The Real Wonderful Rabble

You may have caught Jason Kieffer's graphic novel/guide to the rabble (read: homeless/marginal) people of downtown. If you haven't, it is a great book, you may recognize some people in it.

Here is a link to that book it was at once well received and also seen as exploiting the homeless it sought to familiarize the public with. Personally, I think the book was done from a very honest place, not exploitive. Jason is working on a new book now about Zanta.

Cannot wait for that!

I was thinking of such said people the other day when I was going through the studio and found a stack of playing cards that Charlie (Cabbagetown's marginal and beloved artist type) adorned with scratchy writings and placed in my friend Jan's hand at like 7:20 one morning. Jan just looked at me and said "take these out of my hand" I have had them ever since. I think they are amazing and I regret using them to denote which buzzer was mine outside, they eventually fade and get taken away with the wind.

So as you look at this checkerboard, you can see the first card says
"60 below froze tips fingers white" the next one says something like
"Sent Past not funny" Hey, they can't all be gems!
The next one has a lot to say, the main motif is"ignore self" with some scratches that say
"tip toe"
"no noise lights"
"no moon"
"black dark out"
Perhaps a reference to a black out? who can say.
Next, a classic: " O nothing works"
and lastly, in two rows
"Butts Money
no for
Help match
me no

Here is a picture of Charlie, talking to Larry at the corner of Parliament and Carlton one sunny morning about 2-3 years ago, I think it makes a nice Facebook timeline picture no?

Not too much is known about Charlie, I have seen him in the Cabbagetown area for the 9 or so years I have been there, people became aware of him after he started taken abandoned carts and baby strollers and making them into art, attaching string and various found objets onto them. Rumours quickly spread that these 'pieces' were being picked up and sold in Yorkville...clearly people like rumours.

He does mention LSD a lot and talks about not seeing eyes, as in :

"I don't see your eyes, you don't see my eyes, bad things don't happen"


Anyways, the point I guess, if I even have one, is that I want you to see some of the things that Charlie has made. I am not saying go talk to him or bother him in anyway, just that I appreciate the residual effect he has had on me all these years.