I’m going to knuckle down and get to work on a project that - like so many others - I’ve been putting off for a long time. It’s a web site featuring the work of a guy named “Gustave Verbeek”, whom I suspect of being a relative of mine. In addition to the almost-matching surname, his father was a missionary for the Reformed Church, which my family has been associated with for generations, so we probably had some common ancestors back in the Netherlands.
Great-Uncle Gustave (as I think of him) is best known as the creator of “The Upside Downs”, a 6-panel newspaper strip that was read through normally, then turned upside down and the same panels re-read in the opposite direction to finish the story. It’s a huge formalist challenge, and he pulled it off for 64 installments. He went on to produce another series called “The Terrors of the Tiny Tads”, which was loaded with imaginative wordplay/visualizations.
Gustave’s cartoons were published in the early 1900s, so it’s all in the Public Domain. That means - family or not - I have the right to reproduce it all, and I’ve collected a fair amount of it (especially the Upside Downs strips). It’s the early 2000s now, so I’m going to put it on the web.
I have accomplished one thing, however. I’ve rough-drafted a logo which captures some of the forward-and-backward nature of Great-Uncle Gustave’s famous work: