Self-Identified Mermaid Publishes Memoir

From “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever.” (Book Illustration by Dame Darcy, Photo courtesy of Feral House.)

Dame Darcy‘s latest art project, a soft cover over-sized book published this month by Feral House, “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever,” feels like the friend you always wanted to have: creative, bold, and ambitious–like the cool girl who walks down the halls of high school, when she bothers to show up, and throws a smile your way even though you’re not popular. Or, the mermaid who suddenly appears when you’re swimming in some random body of water, dreaming with eyes closed that such a creature exists and wishing she would appear when you open your eyes.

With a swish of her shimmering tail and her artistic pen, she appears in this playful daredevil of a book.

Filled with Darcy’s line drawings, short stories, memoir writing, and vegan recipes, “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever” creates a narrative much the way the mind works, making sense of events and sensory experience through language and art. Teacakes, unicorns, Darcy herself as a mermaid on a tarot deck, her beloved rock star crush, Adam Ant, cityscapes, nightmares, and fantasies–all are just a few of the themes in her art.

“Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever” by Dame Darcy. (Book cover Illustration by Dame Darcy, photo by Lucretia Tye Jasmine.)

I love the tiara-wearing skeleton holding a critter! The gentle horses! The stripe-socked girls who leap through comic panels, escaping and discovering! Dame Darcy includes photographs and lists, too, which heighten the sense of intimacy, and documentation. Survival and strategy emerge as tenets; one chapter is called “A Mermaid’s Guide To Surviving the Patriarchy.”

A very disturbing story in “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever” about her time working at a slaughterhouse, still haunts me, as does her sensitive drawing about it.

The cabaret-performing artist who makes films, music, graphic novels, tarot cards, and comics such as “Meat Cake,” also made a doll with Kurt Cobain’s hair. According to the press release, Dame Darcy lives life as a self-identified mermaid. Accolades from NPR, The New York Times, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and comedian, Margaret Cho, make me believe that they might be subversive mermaids and mermen, too.


Lucretia Tye Jasmine

About Lucretia Tye Jasmine

Wild interests and an inclination to rage against the machine with a flair that could equal the groupies and rock stars who fascinate her, writer and artist from Kentucky, Lucretia Tye Jasmine, earned an MFA from CalArts (2006), and a BFA from Tisch (University Honors Scholar, 1988). Alien She, the Museum of Broken Relationships Hollywood, the Fales Special Collections Library at NYU, the Getty Center, Joanie 4 Jackie, MoPOP, the New York Times, and The Punk Museum Los Angeles have featured her work. Recent publications include essays in "Women Who Rock: From Bessie to Beyoncé, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl," edited by Evelyn McDonnell (2018), and "Let It Bleed: How To Write A Rockin' Memoir," edited by Pamela Des Barres (2017), with online writing for Please Kill Me, Medium, and PRISM international. Current projects are the oral history mixtape zines: "riot grrrl Los Angeles 1992-1995," and "The Groupie Gospels."
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