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Dean Haspiel

History

13th October 2005

1:46am: Money where your mouth is


My great friend and comix cohort since high school, 4_eyez, was deployed Wednesday morning by the Red Cross to Gulfport military base in Biloxi, Mississippi, to help victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster for the next three weeks. The night before, his lovely wife, Sari, threw him a wonderful pizza and beer fueled send off. Knowing how little room he would have to store clothes, toiletries, survival tools, water, cell phone, laptop, etc., in his back pack -- I decided to buy him a small moleskin diary to insure he would keep diligent notes and sketches of his experience. Not only will he [hopefully] keep intermittent accounts of his trip to NOLA on his Blog, but when the electricity reaches curfew and the cot is feeling less than familiar, I expect my local hero to jot down those insomniac induced reflections with basic pen and paper under a moonlit sky. I'm banking on 4_eyez to eventually employ his artistic talents and make a graphic novel of his brave and selfless out reach to humanity. The comix form could surely use a tome to educate folks like me what it takes to volunteer your personal time and resources.



10-4 good buddy. Don't let the bed bugs bite and get back to Brooklyn safe and sound.
11:25am: For those who care

[Waiting in front of Lowes while SBX scores a sump pump for her flooded basement]

I cherish good semi-autobio comix and have dabbled in it myself. I think I have an interesting enough life to share only I have yet to make my stories read with universal appeal. My complaint about OPPOSABLE THUMBS is that the reader is forced to stand idle like a voyeur rather than a participant; creating an unfortunate distance. In the past I have taken a narcissistic, almost reportage, approach in my semi-autobio comix when I should have fictionalized it in some broad way in order to secure the readers loyalty. The best semi-autobio authors manage to tell their story while making you feel it's yours, too. I rarely ever achieved that primal connection in my work except, maybe, in my BILLY DOGMA stories which I have always felt was MORE autobiographical than anything else I've done. With BILLY DOGMA, I achieved a certain distance that allowed for the truth.

I started typing a Blog over 4-years ago and it got REALLY personal REALLY fast. It became an awfully ugly read. A heartbreak finally caused me to chill out with all the gnarly details and then I learned to use my Blog as a place for text sketches, communal parlay and procrastination, and a hype tool for my work. Since then, I've sparked picture diary's and written short yet anecdotal autobio. Just like film school taught me how to think about sequential narrative solutions better than any fine arts class could, the nature and potential of Blogs have taught me how to be a better conveyor of textual sound and beats.

Semi-autobio authors and provokers like Eddie Campbell, R. Crumb, Harvey Pekar, 4_eyez, Jeffrey Brown, Vanessa Davis, Chester Brown, James Kochalka, Gabrielle Bell, Charles Bukowski, Jonathan Ames, digitante, Jonathan Lethem, David Sedaris, larrondo, niggerkojak, digital_ink, and most recently, stereolabrat, manage to create the perfect distance between their real life and ours, manifesting a symbiotic relationship between writer and reader.

Undie Press has approached me to publish an art memoir of sorts come summer of 2006. A combination of my best Blog posts mixed with some comix and sketches. It's going to be raw and titled POST-DISASTER ADVENTURE CHRONICLES. Maybe this will be the start of something? I think I need to read Henry Miller.
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