Tag Archives: whitney

Of Sexy Girls, Fetuses, and Monocles. Part 2.

Part 1 of this series is here.

So, last time I started talking about my current slump, and my decision to look backwards to the time when I was at my most productive,and I gave a bit of the important history lesson about my girlfriend at that time, Whitney.

Mixed Sketches

This time, we’ll move on more to the creative process and how I settled on the Monocle Series as the thing to move me past my troubles.

Once I knew I wanted to revisit my past, I did what any artist would probably do– I pulled out a giant stack of sketchbooks and started leafing through them. Throughout college, I always had at least one sketchbook on me at all times. I don’t actually recall ever using a lined notebook my entire collegiate run. Some people have notes with doodles in the margins, I have doodles with notes in the white space (which is hell on composition, FYI).

So, I went through several sketchbooks, and I started tearing out any ideas I’d had but not done, so I could tape them up on my wall. And, I started coming across the doodles Whit had left me in a few of them. And of course, it was an instant nostalgia trip that took me straight back to everything things were at the time (or, at least the closest my memory can reconstruct. I’m well aware memories are notorious liars and that that which we don’t skew out of nostalgia our brains probably do just because they’re too lazy to remember the actual details when generic memory constructs will do just fine. But I digress).


Of Sexy Girls, Fetuses, and Monocles. Part 1.

OK, so, I’ve been promising a return to the insightful, autobiographical work-in-progress feel I set out to accomplish with this blog, and I think we need to start with a little trip down memory lane.

In my college days, when I was a younger Zed, I dated a lovely gal by the name of ‘Whitney,’ who was insane. I mean, like really insane, but the fun kind, not the stabbity kind.

My Thesis Exhibition, "Sometimes They Opened Galleries"

Among the many things I remember about Whitney is that she was just absolutely unaffected by the usual self-consciousness handicaps that so many people get tripped up on. Her imagination was unhindered by any concerns as to how things would be received, and it was a brilliant sort of rebellion that I easily became wrapped up in myself.


It’s unsurprising that it was during this time in my life I came up with all the cast and designs for my ChickenBones comics. It was a good relationship for encouraging a sense of playful exploration and madcap absurdities. Without Whit’s influence, I have to genuinely doubt I would have been in a state of mind to create a comic about an anthropomorphic chicken skeleton in a nehru coat and cargo shorts, whose supporting cast included a broom, a vampire, a store mannequin, a wax statue of Abraham Lincoln, a 6 foot tall playing card, and a floating burlap sack.