Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was born on July 24, 1900, and was the original quintessential irrepressible flapper of the times. Her life was a tumultuous roller coaster of good times and high drama, sailing high, young and beautiful, and then crashing into an insane asylum that burned to the ground with her still inside when she was about forty seven years old.
Not only did she inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald’s entire literary career, she was also the inspiration for a video game series I have never played: the Legend of Zelda. I can only imagine that it revolves around F. Scott Linkgerald wandering around a warped and terrifying fantasyland, trying to locate the eight pieces of her sanity, which she smashed to pieces due to some prophesy or something. There are villains who also resemble F. Scott and a lot of confusing social situations involving elixirs of booze and bathtub gin.
I have drawn Princess Zelda in honor of all of this.
The 1920s, or “Roaring Twenties” as they were frequently known, were an exciting time to be alive, there’s no doubt about that. Common behavior was wild and loose, cultures were wildly appropriated with not a care in the world, parties raged, jazz music gained in popularity, and the established order of things from before World War I were turned upside down. Parents clutched their pearls and were continuously appalled by the girls in their short skirts with their short hairdos, and the sleazily elegant gents who appeared to live in tuxedos and awoke fresh each afternoon with pencil thin mustaches already looking precise, ready for another bender consisting of illegal bootleg liquor that was even more delicious because of the Prohibition, and rule-breaking was the order of the day for this lost generation.
But what of their cats??
Sometimes, while listening to old, obscure music, you happen upon some fine gems. Just because a tune wasn’t on the Top 40 station within the past five years doesn’t mean it’s unlistenable, whippersnappers!
However, as with all journeys, one risks running into perils involving distasteful subjects, awkward moments, or even human emotions. On the day that I discovered Baby, How Can It Be? I was not expecting to also discover a piece of recording history that would change my mood. I had gone from cheerful to unsettled in the time that it took to simply read the track titles. My good friend, Billy Holiday, was there to comfort me in my hour of confusion and slight need.
Then I drew this comic of our conversation.