went to visit the prisoner in the dungeon. When they entered, the prisoner threw a handful of offal at random. Random ducked & it hit the King. "Shit!" bellowed the King, & 20,000 people squatted & strained for in those days the King's command was law...Later, in their chambers, the Queen suggested that she could be King, to which the King replied, "Nay. Takes twelve inches to be a ruler."

Great post. Funny as hell text & perfect art to go with it. :)!

09 April, 2010 10:03  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks, evan! the folks in firesign theater, like me, were probably small children at the time of both dragnet and stan freberg, of whose work i am now determined to use more. and then there's tom lehrer to start in on!

the other one you quote, which seems a lot like guy noir, is probably more a takeoff on raymond chandler!

09 April, 2010 10:48  
Anonymous evan said...

I remember "Dragnet". My parents, bless their souls, also turned me onto Tom Lehrer (I remember the night you held me so tight as we danced to the wiener-schnitzel waltz, la-la-la)

There's an Irish pub near-by (I'm leery, or am I Lehrery?) of the stew....

09 April, 2010 15:32  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i don't specifically remember watching dragnet, but it was ubiquitous-- everyone knew, and parodied, the dum-de-dum-dum, and the 'just the facts, ma-am.'

leher was peaking just around the time i got out of high school, him, and tw3, and the smothers brothers, etc., well we were astonished by all of them, and thought they were, like, SO COOL!

09 April, 2010 16:14  
Blogger Margaret said...

The images in this post are just stunning. I particularly like the last one. The phoenix behind her makes the whole picture reminiscent of an Errol Le Cain children's illustration.

14 April, 2010 09:15  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

hi margaret -- so nice to see you. thanks for turning me on to le cain. he's new to me. some striking images there!

14 April, 2010 10:43  
Blogger Jill said...


15 April, 2010 06:12  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you, jill!

15 April, 2010 12:14  
Blogger Diane Dehler said...

Enjoyed the levity in this post and Puff the Magic Dragon stopping by! I especially liked the lady in the blue dress.

19 April, 2010 16:41  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

wouldn't you love to see the whole opera all in his costume (and stage) designs?!

19 April, 2010 18:05  

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