I’m debating with myself how much exactly I should talk about my intentions with some of these comics, and how much I should leave it open to interpretation. I think the best thing to do might be to point out some of the connections and things I was trying to do, but maybe not spell out an exact interpretation of them, since there is meant to be more than one way to take them.
The use of a song here is meant to be an echo to the comic where the rabbit is listening to Arctic Monkeys, among other things, and actually is setup for a much bigger story I’m planning to do in the future. I used Andrew Bird because that actually is the album that I was talking about with this particular ex in the conversation that this comic is about. The idea is that you can take it a number of different ways, because this conversation is pretty verbatim to an actual conversation I had, but its placement in the story in the book is meant to give it different resonances and compare it to other situations. More of this will become apparent as things go on, but the characters can all represent several things. In their own universe, the characters have their stories and you don’t need to know exactly what is autobiographical for you to put it together. On the other hand, there are games going on that I think lend a lot to what I’m trying to say with the comics once you read enough for the games to become a little more obvious.
The ex-boyfriend that the monkey character is based on is also the same ex that the robot with glasses in the Rickets story Marching to “The City” is based on. The idea being that one of the main intentions of Rickets is that he represents a different side of my own personality, which is kind of a little joke because obviously in one sense the comics where the rabbit is talking to him are really just me talking to myself, since he doesn’t exist. So, Rickets and the rabbit have a lot of the same story, and I’m sure some people have noticed that the robot’s name is only a few letters off from mine. Rickets handles things a little bit differently, he’s supposed to be the more cold and logical side of me, which is one reason I made him a robot, but he’s also a broken robot, he’s destroyed his memory chip, and part of the rational for that is that I don’t think it’s in our makeup to react calmly and rationally to everything, that’s not how people are, it’s not a perfect reaction, it’s a broken reaction.
The ex that features into these stories, the thing with him is that what role he represents in the story of my life is based largely on how I choose to view him. At the time, I was crushed over the breakup, but looking back, I can’t be entirely sure why. What I thought I was loosing might have actually been my idealized version of him that existed in my head, rather than what I was actually losing which, really, was in some instances kind of a douchebag. Rickets destroyed his memory chip, so in the kind of fantasy flashback version of the relationship that I told with him, it was all very beautiful and romantic with the reasons for the conflict never really explained. I didn’t destroy my memory chip, though, so things got more complicated for me. I did actually see the guy again several times, this comic being an example of one of those times, and he was always eager to be affectionate and communicative when it served the purpose of stoking his ego or assuaging his loneliness.
He was usually seeing a new guy or two, but when he needed attention he’d look me up and I, being an idiot, was there. He knew how torn up I was about the breakup, and he’d say things like what he says in the comic above and then breeze back out of my life without any apparent awareness that his actions might have consequences. He’d come over, and he’d say he missed me, and we’d have sex, and then his phone would vibrate and he’d get guilty and suddenly less interested in sex and when I pressed him he’d eventually explain that he was getting texted by some guy he was seeing. He broke up with me a few weeks before my birthday, and I didn’t have any birthday plans other than spending the evening with him, because I had planned to see my other friends on days before or after my birthday since he had issues with almost all of my friends and he didn’t like seeing any of them, and most of them didn’t really like him. Maybe this should have told me something. If I had a male friend, he’d be obsessed about me cheating on him with the guy, and in the case of my female friends, he just couldn’t really seem to get along with them. So, when we broke up this ex made a big display about how we were still supposed to be friends, I was still so important to him, and all that, and so I asked about my birthday and he said, no, no, of course he’d still spend it with me, so I didn’t make plans with anybody else. On my birthday he showed up pretty early in the evening, we had dinner, and then suddenly he said he really had to be going. Turns out, he had made a date. I was back at my apartment by around 7 in the evening with nothing else to do. I ate cake my sister had brought me.
So, douchebag. Yet, for whatever reason there was this emotional connection, and it wasn’t completely one-sided, because however fucked up it was what passed for showing affection for him, he still did manage to continually show up back in my life. But in writing about this, I can capture bits and pieces of it, or certain events from certain perspectives, but I can’t do every subtlety and everything that passed between us, so I do bits of it from one point of view, bits of it from another, and you can add up the bits, but I think one of the great benefits of doing these short stories or strips is that you can also take them on their own without the context of every other strip, and the individual pieces can be observations about relationships that can be applied to relationships that weren’t exactly like that one. I like this strip, because at the end the question posed is kind of how do you respond to the things the monkey character said? There’s a bit more to it in the follow-up strip I’ll post next, but I think it’s a good question to ask without necessarily spelling out an answer, because I didn’t know exactly how to respond to it then, and I don’t know exactly how I would respond to it now. You can take the cute robot story part of the story, or you can take it with the other parts. the relationship had some things in common with a cute kind of fairy tale relationship, and it had some things in common with a situation that could constitute something I would consider at the very least codependent and dysfunctional.
Anyway, that’s probably enough explanation for this particular strip, I’m gonna continue these thoughts with the strip posted on Wednesday.
I think I need to draw my rabbit in his hoodie more, since it’s awfully adorable.
If you’re near the Bay Area, don’t forget that this weekend is Alternative Press Expo, at which I’ll be selling my newly released book, and tomorrow night from 7 to 10 pm is the release party for my book at Mission Comics and Art, and I’d love people to stop by! The Facebook page for the release party is here so check it out!
I decided it would be fun to make drawings from some of the various images like this I’ve accrued over time. There’s something uniquely trashy, by which I mean sexy, about photos that guys take of themselves with their camera phone in bathroom mirrors.
This one is a pretty good example of the characters all representing different sides of my personality, because what the bear says to the rabbit in the last panel is the type of things that usually pops into my head if I start to get too pleased with myself. For the record, though, I do happen to think I’m pretty damn important.
I know I’ve been claiming forever that there are bigger plans for these comix and that the series is all going somewhere, and with all the fits and starts that the posting schedule has gone through that probably doesn’t seem like it’s actually very true, but I’ll just point gently to the sign that Prester’s painting on the floor there for later recall, because it does in fact pay off in a couple of important ways later on.
New comic planned for Friday, so check back.
There are going to be comics coming up about how recently there have been some awkward moments on dates for me, because if somebody wants to read my comics they can already know a whole lot about me before I know anything about them. On the other hand, it’s a big time saver, and there are some things I won’t have to explain, because they’ve already read my explanation in comics form. I had a boy recently discover me through my comics and send me naked pictures of himself, and he already knew that I was into glasses, what sort of underwear I like guys in, what sort of poses I think are hot to draw guys in, and etc., so there you go. If that’s what having fans is like, I can totally live with having fans.
I’m pretty sure Truckstop isn’t old enough to have been around in Biker Bars back in the Eighties, but somehow any sex story just sounds a little dirtier when you add the phrase, “In the Eighties,” to it. Also, the whole little story that he tells is based on a true story that was told to me once by an older lesbian in a leather jacket, and that’s how she told it.