As a kid, I loved drawing jet planes and spaceships, laser-beams and missiles; stuff that makes little boys feel powerful. Today, walking in the cold Oregon sunshine, I remembered sitting at my desk at twelve, again trying to conjure up power.
At the time, my mother and I had moved in with her boyfriend, Brent, the man who would become by brother’s father. He hated my dog, a little Dachshund named Megan, probably because she wasn’t very house-trained and I didn’t take good care of her. But I loved her dearly, so when he spoke of getting rid of her, for me, it was a declaration of war. I remember sitting in front of a blank page — angry, brooding — thinking of how to strike back using the only power I possessed: my pencil wielding hand.
So I made comics. I believe they were subtly named “The Terrible Brent”, and god were they mean. They portrayed the poor man as a malevolent, brutish oaf — constantly being outwitted by my little dog. I made fun of everything I could think of, from his big, bushy mustache to his parents. An uglier, stupider man has never been so ruthlessly portrayed by a child.
One evening, I remember walking up to the couch that he and my mother occupied, and proudly handing him my stack of angry comics. He read them one by one, pretending to laugh, but I could see the anger boiling. He threatened to rip them up, but to his great credit, he didn’t. Afterwards, I felt better, and we never did get rid of Megan.
Today this memory made me smile. The drawing. The expressing of feelings through comics. It’s been there since the beginning!