Archaic Torso of Gumby
Archaic Torso of Gumby is a series of interlinked stories and essays by Geoffrey Morrison and Matthew Tomkinson that explore the gooey, prickly, sticky materials of late-capitalist pop culture, from video games to claymation to children’s picture-books commissioned by oil and gas companies. Here lyric essay, personal memoir, fable, pseudohistory, and science fiction all coexist alongside more conventional short story forms. Each part reveals unlikely connections between subjects as different as a sentient wallet, a gathering of headless saints, abject descriptions of 3D-printed food, a sixteenth-century courtier who thinks he’s a horse, a virtual reality religious experience, and a couple with a fetish involving crustaceans. By turns cerebral, goofy, and heartfelt, Archaic Torso of Gumby is a delirious rabbit hole for the adventurous reader.
If I were to venture a single-word summary of Gumby, I might, in the end, land on joyful. There is a palpable glee about the vagaries of literature, the strange collisions and echoes that spring up everywhere, seeming coincidences of phrase or thought.– Max Karpinski
The /t3mz/ Review
It is one of the only ways out of our individual consciousnesses and into someone else’s. In a word, empathy. And empathy, I believe, is the ultimate aim of ATOG: the purpose of all this duck-rabbiting and word games. The experience of seeing and being seen in language with the opportunity to change your life.– Peter Szuban