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  • Writer's pictureJay Abel

"WALKABOUT" - FIRST and LAST THINGS



My most recent graphic novel “WALKABOUT” does not inform space monsters from the 4th dimension, female warriors with big boobs in leopard skin bikinis, or ninja robot commandoes programmed to kill Batman. 


Re-cycled Manga kitsch has also been ruthlessly expunged from this narrative.     


And so, one might legitimately ask, “what kind of half-assed graphic novel can be built without the most foundational building blocks of this genre?” 


Good question.  


As I near my 7th and for all I know last decade on this sad plane of existence it occurs to me that you either did the thing you set out to do, if you set out to do anything, or you didn’t. Most of your life is back there, someplace. Even if you didn’t expect much, except to work a job and raise kids, the simplest human being leads a life that involves a  million small, daily travails and exhalations plus complex arrangements with an untold number of other people over many decades. 


That story, whatever it amounts to, almost entirely dies with you and sinks without a bubble.   

Let us assume that you set out to put a million dollars in the bank and you worked hard and got lucky and you did it. 


Victory lap, spike the ball, kiss the coach. 


What’s that 20 years after you’re gone?  


“Oh” pointing to a blurry snap-shot on the wall ”Isn’t that uncle Joe, the one who made a million dollars?”


“I’m not sure, I think that was uncle Fred. I only remember uncle Joe because he always played ‘pull my finger’ with the kids…”


And what if uncle Fred, or maybe it was uncle Joe, became a bitter old snap-turtle who hated himself for turning into a boring, one-dimensional money-hustler?


Or worse, what of that other Uncle? (Fred or Joe, they really looked sort of alike except for Fred had bad teeth),  the big dreamer who was broke all the time? The one who  became  eternally distracted by a million small, daily travails and exhalations plus complex arrangements with an untold number of people over many decades, and ended up a bitter old snap-turtle who hated himself for turning into a boring one-dimensional ne’er do well? 


Few die easy, even if they never get around to pestering themselves with foolish questions.  


And that’s what my book is about. Except for all the really jazzy, full-page landscapes, that I literally dreamed up and that I’m rather proud of. 


I mean, the guy in the book, who’s walking around, had to walk someplace, right? 


One other item ought to be mentioned here. Older folks seem to resonate to this tale, but the  “Walkabout” is of little interest to younger people.  This should have been predicted. You don’t really think that much about the journey until it’s over.



JDA



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