Like the last issue and all those to come, this chapter of Held Up is structurally based on the corresponding chapter of Le Roman du Lievre. The memorable line from Chapter Two (at least for me) is “and thats how the night passed, in eating and in love.” Like Chapter One, nothing is really revealed about our protagonist. We don’t get to hear what he is thinking for another few months.
pg 1: A quote from Le Roman du Lievre Chapter Two. pg 3: This half of the spread, along with part of page 1, is based on a letterpress piece I did right after the Marginalia show in 2009.
4,5: This story is credited as the origin of the Memory Palace memory enhancement technique 6: An extremely brief explanation of the Memory Palace, an idea that is taking root in this comic and the Le Roman du Lievre project in general (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_of_loci). 10-12: We return to piñatas and the blindfold (see last issues notes) at the MTS Gallery in Mountain View, Anchorage, AK. The floor plan is based on a drawing from Elysa Lozano’s Autonomous Organization Proposal. Which was her contribution to the Marginalia Exhibit. MTS no longer exists. The building was leveled during the summer of 2011, so those parts of the building that were not included in Elysa’s drawing were drawn from memory. 15, 16: I drove a 1986 Ford F250 diesel pickup truck (named Baby by its new owners) 13,000 miles from Anchorage to New York returning artwork to the North American artists that participated in Marginalia (see Marginalia: 2009 and Return to Me: 2010 at www.leromandulievre.com). On the way back the truck broke down in Okemah, Ok. This wonderful story about painting watermelon white to keep them cool during the hot Oklahoma summer was told to me a year later, when I picked the truck back up from the generous mechanic who repaired it. 16: In 2004 I drove from Oregon to New York, by way of New Orleans with the girl I was seeing at the time (lets call her K). We had made a similar drive, in reverse, the previous year. The copy of Romance of the Rabbit (the original English translation of Le Roman du Lievre) that inspired this entire project was in the trunk of my car for both trips (it was lost almost immediately after the drives completion). We camped right outside Sallisaw, OK on our way east. It was there that we first suspected she might be pregnant. An event that shaped much of who I am today. I initially intended to include a fictional episode based on this experience in this issue right where these notes are, but couldn’t make it work. If and when I do finish this episode I will include it on the blog and in the collected version of Book One. 18,19,23: A quote from Le Roman du Lievre Chapter Two. 24: The text on this page is an amalgamation of 2 conversations. The first was had with K on our first drive west, from New York to Oregon in 2003. We were bemoaning the fact that every word we used to discuss our relationship seemed to have either a positive or negative value. Neutral seemed impossible. The second conversation took place with Lindsay Clark, Cara Fraver, Luke Deikis, and I this last New Year. We were discussing whether a watermelon was a fruit. Luke and Cara argued that using the botanical definition of fruit to define the watermelon was misguided, since vegetable is not a botanical term.
I would also like to mention a few things regarding Held Up chapter One. Soon after releasing it I realized that I had gotten an important fact incorrect. Actually I didn’t realize it myself. An older man (as he was described to me, it would not have been surprising if he had been around Anchorage as a child when Rogers and Post visited) pawed through the issue and pointed out that Post and Rogers were on their way to Point Barrow (not point Hope) when they crashed their plane. “Something any self respecting Alaskan should know.”
I was told about this mistake right about the same time that I learned the Anchorage Museum had an exhibit on Arctic Aviation opening in February (Another coincidence in line with the ethos of Le Roman du Lievre). In celebration of this coincidence the museum decided to carry copies of Held Up in their shop for the duration of the exhibit. Why not? Post and Rogers are on the cover. I printed a batch of corrected comics for the Museum. This second edition was a bit smaller, which I liked. All further issues, including this one, will be printed at these dimensions, which are closer to that of a standard comic size.
I have been reading more and more about the Alaskan adventures of Will Rogers and Wiley Post, and Post in general and find myself daydreaming about ways in which I can continue to include them in this story, even though, at this point, their connection to the narrative is almost entirely linked to the Oklahoma City Airport, named after Rogers, and the fact that they died in Alaska. I am thinking about having the majority of Chapter Three take place at the Anchorage Museum’s Arctic Aviation show. If this happens the two of them will probably sneak in. Even if this doesn’t happen, Wiley is beginning to take on saintly proportions for me and this story has room for a saint. So we will see him again. For now he might have to stay on the sidelines, taking on the role of Brer Wolf in a Peanuts themed telling of Uncle Remus’ Tar Baby story.