Tuesday, March 7, 2023


For as long as I've known R, he's drawn cartoons. I have one he did of me radiating menstrual cramps in front of the Eiffel Tower. It's an ugly portrait but it's in the nature of cartoons to exaggerate and I was having a seriously ugly day. It's my memento of Paris. 

Recently a friend started a cartoon/comics course. She's enjoying it and was showing me what she was doing. 

As we talked, I remembered that R once asked to me to write a story for him to illustrate.  Years ago. I'd completely forgotten. I wrote the story in a couple of hours and there's not much to it. At that point I hadn't read any graphic novels yet. I assumed it would mostly be about the drawings. 

R always has a few projects on the go and I didn't know he was working on the drawings until he showed them to me a year or so later. He'd painted approx 120 frames.  

Unfortunately--though perhaps understandably for a writer--my reaction when he showed me was not to see the paintings, but that he'd included the messy first draft of the story I'd given him. I'd thought he was using it as a guide, not putting it in the cartoons. I said he needed to let me revise the wording. He said it was too late. I was in a state of writerly pique that he hadn't respected my work ethic. We argued.  

Fifteen years passed and I was having a beer with my friend who was showing me the project she was working on for her course. When I came home, I asked R if he remembered that story he'd illustrated. He wasn't sure he still had it. He found it on Weebly where it's been hiding since 2007. 

Now, when I look at it, I see the drawings. They're a record of a neighbourhood where we used to live in the late 90s--that doesn't look like that anymore. The cobbler who used sit on a kitchen chair on the sidewalk. The tatoo parlour.  

The story is thin, but at that time I was still figuring out a lot about writing myself. I still am. I also didn't know how serious R was. Next time--if there's a next time--I'll write a better story. And I'll revise it before I give it to R. 

If you're interested meet Scribe:  https://bobaube.weebly.com/index.html 

Merci, D, for reminding me!


  1. Oh, I like this. I want to read the book. His talent knows no bounds. You're a good duo.

    1. Thank you! I'll pass along the appreciation.

  2. This is fantastic!