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Pointless Man and the Open Mic

In 1999, I was engaged in classes at North Seattle Community College. Two of these were English courses. One week, they both focused on beatnicks, and most of the kids, many of whom had never heard of these authors before, heaped accolades on the likes of Ginsberg and Kerouac. I've never been a big fan of the beats writings or their hipsterism. My attitude was, essentially, 'Screw those guys.' But, even mild criticism of these dudes was drowned out by choruses of praise. Serious discussion was off the table.

Incensed, I spent the week regaling all who would listen with enlivened rants on the subject. My brother, Devin, responded with an ode to beatnicks, which I immediately committed to a comic, as above. Only, the page I drew disappeared the next day. It was about two years before I would revisit the concept. Even then, there were problems. I somehow managed to lose that piece, as well. What you see above is a coloured copy of the black and white comic I drew in 2001.

You may not be aware of it, but standard copying paper is not of the highest quality, and it is not meant to preserve artwork. This didn't help me when I finally scanned the comic. I have no idea how much time I spent on my most recent attempt to clean this thing up, but I do know the effort spanned the last couple of months, and was quite frustrating. It may not look it, but (including time in Photoshop) this single page took me more time to finish than anything else I've ever drawn.

So. You'd better fucking enjoy it.


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The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

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