JIMMY RIORDAN

Held Up

Sea Gull Library #01 (Issue #02 pg 16)

Held Up, Sea Gull LibraryJimmy RiordanComment

In Held Up #02 I mentioned a possible web comic dealing with Sallisaw, OK:

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.

Here it is:

sea gull 1I chose not to include much text/dialog in the story because I have found that my memory has become somewhat one sided. I can remember my feelings, some of what I said and did, but I cannot pretend to put myself in K's shoes.

After this scene K and I drove to New Orleans where she took a pregnancy test. She was in fact pregnant. We stayed one night in a motel and then I put her on an airplane back to the west coast. I drove nonstop from the airport to Queens, NY in a state of shock. On the drive I listened to the entirety of 'The Grapes Of Wrath" on tape, read aloud by Gary Sinise. I think the Joads were from near Sallisaw.

Held Up #02

Held UpJimmy RiordanComment

held up 2Like 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.

NOTES:

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.

hup print 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.

peanut web

Revisiting "A Hare Is Not A Hare" (Issue #01 pg 22)

Held Up, MarginaliaJimmy RiordanComment

Originally posted for the 2009 Marginalia show at MTS Gallery.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TI8xPw2aQA&w=560&h=315]

this is a excerpt from last part of book, Siddharta, by Herman Hesse-

“Slower, he walked along in his thoughts and asked himself: “But what is this, what you have sought to learn from teachings and from teachers, and what they, who have taught you much, were still unable to teach you?” And he found: “It was the self, the purpose and essence of which I sought to learn. It was the self, I wanted to free myself from, which I sought to overcome. But I was not able to overcome it, could only deceive it, could only flee from it, only hide from it. Truly, no thing in this world has kept my thoughts thus busy, as this my very own self, this mystery of me being alive, of me being one and being separated and isolated from all others, of me being Siddhartha! And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha!”

Which is similar in narrative to last part of Jammes’ book- the hare facing his own death, and the very reality of death in relation to the philisophical and spiritual inquiry that only life and the body allow.

I have used hare and rabbit imagery a lot in my own practice- in a very specific manner- to both veil and narrate personal tales, of sexuality, cycles, and death, and social inquiries of implicate meaning and order.

There is a big difference in working and in understanding; between illustrating an idea and being the idea.

A hare is not a hare.

It is only at a hare’s death that one may look closely at its fur, whiskers, nostrils, and glazing eyes.

Otherwise it exists only in moment/distance/mind’s eye

in track

in trace

droppings

fur

or movement

A hare is everything that is not hare.

A hare is hare-ness.

Where does hare start and end?

 

“History is best remembered when condensed into myth.”

- Arthur Danto

viva allegory!

 

-marisa favretto

Kid Eternity #6

Held UpJimmy RiordanComment

As mentioned in the Notes of Held Up issue #01, Kid Eternity #6 was the first, and most likely the only appearance Wiley Post Made in a comic book before Held Up. Before coming across a copy of my own, I found an online PDF version which I have included here. Pay attention, Wiley makes only a brief appearance.

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Held Up #01

Held UpJimmy RiordanComment

held up 1

Where to start? Should be obvious, but somehow when I try to explain this project I end up tying the whole thing in knots. In the end I guess the best place to begin is with the comic. Thank you for showing interest and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Held Up #01 is the first in a series of comics which will run for 18 to 23 issues.  The goal is to release an issue every 3 months.

This issue will most likely leave you with more questions than answers. Who is the black figure with the rabbit? What’s the deal with the piñata? I don’t promise any useful answers yet, but plenty of explanation.

I recently showed a rough draft of this issue to a friend of mine. Afterwards we discussed the merits of the word mnemonic, a word that makes an appearance on page 3. She admired the sound of it. The M followed by the N. It is a fascinating word even before understanding its meaning. It is also an appropriate word when applied to this comic. In a lot of ways Held Up is a complex system of mnemonic devices. Every element symbolizes something, just not always something relevant to its plot.

Held Up is structurally modeled after my personal translation of Francis Jammes’ turn of the century French novel Le Roman du Lievre. Each issue is based on a chapter of the book.    Occasionally the text from this translation finds its way into the comic, sort of keeping pace.  “He became brother to the skylark in their fast flight” on page thirteen is an example.

The first chapter of Le Roman du Lievre follows the wanderings of a Hare. It is all about travel and flight from those that hunt him. The reader gets little insight into Hare’s character until Chapter Three. It is this sort of structure that each comic draws from.

The characters, events and other content reflect everything but Le Roman du Lievre itself. It is a melting pot of the marginalia, anecdotes, and free associations that surround my relationship to the book and the many projects that have already emerged from it.

As some readers might be aware, I have been producing work related to Le Roman du Lievre for a while. These projects have taken many forms. A Group show, road trip, the cooking of food, documentation can be found at www.leromandulievre.com. A basic summary of the project can be found on this blog's Le Roman du Lievre page.

One of the most recent installments was a self-referential catalog containing the marginalia of the marginalia of a show titled Marginalia. What better next step than a Comic, right? From the esoteric to panels and thought bubbles.  While drawing from this catalog for material, Held Up’s plot is largely based on events I have not been able to archive thus far. It attempts to tie up loose ends, which there is an endless supply of.

All said, this comic is still intended to be able to stand alone, though being aware of this previous work should provide some useful background and possible entertainment for those of you interested in that sort of thing. Held Up is in many ways the result of its history and the arbitrary rules that have been placed on it. But I hope it reads as much more.