Papercut Theatre: The Rat and the Moon

This mid-nineteeth century example of a cut-paper scene dates from the early days of the rise of cut-paper playbills, posters, and artwork. While most scholars agree that it is an illustration of a bit of Victorian doggerel:

It’s true, they say, you can catch the moon
With a slug and a rat and a silver spoon
But what they don’t say (and they ought)
Is what to do with it once it’s caught.

there is an alternate view, advanced by the historian Vincent Westfarthing, that it is in fact an advertisement for an extremely obscure play entitled “The Rat and the Moon: A Theatrical Exploration Of The Dangers of Body-Piercing,” which reportedly closed the first night, due to mass audience walkout.

10 x 18 digital. 53 layers in Photoshop. My brain may never recover.

…so, yeah. Been playing “Alice: Madness Returns” and really admired the use of the cut paper 2-D effects in the cut scenes. Not the first to do it, but they did it very elegantly, and it made me want to fool around with the aesthetic myself.

I don’t know how well it works, but…it’s a thing, anyway.

The frame took approximately fifty times as long as the drawings, being assembled out of bits and chunks. Having figured out some of the issues involved, I’d like to try again with a more complex scene, but it will take awhile before my eyes uncross long enough to do a bigger frame.

Prints available, as always!

2 thoughts on “Papercut Theatre: The Rat and the Moon

  1. Hawk says:

    …is it an oracular slug? 😛

    It’s a cute piece of work, though the long earlobes on the moon squick me a little (but I’m squeamish in odd ways).

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