I love watching super-8 films and have long wanted to make a look-alike of my own, so when James and I went to Big Bear a few weeks ago and it snowed like crazy (to beautiful effect), it seemed like the perfect opportunity. James and I shot the film, and I edited. Enjoy 🙂
Why don’t you love me the way I want you to love me? Am I sucking all the color out of you? Am I selfish? Should you love me the way you want to? Should I accept love as it is given, as it is able to be given? Why isn’t it enough? Do I want drama, passion? Do all women want that? Do we all give up when we realize you don’t have the emotionshormonessensitivityunderstandingneed that we do? Do we accept you as other? Do we keep searching until we fill the need? Do children fill the need? Do friends? Does our work? Do we? Does anything? Does satisfaction exist, or is it a passing sense of filled hunger until our bellies go empty again, overwhelming at one point, a few hours later, yearning for more like it was never there? Does my childhood give me this need? Is it wrong, other? Am I wrong? Do I crawl into myself and wait for it to pass? Do I crawl into another? Do I keep crying? Do I force myself to stop?
You need to relax. Let’s go get something to eat.
When you won’t devote yourself to me, am I foolish to devote myself to you? Should I be distant, as the moon, as you are? Should I cut my ribs open and reveal all? Does that matter? Would you be horrified by the blood? Would you be entranced? Would you be disgusted? Would you be sympathetic? Would you pity me? Would you play in it? Would I be engrossed in the smile on your face? Would I let you?
I love you.
Am I overemotional? Am I different for feeling this way? Would others mock me? Would they see truth, or a pitiful form shuddering in the corner? Would they dare to touch me, dare to try again when I rebuffed? Is this my fault?
Do I accept reality? Do I put on a pretty face? Do I dig into someone else’s mind, take them into the dark pond with me? Do I carry them into the depths, so I have company? Do I grip their wrist when they try to pull away? Do they still hear me when my voice is warbled by the water that climbs up my throat? Can they see my eyes still shining? Can they see I’m not fine? If I tread to the top, and keep treading, how long will it be until I sink, not by choice, but by exhaustion?
You can swim, you’re a good swimmer.
I don’t want to. I don’t want to do anything right now.
Can’t you do it for me?
How can I stay here with you when you won’t even commit to being here tomorrow?
Why are you being silent? What is it? Say it. You blame me. You don’t want to be here anymore.
I didn’t say that. You don’t understand. This isn’t the life I wanted.
Nobody gets the life they wanted. They get the life that happens.
I don’t want to believe that.
Is this life ( that you’re in control of, by the way) better? Is this working for you?
You don’t understand. I’m drowning.
If you’re drowning now, you’ll be drowning tomorrow. What’s going to pull you out of it? Decide to get out of it.
It’s beyond my control. I want to leave, but I can’t leave you. I’ll be alone again.
Run like you always do.
In the night, sometimes I do. I rip off my pajamas and I run through the grass and I jump over fences and I get bruises, scrapes, cuts. Then I wake up with the dark water in my chest, rising up, spilling out. I gulp in air in quick gasps, water sloshing against my ribs until my eyes close and I force it to retreat back into the sea. Until I fall back into dreamless sleep. Lately, I haven’t been dreaming at all.
Will you ever understand? I can’t control my emotions. They pour out when they want to. They claw their way out if I cage them up. They become first in line for the next thing I say. They push their bony arms out my mouth, out my eyes, out my body. I say I want truth, when all I want is release.
I’m not happy here. I feel like I need to get away, whether that’s wrong or not.
Go exercise or something.
Run in a circle? Run back to the same point I left? Rinse off my emotions in the shower?
Go shopping, get a coffee.
I don’t need a new shirt, I need a cabin deep in the woods where no one will hear me or see me.
God, are you going crazy?
I guess I am.
Someone’s calling. I’ll call you back in five minutes, okay?
I love you.
Love you too.
Los Angeles, CA
When did you start thinking of yourself as an artist? Or, do you?
As a cartoonist, I think of myself as a writer first and an artist second. I use art to convey a joke or story or situation that I initially spend a lot of time putting down in words. The pictures help bring those words to life. Sometimes with sexy dinosaurs and butt jokes.
Why are you an artist? What is art to you/what does it do for you? How important is it to you?
I draw comics because I like making fun of things. It sounds simple, but that’s really all there is to it. Life is strange, people are weird, and it’s important to point out all the absurdities—and create new ones—to help take the edge off.
How did you get to where you are now, and do you want to take it further? In other words, what are your artistic goals?
I started doing Poorly Drawn Lines as a weekly comic strip in my college newspaper my freshman year. A few months later I found out about this thing called “webcomics” and decided to put PDL on the internet. The rest is history. By which I mean “things I remember in my head.”
I definitely want to take it further. PDL has started gaining an audience over the last year or so, and it’s really encouraging. If things keep going well, I’d love to make PDL my full time gig. In any case, my goal is to keep entertaining people and exploring what I can do creatively, whether that means drawing comics, writing a novel, or making tiny clay statues of Batman fighting Darth Vader and selling them on eBay. Don’t steal that idea.
Ever since I got kicked out of Astronaut Cowboy Indiana Jones school I’ve had to take a real hard look at what I want to do professionally. Like I said before, doing PDL full time would be amazing. Whatever happens, I want to continue to flex my creative muscles. Maybe I’ll open a gym for artists. Don’t steal that idea.
What are you working on now?
New comics. Always. I’m also going to be launching the PDL blog soon, where I’ll be writing short stories and essays of the humorous variety. Some of them might actually be good.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
Make stuff and put it on the internet. It’s unbelievable the kind of exposure you can get out there. Artists have a crazy level of access to people these days. Just people in general. Lots of them. Lots of people who might really enjoy what you do and support your efforts to do it.
If you could be anything else, what would it be?
Astronaut Cowboy Indiana Jones.
I’ve seen your comics on Reddit and Pinterest; how do you feel about that? (I think it’s pretty damn cool.)
I feel great about it. Reddit was actually a huge source of encouragement for me. There was a point after I graduated from college when I wasn’t sure I was going to keep drawing PDL. Then I did this comic about how I killed a spider and it got really popular on Reddit. That’s when I realized I could potentially reach a lot of people by drawing silly shit and presenting it to the masses. It goes back to that whole “put stuff on the internet” thing I mentioned earlier. The internet is a big artistic melting pot, and at the same time, a perfect democracy—good things get propelled to the surface because people share them and talk about them and lend them this amazing collective momentum. It is, for the most part, a beautiful thing.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Prevent internet censorship. And brush your teeth.