The gorgeous illustration style of this “comic” by Jon Laing caught my eye the other day. Reading the first frame, it was clear the weight of the story was heavier than a lighthearted joke. I felt sympathy for a bullied child and empathy for the defensive fantasies that come of idolizing one’s dad. My eyes gobbled up the next frames eagerly. As I took in the last frame, I just stared. Stunned. My eyes stung as my vision became the blurry warped glass of watery sadness.
When I was younger, I watched my grandmother fade into a tortured, tumorous end. I said the most final goodbye one can say to teenaged friend the night before cancer finally stole him from the world. There probably isn’t anyone in my age group whose friends or family haven’t been molested in some way by the evil claws of cancer.
Normally, I try to make the world laugh or at least smile here, but the tragically beautiful and powerful sorrow of this piece shocked me. I had to share it.
That last frame, my God. To see a dad, his son’s superhero, trying to simply survive… Shit. Can’t see my screen again.
My deep respect to the artist and genius, Jon Laing.