A diary by means of a collage by means of a cartoon. Verbose explication in the comments. On hiatus. read comics the wrong way at: Latent Narratives
read comics the wrong way at: Latent Narratives
Following a week half-absorbed by a migraine and half-absorbed by the drama of a financially-challenged institution facing layoffs (why is it that my entire career has been jumping from one sinking ship to another?), this strip reflects the resulting sensations of disconnect and ruin. I had a hell of a time putting this one together in a way that felt satisfying. Several panels were swapped at zero hour, and the strip was started and scrapped a couple of times. Frustrating. 'Cascade Effect' coming from the stress that my department is feeling as a result of the buckling of other systems that are under pressure by sagging from other groups. Things are changing at work, and change always causes pain. The image I get is of a train that feels strong, convenient, and comfortable when it is on track, but once the track is left the entire flow is disrupted: that velocity is transferred to places that were never meant to receive it, and suddenly structures are buckling and flying in different directions. Hyperbolic, to be sure, but it is what anxiety feels like. The third panel from a terminal window I had on a network switch that had trouble maintaining open ports. Totally unconscious, but looking at the finished product, the train looks like a lifeless phallus, and the repetition of 'down' in the subsequent frame echos the sense of the comic: there is not a lot of vitality happening here. The resolution frame quoting from Flann O'Brien's amazing novel The Third Policeman (written 1940, published 1967), unconsciously repeating the word "point" from the first frame. And turning on my expectation of the word 'point'. Is O'Brien talking about a point, as in an idea? Or a point, as in a tip of a needle? In the end, it seems like a prophesy: all this train wreck, all this impotence, it is only the beginning of what will become acute pain. That turn feels like a satisfying end to what had been a difficult and frustrating journey of a cartoon.