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November 21, 2010

Before the Catastrophe

For a long time, my Belgian cartoonist friend Max de Radiguès was making a series of drawings from life, which he called "Before the Catastrophe."  Each drawing is labeled with some amount of time before the catastrophe (ie. "three days before the catastrophe") which gives the whole series a sense of impending doom.

Another Belgian self-publisher, Nicolas Verstappen (who works at the amazing BD shop La Bulle d'Or) decided to make the 20th issue of his comics interview zine XeroXed a tribute to this project, and collected "catastrophe" drawings from a variety of other cartoonists.  If you understand French, you can read more about it on this page.  Here was my contribution:

This is a drawing of my Grandparents' bed, in Charlottesville, VA.  I traveled there this summer to attend my Grandfather's funeral.  At the time, the deadline for this illustration was getting closer and closer, so I thought I would make a drawing of his bed from life.  However, the weekend was very hectic, so I had to settle for drawing this from a photograph, after the fact.  

In this drawing, the bed is unchanged from how it was during the last night that my Grandfather spent in it.  The portrait on his bedside table is of my Grandmother, who died lying in this exact same spot, four months later.

NEXT WEEK: Something a little less depressing!

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