Patty Remaley says, “Jean Shepherd, mother. Tell him we don’t want any seeds.”
I say, “I’m not here for seeds. Tell Patty I’m…I’m here…I…”
Mrs. Remaley says, “Yes?”
“Patty, he says he’s here!”
And Patty says, “Tell him I’ll see him in school tomorrow—or something. What does he want?”
What does he want! I don’t know what to say to Mrs. Remaley. I say, “Well, tell Pattie that, an…I want to ask her if she got…ah…the third problem in arithmetic?” It is all I could think of.
Patty says, “Yes, the answer is thirty-two.”
I say, “Oh, thanks…ah…ah…”
Mrs. Remaley says, “Is that all, little boy?”
I say “Bye.” It is the first time I’ve noticed that my corduroy hat weighs seventy-two pounds. It is hanging down over my ears and I am sweating in it. I say, “Bye” again, and Mrs. Remaley closes the door.
I turned and I looked out, and the sun was coming down through the trees and I saw that Sherman Williams Paint sign and the Warren G. Harding School off in the distance, and in the windows all the paper cutouts kids in kindergarten had made.
And I walked across the porch and went down the steps and I had the feeling that Patty Remaley was looking through the curtains at me. What do you do?
Graphic Novels Part 4
Frank Miller, well known for his violent work, has expanded into movies such as his Sin City. His graphic novel Sin City is a visually dramatic book all in black and white. The film derived from it does a good job–only in the beginning–replicating the dramatic b & w effect used throughout the book.
Ted McKeever has done a number of works tending to depict unattractively drawn people in frequently strikingly colored environments.
This is a single panel from a page by McKeever.
I’ve been so taken with this image that,
when I met him at a store appearance,
he signed the image for me in the comic.
David Mark. This artist uses innumerable graphic styles in the same comic issue, creating powerful effects. Four separate pages from Kabuki below.
Harvey Pekar, author of American Splendor, with his wife, are the subjects of the biographical film of that name staring Paul Giamatti. In the series of graphic novels, almost all with the same name, Harvey’s subject is the various circumstances of what he considers his own very ordinary life. He is referred to as a pioneer of the the autobiographical form of graphic novels. He’s definitely the creator of graphic novels, but what‘s different about his work is that he cannot draw. He does page layouts with rudimentary stick figures and then contracts various comic book artists to work with him on the finished pages. Robert Crumb, a longtime friend, did some art for Pekar’s works.
At a comic convention, I sought out Harvey’s booth because I’d heard that he was a Jean Shepherd enthusiast. We met and I discussed Shepherd with him and his wife–and sometimes collaborator–Joyce Brabner. I bought one of his books from him. While Harvey watched and sold more books, Joyce and I grabbed a couple of chairs and sat for an hour talking about Shepherd. She volunteered to try to find a stash of audios of his earliest New York broadcasts–the holy grail for Shep enthusiasts. (Ultimately the quest was unsuccessful.) To demonstrate her enthusiasm for Shepherd’s work, she handed me her CD earpiece–she was playing his re-broadcasts, which she listened to on their business trips.
R. Crumb’s cover art above.
Below, Paul Giamatti as Harvey, and Harvey.
Harvey died recently.