Posts made in June, 2010

LOST Doodles

Posted by on Jun 3, 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jack was the first and most spontaneous, and unsurprisingly the one I’m most happy with.

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The Articulate Guy

Posted by on Jun 2, 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

When I went to Tennessee to see my sister Meredith graduate, my mom brought up an old comic of mine from New Orleans. I wrote “The Articulate Guy” in 2001-2002 when I was a junior and senior in high school. Those of you who chatted with me back in the “good old days” of AOL Instant Messenger will recall that “TheArticulateGuy” was my screename. These are some random pages:

“The Articulate Guy” is interesting on all kinds of levels. It is a comic about a high-schooler, told from the point of view of a college student reminiscing about when he was that high-schooler’s friend (back in high school), written by a high schooler (me, Everett) who had not even begun visiting colleges yet. I am fascinated not only by my own (surprisingly accurate) depiction of what college life would be like, but by the critical distance I forced upon myself as a writer, imagining how the environment I was immersed in would seem retrospectively. (This, as I understand it, is the Lacanian Imaginary, imagining how I might look to an outside observer who is nevertheless himself a product of my imagination.)

The story was basically this: a hapless transfer student makes a fool of himself every day at the beginning of math class, before the teacher arrives, waxing eloquent over a nameless beautiful girl in his English class. Though he speaks with a vocabulary far beyond his grade-level, he insists that when he actually tries to talk to this girl, he’s completely mute. (I would revisit this theme in my Kilmer-winning 2003 poem “The Ballad of Sweet Donna Lee”. Yeah, I was really into this theme for a while.) Eventually, his words so move the high schoolers that they too decide to start speaking their hearts and using big words. Except I never reached this somewhat Dead Poets-y conclusion. Why?

Because I myself went to college! The strength of this comic was ALL in the framed nature of the narrative – I admit, there was not a lot of tofu to the story itself. Once my artificial critical distance became actual critical distance, I could no longer view my life as a verbose but girl-shy high-schooler through a partial lens!

Moreover, my art improved to the degree where I could no longer finish the comic with any sort of visual consistency. Looking back though, there are still some things I really love about it. My page layouts were much bolder than anything I’d allow myself today – chalk it up to youthful exuberance. I was really into Will Eisner at the time and loved using lots of borderless panels, meta-panels and free-floating vignettes. And there was something tender, something that still captures my imagination, in the way I so openly delved into characters inner emotional states (having demons represent their problems – other parts of the comic featured elaborate fantasy time-travel etc.) Especially compared to SNitLoE, where I have deliberately kept my characters emotionally mysterious and opaque. Sigh.

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