Copper - "Ballads" __________________________ November 18th, 2003 - tuesday___



The new Copper comic is up. Big, big thank yous go out to Lisa Chung and Rishi Porecha for donating substantial amounts of money to the site! Thanks for taking a bit of the load off my shoulders on the webhosting costs. Your money will cover several months on this service. Thank you so, so much!!

Ever since I began updating this site regularly with comics, I have received so many wonderful e-mails from a very caring and intelligent audience. Back when I was drawing for the school newspaper, I received only a few comments for the work I produced. Most of the time, I wasn't even sure anybody was reading the material at all. So to see people having such a good time with these comics is a huge treat for me. Nothing makes me feel better than knowing that some little scribble I made helped cheer someone up or inspired them in some way. Recently, I received a very nice e-mail from Quynh Nguyen reminding me how thoughtful some of you are...


For some reason, I connect with Copper and Fred very well. There's no limit to the levity or gravity of the comics.

In particular, "Ruins" cut me to the heart. Here Copper was traveling amongst ruins, had found a toy that reminded him of some distant past that he was trying to recall, and Fred urged him to put it down. They both knew the bad thing that had happened (and Copper was revisiting it with a sense of "Wow what happened here?") and dwelling would solve nothing.

In the end, Copper (possibly with the weight of the tragedy on his shoulders) notes with some candor how Fred looks funny when he is mad.

The setting is in a broken city, suggesting it once had splendor to it but is now reduced to rubble (and appears to have little hope of recovering). Indeed, having been in and out of several relationships, I have felt what it was like to have built something beautiful with someone, cherishing it, and having it come apart. In the wake of its destruction, I would wonder (as if unaware) what had happened to it. Yet I was there and knew that very well. The shock, however, helped maintain a sense of disbelief. This is the first time I have ever seen that sense in a comic.

To me, that was a very beautiful short, encapsulated moment. There is context, a deep history that is hinted at in the subtlest terms, a moral that applies to us all and that all should take to heart, and a kind ending that does not make light of what has been said or the emotional context.

It's as beautiful as Miyazaki's manga, Nausicaa. Thank you for making the comic medium more than recycled humor limited to a teeny scope of human emotion and imagination. I somehow feel liberated with reading Fred and Copper, and wish to thank you for it.

You're very welcome, Quynh, and I must thank you kindly in return! While I would actually consider the work here a five year-old's refrigerator scribble equivalent of master Miyazaki's work, I am deeply honored by the comparison. Some day, I hope to be able to draw and write something as amazing as Nausicaa. Now let me go bruise my over-inflated ego by looking at some of the master's work...

Thanks again, everybody!






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