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Sisyphus, as Per Camus:

Word.

Comments

  1. The ambiguity of that last panel (is the panel on the right the last panel? My thoughts depend on it being so...) seems apt to the quotation, I take it. He doesn't look happy, dancing with glee or reveling in satisfaction. It looks open just what's going on. In that sense, we have to force ourselves to imagine him as happy.

    I like the work of this.

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  2. Thank you.

    Yes, the panel on the right is the last panel, but one is meant to be made aware of it and take it into account after reading, "A brief moment". The idea is that one will naturally have one's eyes bounce there thanks to the intrusion of the boulder across panels, but that the flow of the panels and the presence of more text near the bottom of the page will bring the eyes back down and to the left, only taking full stock of the panel on the right (and resting there) after this.

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  3. For some reason I always imagined that Sisyphus never actually got the rock over the mountain, but got really close to the top and then ran out of strength and it fell down the same side that he was pushing it up again. However in your version I assume that after he gets it over the mountain he has to start pushing it up the other side.

    I'm not sure why I would imagine it that way, or if it even makes a difference. I never actually read the whole thing, but rather one of my instructors in high school kind of gave an overview of it to us and then we read a selection.

    I think my version might be even more hopeless because at least in this comic version he gets a small success.

    Anways, the main thing I wanted to say is that the far right panel is cool and I think you drew Sisyphus falling backwards pretty well.

    Furthermore, it doesn't appear as though he has a loincloth on in the second panel. Did you add a loincloth later so that you wouldn't have to draw his crotch?

    And one last comment...it's difficult for me to read if Sisyphus is drenched in sweat in the third panel, or if those are shadows.

    Ok, and one final observation...I like the way you expressed the contours of the mountain.

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  4. Perhaps 'falling backwards' isn't the best way to put it. 'giving a final heave' would be more accurate.

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  5. Thank you for your compliments. I certainly appreciate them.

    I drew this comic while waiting for a ride at work. I had the time to do it because, unbeknownst to me, my coworker had torn his hand open with a mop, and decided to keep going anyway. So. At work, I had a single pen (a Pilot G2 .7mm), and no pencils. I didn't have enough faith in my pen-work (especially at that width) to affix the loincloth after I had sketched out his body. The pen's width also played a role in decision to use a loincloth at all, though the main factors were my own modesty and inexperience drawing penises.

    In the third panel, I have come to think of the crosshatched elements as shadows and the blue bits as sweat, though I am not sure when I came to this conclusion. It was either after I coloured it, or during that process. Your confusion is understandable.

    As to Sisyphus and his rock, I'd always been told they both reached the top of the mountain before going back down. It's been some time since I read 'The Myth of Sisyphus', and I don't recall how Camus phrases it. The real question, though, is how did the ancient Greeks intend it. On that score, I am not sure.

    Admittedly, not even reaching the top might feel a bit worse, but it leaves open the possibility that reaching the top would offer an end to the travail. Which (if either) situation is more bleak seems a matter of perspective. But, then, most things are.

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  6. I did a little bit of research on wikipedia about Sisyphus and found several interesting things- The most relevant to your comic is number 3, so feel free to skip directly to that one.

    1. The plot about Death (Thanatos in the Sisyphus story) dieing and subsequently the laws of death being suspended for mortals is really, really old. I'd seen it on Family Guy before, and they're also doing a new TV series on Showtime I believe on this exact premise, and furthermore the NYTimes did a reflective piece on concept of aforementioned TV show.

    2. Sisyphus was a rascal, and kind of funny. To wit, "before King Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square (purportedly as a test of his wife's love for him). This caused King Sisyphus to end up on the shores of the river Styx. Then complaining to Persephone that this was a sign of his wife's disrespect for him, King Sisyphus persuaded her to allow him to go back to the upper world and scold his wife for not burying his body and giving him a proper funeral (as a loving wife should). Back in Corinth, King Sisyphus's spirit scolded his wife for not giving him a proper funeral. When King Sisyphus' spirit refused to return to the Underworld, he was forcibly dragged back to the Underworld by Hermes."

    If I ever get married and am on the brink of death, and assuming my wife is still healthy, I'm going to tell her to throw my naked body into the middle of a public square...

    3. According to wikipedia, Sisyphus never actually does get the rock over the 'steep hill'. Here are the two quotes from the article pertaining to this matter: "before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down, forcing him to begin again.", and " Zeus displayed his own cleverness by binding King Sisyphus to an eternity of frustration with the boulder rolling away from Sisyphus when he neared the top of the hill."

    So that's that, for what it's worth. . . Of course you do have artistic license with a comic, as you know...

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