No. 154 – Naked Lunch

Prog 2056’s mugwump creatures from the Indigo Prime* story A Dying Art written by Kek-W (aka Nigel Long) and drawn by Lee Carter v mugwump creature designed by Carol Spier from David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch (1991)

Based on William S. Burroughs’ (1914–1997) non-linear narrative novel of the same name (Grove Press/Olympia Press, 1959), and considered Burroughs’ seminal work, the book was extremely controversial in its time and was banned in Boston and Los Angeles in the U.S., and several European publishers came under public fire.

Indigo Prime’s (which also features Burroughs himself as one of its protagonists) mugwumps not only resemble Cronenberg’s creature but also quite closely mimic the predatory, alien creatures of the novel, described by the narrator, William Lee: “On stools covered in white satin sit naked mugwumps sucking translucent, coloured syrup through alabaster straws,” […] “Mugwumps have no liver and nourish themselves exclusively on sweets. Thin, purple-blue lips cover a razor-sharp beak of black bone with which they frequently tear each other to shreds in fights over clients.”

The term originates from the native American Algonquian word mugquomp, facetiously meaning “important person, big shot” (from mugumquomp, “war leader”).

*Series created by John Smith

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