Ah, Venice! – Chap. 3, Act 2, Strip 9

With the holiday season behind us, it’s time to get back to Sir Lostalot’s tale about the trail that led him into his present predicament.

No idea where he got that weird idea about underground catacombs in a city built at sea level, mostly resting on stilts. Perhaps he got it confused with something he saw in some poorly-researched B-movie, who knows? Probably the same movie he learned his carelessly handling of open flame around irreplaceable historical sites from. Not that he feels too bad about burning down Venice, anyway – the city was founded in 421 A.D. (officially), so it’s at least a millenium too young to have much value in his eyes.

His ability to recognize Homer’s handwriting is something he must have learned from Lucas Wolenczak of Sea Quest DSV, who seems to be the only person who has seen enough text written by that blind, Greek poet from a time before the (re-)introduction of writing to Greece.*

While the first two inaccuracies have forerunners, the map itself is pure George Geekish. The requirement was to produce a map of Greece, with a certain spot marked, and some additional decorations and Greek writing to make it look authentic – why should he go to great effort to produce something like that himself, when the waiter at the Greek restaurant (which he visited for the purpose of research for this movie) just handed him practically the same thing as a paper napkin? He just had to scribble on it in red crayon, and – without any real effort! – the result hardly looked much worse than the best thing he could have come up with if he had spent a day on it. He likes it when something like that happens. (And really, doesn’t it look just like the kind of thing you’d expect to find in the undersea catacombs of Venice?)

*There is some scholarly debate regarding Homer’s blindness and existence during an illiterate age, but even if he would have been able to write, it’s still a fact that no single fragment of text from his hand has ever been discovered.

More on Thursday.

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