Snippets of a Hulk commission I just finished for Chris Ryder (the author of the fantasticDames in the Atomic Age). I’ll post the whole thing after Chris gets to see it. This was a fun one. Thanks for being so patient, buddy.
“It’s the middle of spring in the middle of Wyoming. In the middle of a field sits a lone Douglas Fir. It reaches higher than a 40 story building and is wide around as this very room we sit in. What makes —”
“Don’t interrupt. It’s not polite” He pats the boy on his head. “What makes this particular tree so unusual however is not it’s size. It’s the fact that nothing grows around it. Not a shrub or a flower. Not even grass. When I was a boy, I saw this mighty tree, my fath—“
“Flowers are for girls.”
“It’s NOT polite.” He continues, “My father told me it was over 400 years old. He told me it was the oldest living thing in the entire state of Wyoming and that —“
“Trees aren’t alive.”
“— PEOPLE… would make pilgrimages from all over the country just to see the tree. Out of respect, visitors would stand in it’s majesty from a distance, never—“
“I bet I could climb it.”
“getting close to it.”
“I BET I COULD CLIMB IT.”
“When I saw the tree with my father, there was another little boy there with his family. He decided that HE WOULD climb it. He ran right up to that giant tree and grabbed onto the—“
“He should have used a pick.”
“— rough bark. The bark was so thick and sturdy that was able to get up out of his mother’s reach quite quickly. She begged him to come down, but he would not listen. By the time he reached the first branch, he was nearly —“
“I’d have use a pick and rope and wolverine claws.”
“100 FEET above the ground. By that —“
“pffft.” The boy makes a fart noise with his hands. “Whatever.”
The old man pauses and makes a pained expression at the boy. “Do you want to hear the end of this story or not?”
“Yes and no. Yes if it’s going to be good and no if it’s going to be bad.”
The old man continues. “By that time, a fire truck had arrived in the field. They extended the ladder as high as it would go, but —“
“Did the fire truck run off of steam cause it was so OLD.”
“— IT WAS FIVE FEET TOO SHORT. By this time the boy had worked his way out to an outer branch. He was chasing a butterfly —“
“— AND THE BRANCH SNAPPED AND THE BOY FELL 100 FEET TO HIS DEATH. THE END.”
The old man storms out of the room.
The boy sits on the ground making fart noises with his hands.
We’re back! Shay was on a trip last week, but she’s back now, which means we’ll get to do more of these.
It’s hot. The air is clear and still and the light is bright and angry. The asphalt expands in front of me as a field of sticky black. The white line next to me is jagged along it’s eastern edge. They’ve repaved recently. It looks like shit.
I’d crack a window but the smell of the warm air would almost certainly make me vomit. I sit with the engine running and the air conditioner on full blast. It’s a wasteful, but necessary expenditure. This is where I’m supposed to be right now.
A woman with a stroller walks briskly across the front entrance towards the JCPenney. She’s round with swollen ankles highlighted by hideous white capri pants. Her hair is greasy and badly damaged from too many home dye jobs. I’m not surprised she’s chosen JCPenney. She looks like JCPenney.
Two teenage boys pull in driving a blue Daewoo. It’s a 2009. Why anyone would choose to drive a Daewoo is beyond me. The park and get out. The driver has sloppy blonde hair and the passenger looks like a member of the Gestapo. They’re both wearing shorts and tank tops. The color the driver is wearing makes his skin look sallow.
The boys walk past a woman on a bench in black slacks and a black blouse smoking a cigarette. She’s wearing a name tag and a black apron. Her hair is pulled into a tight bun on the top of her head. She works at a beauty counter; her makeup is caked on so thick that I can tell at 200 feet that she looks like a hooker.
A 30 year old woman leaves the west entrance. Her hair is short and blonde, she has a nice shape that is accented by slim jeans and white tunic. She’s perfect, but she’s not the one. She can’t be the one because she’s alone. I look through her.
Another woman bursts through the door behind her with 3 children, aged 4, 6, and 7. The children have rumpled clothes and shiny skin. The middle child has an unfortunate overbite while the eldest walks on his toes. I feel a rumble in my stomach.
I scan the sidewalk towards the Macys entrance. Two women in their late twenties are giggling as they walk towards their car. The thinner of the the two grabs the other’s wrist as she keels over in laughter. They carry identical Starbucks iced lattes. Their hair is healthy and glistens in the sunlight. They wear brightly colored sunglasses, pink and red. They get into a white VW Jetta and start the engine. I pull through my space and follow them out of the parking lot.
This is where the magic happens.
My wife, Shay, and I are trying something out. Taking an adjective and noun from a random word generator, we have 60 minutes to create. Shay writes and I draw (digitally in this case), without discussing it with each other. Then we post what we’ve come up with, warts and all. It’s mostly a warm-up exercise, but with the added excitement of seeing the juxtaposition of our end results.
We’re going to shoot for one a day, so stick around.