I’m someone who cherishes most of the younger versions of myself, and a corollary of that is that I also cherish a good deal of the art that I’ve created over my lifetime. There is a fair amount of cringe in there, of course, but often my prevailing feeling is “damn youngblood, you had heart even back then”. The ratio on the work that follows here is something like: 30% mildly embarrassing to somewhat mortifying; 30% kind of precious and endearing; and 40% “damn youngblood, you had heart even back then”. Apparently, that’s balanced enough that I’d like to put it out in the world and let it complete its life cycle.
The basic premise: this was the story and script for what I intended to eventually be a graphic novel; I didn’t know or worry while I was writing it about who would illustrate it. It follows two sets of characters, who are alternate timeline versions of each other: Charlie Johnston (whose respective versions go by the names Chas and Lee), Andrea Apostoloff (And/Rea), Jeanette (John/Annette), and so on. The timelines split sometime around when they all graduated high school, and they’re all around 22, 23 now. It’s fiction, but the life stage challenges and worldly concerns of the characters do absolutely reflect my own at the time: mainly, how to be a male (sic) feminist, how to do polyamory, how to make meaningful art and generally how to be a decent person who cares about justice.
Normally I agree that disclaimers are to be avoided, but there’s simply no way that I could let this see the light of day without naming some of the things I didn’t know a fucking thing about when I wrote this, which include zines, the art world, tarot, being an independent musician, audio recording and engineering, journalism, queerness, transness, abortion clinics, feminism, radical politics in general. I don’t think I had even really considered the concept of doing research for creative writing? But there’s no cleaning this up, folks; either it goes out into the world as is, or it just disappears. So, if you either like me as a person or my work enough to leaf through it, I thank you for both your audience and your grace.