Time Traveling While Standing In Place

Perhaps it’s the nostalgic value, perhaps it’s the feeling that there’s something to be gained by such an exercise, but I’ve had the recurring thought in the last few days that I should look back at old comic strips I created when I was in art school and, where possible, rework them in some manner.

As only befits someone who (a) is a big comic fan and has been since as far back as I can remember, and (b) went to art school, I was heavily into writing and drawing my own comics all the way through my mid-20s; the subject matter shifting as I grew older and my interests shifting too, as did my influences. (There was, I’m only part-ashamed to say, a period where Jim Lee was drawing the X-Men and I really tried to recreate what he was doing; so, so many lines and people gritting their teeth.)

Most of this stuff is lost to the ages now, thankfully — no-one really needs to see me work out obsessions with everyone from Walt Simonson to Dave McKean, entirely failing to fully understand why their work left such an impression on me, trust me — but some of it remains, at least digitally; the final things I did in art school as part of my final projects. They’re somewhere on a CD-Rom, and I’m pretty sure I could access them if I wanted to.

I’m sure the very sight of them would embarrass me were I to look at them today, but there’s also the hope that they’d seem as if they were the work of someone else entirely, because they were created so long ago; that I’d be able to look at them afresh and see if there’s any value there. (Probably not, I suspect they’re very “early 20s and very earnest” in tone, but that might just be self-consciousness talking.)

There’s something in the idea of going back and touching them again — not updating them, or even really changing them significantly, but fixing things that never worked out the first time — that is what keeps bringing me back to the topic in my head. The kindness of reaching back in time and offering a hand to the person who was me, in some weird but sincere way.

Soon, perhaps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *