Dayorder Upsub

Episode One Hundred Thirty: Dayorder Upsub. which we Newspeak.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at photos of Berlin, 1961. East German citizens escaping through a hole in a fence at the eleventh hour. The day after the photos were taken the authority deployed barbed wire on the border, and that was it. One of the couples in the photo appear to have been in their sixties. No one in the pictures had any luggage; it's as if they were on a stroll and just decided to go ahead and start a new life. All their possessions - pets, family, friends, fortunes - abandoned? Was it an impulse, or did everyone know they would make the move at some point? Imagine finding out that you were the one person who didn’t know they were planning to escape – that, in your inner circle, you’re the person no one can trust.

    I was mulling the trauma that must be involved in living in a society that would cause so many people to risk their lives on a spur-of-the moment escape. What must it be like living under a constant, dispassionate scrutiny, the facts of your life on display and egregiously interpreted by some harried, low-level clerk.

    Of course, this is now what I do for a living: interpreting, designing, maintaining data systems that host healthcare records. Watching decisions being made (by developers, managers) that have long-lasting, ill-considered impacts. Biting my tongue on the growing tower of babel that comes from corporate acquisition and the inevitable funding cuts that follow. Problems accumulate, and the healthcare system grows increasingly dysfunctional. Yet management still presents that shiny brochure, expecting systems that provide integrity, stability, profitability. This is as it has always been.

    So the person in the comic is me. You fix one problem and roll out the patch, and find that you’ve created three more. What gross effect will this cacophony bring? No one knows. I tell myself that we do good work, but I also wonder weather that justification might look similar to a Stasi officer’s justification for whatever they were doing at the time. I can’t shake the feeling that a hundred years from now some culture will look back on our system and marvel at its insanity.

    Kinda ok with the execution of this week’s strip at the moment. As always, I had a different image in my head that did not come to fruition, and have to accept letting that go. I’m not crazy about the figure work.

    I think this is the second strip I’ve made with five panels, and so they are all worryingly narrow, but I think that came out satisfactory. There is a lot of dialog, and that was a space concern, and I was surprised to find that more smaller panels seemed to have worked better than a few larger. Surprised because I lose space with the extra panel gutter, and with the text margins on the extra panel. But I didn’t want to concede the pacing of the strip.

    I hadn’t at all intended to end up in 1984, but the need to cut back on letters inadvertently left my character speaking Newspeak. I realized this lent itself to the Cold War feeling that I was trying to convey, and so I went with it. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it renders the strip wholly confusing. Which is apt, I think.

    Also in here somewhere is the wonderment in the unseen universes that populate Katchor's Julius Knipl ... except my version lacks any sense of 'fun'.



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