Win a Unique Third Bear!

The Third Bear Carnival will come to an end later this week, and in honor of that, here's a contest.  I have a copy of Jeff VanderMeer's Third Bear collection that includes a unique cartoon by Eric Schaller, drawn on 24 July 2010.  This is the only copy of this cartoon that exists, at least as far as I know (most of Eric's cartoons are reproduced in bulk by the many small, innocent children he has imprisoned in a sweatshop deep beneath Dartmouth College).  It is drawn on the title page of the book, which in all other editions is unillustrated.

Here's how you can win this unique copy of The Third Bear:

In the comments to this post, write a description/explanation of 100 words or less about The Fourth Bear.  (Yes, we know all about the Third Bear now, but what is the Fourth Bear?)  The deadline is this Friday, August 27, at 12pm Eastern Standard Time.  Eric and I will then consult, and the entry that we agree is most interesting will be the winner.  All results are final and utterly subjective.

Barring unforseen claims upon our time, or an inability to come to an agreement (and thus the need to institute a mud-wrestling match between ourselves), we will announce the winner here on Monday, August 30.


  1. Walking the fine line between responsibility and entertainment, the Fourth Bear faces constant upheaval: while it is his job to keep the public informed, they seem to prefer pictures of kittens in hats and youtube clips of his failures to his more serious attempts to uncover duller, darker "truths." But he never tries very hard, and usually repeats information he receives from PR managers, or, when he's feeling whimsical, cabbies. Everyone hates the Fourth Bear.

  2. The Fourth Bear could never walk quietly and chased away the food. He smelled a little funny and burped when hibernating. No one liked the Fourth Bear. When Socrates was mad, he made Plato hang out with the Fourth Bear. The Fourth Bear did not like Plato and mocked him: this explains all that is foul in Western thought. Friendless, he wandered north and one day hid aboard a Viking ship bound for Vineland. There he escaped and soon found himself among people who accepted him for who he was. He was revered, praised, shot, and made into a cloak.

  3. The Fourth Bear will kick your butt in public for a small fee, and whistle Dixie where the sun don't shine. Give him a kiss and he'll charge you five bits on the dollar, two rams on the wise-acre, or a case of whiskey from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Do what you want to do but, whatever you do, don't cross him. Otherwise you will win his love for life. And that, my friends, is a fate worse than the heat death of the universe.--Sam Hell

  4. The furry wall moves in front of your eyes as you read look close at the panel in front of you. It matters not if it's the cover of the collection a comics panel or the screen of your chosen ereader. The moving carpet blurs and resolves into the toothy face of what is presumeibly a brown bear or maybe it is a grizzly bear and it seems to smile in a knowing manner that says yup you are really seeing this. The universe responds to masses of people believing the same thing at the same time and enough of you believed the existance of the fourth bear, and that it was hungry for your attention. You should be happy it was not the fourth squid. The bear still smiles that knowing smile As it opened it's mouth. Ummmm.

  5. If you are juggling and drop a ball,
    that is the fault of the First Bear.
    If you have shoes that once fit but are now too large,
    that is the fault of the Second Bear.
    If you wake to find you have eaten your left hand, bones and all,
    that is the fault of the Third Bear.
    If you have riches, love, and life, but are still not satisfied,
    that is the fault of the Fourth Bear.
    The four bears, together, they will ruin your life.
    --Tenser Tensor

  6. Having a Roud Folk Song Index number of -300,000 the Fourth Bear can only be found in the little-known nursery rhyme:

    One for honey
    Two for teddy
    Three for polar
    Four for Freddy

    Supposedly written by an Elm Street resident (now in a mental institution) who can spontaneously manifest huge claw marks upon her person.

  7. The Fourth Bear is always there, waiting just out of sight, around the corner, behind you, where you’re not looking, to snatch the only custard doughnut, or the last piece of pie. She hoards these things, as dragons do gold, in her den. She sleeps on a bed of stale pastry, and eats it in her sleep. Sometimes, children have mistaken her for a witch. She keeps her teeth and claws polished clean, but her fur is sticky with chocolate and cherry jam and other substances best not inquired into.

  8. The Fourth Bear is a well educated art critic, who has become respected in both academic and mainstream culture. Recently, he has gotten some bad press for his scathing review of an otherwise popular exhibit, stating: ‘although visually pleasing, I have a hard time finding cranium-based art anything other than pedestrian and uninspired.’ The Fourth Bear later stated, through a content smile full of cocktail shrimp tails, that he does not wish to retract his review, and he’s sure the art community will judge the exhibit accordingly.

  9. The Fourth Bear is a play from Geoffrey Von ZeeMire's post-elegant phase, written between his fourth resurrection and fifth suicide. As with most of his works, it is a tragedy. Although all copies of the script were incinerated during the Bat Smelting Rebellion, we do have a partial cast list:

    Kenneth Squalor: Bemonocled. Bitter. Bearded.

    Franzl Pottingash: Bile dampened. Brash. Braided.

    Britannia Crisp/The Fourth Bear: Blunderbussty. Bright. Bare/Bear. Bear. Bear.

    The Squelch: [no details given]

    Efforts to revive the play based on these characters and the notes of Von ZeeMire's biographer have been met with assassination.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Stone Animals" by Kelly Link

"Loot" by Nadine Gordimer

Gardner Dozois (1947-2018)

Compulsory Genres

Writing in Crisis