This originally appeared in the Decatur Patch this week. I published it as a daily comic M-F, breaking it up into a page or two at a time. I tried to write for and hit the rhythms of a daily comic, while still maintaining the overall narrative flow and build. More after:
I have always amazed at the way comic strip artists like Floyd Gottfredson (Mickey Mouse), Hal Foster (Prince Valiant), and Walt Kelley (Pogo) built both daily rhythms and story arcs into their strips. Each strip taken on its own has a certain cohesion and finality about it, but taken together they build on one another and the seams fall away to form a complete whole. I figure if I can do this thing daily for awhile, then I can build audience. I have a few problems: 1: I'm working in nonfiction, and 2: I'm trying to compose essays, rather than narrative. Maybe I'm just being pig-headed in my approach.
What I didn't fit in was another story of Gyges, this one from Herotodus. In it, Gyges is a guard that is pressured by his king to observe the naked queen. Gyges is discovered, and must choose to either kill himself (for committing the shameful act of looking upon the queen without her permission), or kill the king, and thereby avenge the honor of the queen. He chooses to kill the king. I love the story, but this is an entirely different moral quandry, and I just couldn't fit it in here.
The neighbor is my next door neighbor. He teaches Philosophy at the community college where I teach. He was anxious about how much hair I would draw him with.
I hate the last line, and lie awake all night trying to come up with a substitute. Then the deadline arrived and I went with it anyway.