This was a one-page I made about an event that actually happened. I was going to use it for filler in mini comics. Filler pages are nice extras you can tuck into printed comics to help fill up you page count, which needs to be divisible by 4 (printed books usually need page counts that are divisible by 4, like 24, 32, 48, and so on).
The thing on my head was a weird purple-feathered cap that I got at an antique store. I thought it looked really cute at the time.
The young man in this comic you will never see again, and he is probably the only character I’ve ever drawn, aside from my alter ego, who is based entirely on a real person. He was a very sweet friend of mine in Mt. Airy. I say “was” because I don’t know what happened to him. He was younger than I, and we’d known each other for about four years when I drew this. When I would go to Mt. Airy for Magic: the Gathering game nights, we’d meet up, go out on the town for sweets and things, talk smack, and watch movies. It was a good friendship, definitely a bright spot in my rural youth.
Then I moved to Roanoke, and he came of age. He wasn’t able to get out of Mt. Airy. It made me very sad. He was smart and good, but he couldn’t get out, not to college, not to Roanoke (where there were jobs), and there was nothing I could do to help him. This happened with a lot of the people in my age group from that area. They just got swallowed up. It was hard to watch someone I cared so much about being pulled under.
My attempts to help and encourage only seemed to make him feel worse as it underscored how helpless we both were, without means or cars or income. In the end, our friendship suffered and fractured as my life picked up speed.
I don’t know where he is or what he does now. Every once in a while he sends me a small note around my birthday to wish me well. I am writing this here so I will remember this very important person always.
We were walking to the new cinema to see Kevin Smith’s Clerks II, and someone shouted, “Dyke!” from a passing vehicle. I don’t remember if I actually shouted, “Breeder!” back. Maybe some day I can ask my friend if I actually did. But I do remember we had this conversation after the event.