My newest comic is now online! Baseline Blvd is an autobiographical story about grief, and the feelings of anger, guilt, and isolation that come wrapped up with it. It depicts the drive between my home in southeastern Kansas to a small cemetery outside of Carthage, MO. This comic, as you may have guessed, is a bit more personal than the rest of my work, and it’s kind of heavy.
Some background for those interested: In 2007, during my last year of college, my boyfriend at the time committed suicide. Seven years later I moved across the country to Kansas for a job and discovered that my new home was only 43 miles from the place where he is buried. The cemetery is off a major country road that I find myself driving down semi-frequently. It’s an emotionally difficult drive that has become slightly less emotionally difficult over time. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, as though not stopping to mark the occasion every time I pass the cemetery is somehow lessening its significance, and by proxy, his significance. So I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, and about what it means that he’s been woven back into the fabric of my day-to-day life in this way.
If you’ve been following my work for a long time you might remember that I’ve touched on this subject matter before, in Owlex, my short-lived webcomic. While that story involved keg parties in hell, Magic: The Gathering drinking games, and a band called Ritalin Reggie and the Short Attention Spans, it was at its heart, despite all the wacky hijinks, a story about feeling haunted by the ghost of a person who left the world in a violent and senseless way. Owlex took a tongue-in-cheek approach to some difficult issues that were still very fresh at the time I was making it. In many ways I guess Baseline Blvd is also about feeling haunted, though there aren’t any wacky hijinks in this one.