Greetings to you, all of my prospective Desperadoes, and welcome to the Pitt!  Here I will deliver to you my comic wizardry and foolishness as well as my literary brand of clumsy and embarrassing honesty.  All you need do to collect upon this is visit me here every week on Monday.

For more introduction and information about the comic…  Continue your reading quest!

As you can tell from the comic, I recently attended and graduated from East Carolina with a degree in English.  In writing, if you can believe that.  What’s probably not evident in the comic is that, despite my degree, nothing really changes for me.  I’m still going to ECU.  A source of a fair amount of bitterness for me (spoiler alert for future comics).  The original plan was to graduate with a degree in English so that I was a competent writer (because people want well-written comics more than they want well-drawn ones), but I hit a snag.  The snag being that I got married.  A terrific “snag” if ever there was one.  The trouble, though, is that now the non-job that a degree in English would grant me is no longer enough to satisfy my short-term ambitions.  Instead, I require a job job.  It is my hope that a second degree in Graphic Design will land me one of those.  *fingers crossed*

As for the events in the comic, they are more or less exactly what happened that day.  I was at my drawing board working on a page-layout all morning after I dropped Megan off at work.  When it was time to go, I went.  I met my parents as well as my sister and one of my brothers at the student center where the ceremony took place.  It was, and remains, a dank smelling place with bad paint on the walls and an ever deteriorating level of ease and comfort.

My Mother was proud of me and made sure to tell me a great number of times, but she wore the same unreadable expression on her face as she did the day I married Megan.  A sort of unflinching, as though she was carved out of stone in a perpetual calm.  On my wedding day I asked my father what it meant.  He said:

“It means she’s doing her best to hold it together.  Her youngest, her baby, is not just growing up anymore.  He’s grown!  She can’t deny it anymore.”

My Father on the other hand, was profoundly more vocal and telling with his emotions.  He was… something that looked like stunned.  In our entire family history, he was the first to go to college.  Now, he’s seen all of his 5 kids go.  I can understand the big deal for him, but only from a distance.  The reality for me was that, at the end of the pomp and circumstance and “achievement” of the day, I still had a layout due Monday.  Adrian, my middle brother, was kind enough to talk with me alone for a moment about that particular situation.  He and I were at once the closest brothers, but time and motion have since cleaved us of our familiarity.  He has been occupied with his wife and son, and now his daughter as well, while I have been growing up as quickly as I can elsewhere to ensure that I’m worthy of my woman.  Distance ensued.

My sister, who also graduated from ECU, was occupied with mentioning her disdain at all the changes in the town.

“It’s not allowed to change!” she demanded.  “When I leave a town, the town should be wracked with such grief that no progress should ever ensue!”

I appreciated her attitude towards my situation.  It made everything seem lighter and funnier.  The whole affair of my graduation seemed like some strange farcical thing.  Like a movie that says “The End… or IS IT?!”

As for the comic itself, I’m okay with the art work.  It could have been a much worse “first comic”, but I still wish I could have performed better in a few areas.  Chiefly, I wish I could draw myself more accurately and consistently.  Particularly in the three panels where I shift the tassel.  That face, is awful.  I do dig how I dealt with the quick actions of getting dressed-up and later dressed-down.  I think I’ll be using that device again sometime in the future.  I particularly like how the shower scene turned out.  I made myself look good and sexy didn’t I?

Don’t answer that.

The face of the professor behind the podium is fairly dead-on.  The guy actually looked like that.  He seemed like he hated being there at that ceremony more than I did.  To me, that made him a sympathetic character, but his crappy speech and his pessimistic drivel about our “horrid plight in this economy” was more than enough to turn me off.  He wasn’t even from the English department.  He was from the History department.  Why they didn’t let an English professor who knew their way around speech-writing  take the duty is beyond me.  Content-wise ECU is a fairly strong school, but administration-wise… 


That’s all I got for now.  

Join me here again next Monday for more comicry and commentary.


Gabriel Dunston