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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

LXXIII: Yesteryears

Funny thing about floating about in the middle, no one ever thinks of you like that. It’s either one side or the other. The if-you’re-not-with-me-you’re-against-me mentality. Active imaginations thinking gossip, gossip, gossip, about the person not around. Over-sensitivity, youthfulness, anxieties all working to destroy what rationalism some might have possessed otherwise.

Brendon tried, he truly did, desperate to continue clinging to the two friends he’d raced down Grant’s Lorry Road with in the summer, the two friends he’d met in an old car cemetery time after time to play hide and seek among the rusted fenders and rotted rubber and butterfly gatherings.

Sure Casey got the bulk of his time, the most of his focus, his teenaged mind lost to hormones and new sensations. Robbie got his own time though, the two of them sitting at Robbie’s expansive dining room table, sketches and outlines spread across two thirds of the space. They worked on two comics concurrently.

The first one was to be a serialized fantasy about a spiderling who controlled the minds of a typical dungeon-crawling party. Each comic somewhat separate with occasional short arcs deep within specific dungeons or inside particular taverns, but generally individual in nature ala Sunday morning funnies.

The second one took far more of Brendon’s artistic chops, for the humorous alterations in character and setting just would not do, the space stations and exoplanets and marauders needing to have a realistic flare within their design. Robbie set the stage, his countless notes on plot arcs and character traits exposing a sweet naivety in their creation, but filled with so much passion, so much love, that the flaws disappeared.

They’d completed almost fifty individual panes of the fantasy comic—It’s All Under Control—and a measly, but gorgeous, fourteen panes of the grimdark sci-fi—Stars Avast—when Casey found out.

Just a quick mention by Brendon’s mom on the phone: “Why, I think he’s gone over to the Frey’s to work on those graphic comics of theirs. I can let him know you called.”

“What graphic comics?”

“You know, the ones he’s been drawing from Robbie’s story.”

Casey hung up.

When Brendon called him back that evening, Casey didn’t answer and nor did his father. Phone rang and rang and he guessed they’d both been out in the garage getting the Mustang ready for Casey’s exodus. He’d been partially right; Casey had been outside, hiding in his car with fresh bruises, bleeding profusely from a split lip and a cut at his temple from the sawed-off end of a pipe, but his father had passed out in a haze of misery, flexing fingers that didn’t want to be flexed.


Next Chapter Coming August 4th