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May 21, 2005

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Dale, who writes the comics.

I am glad that is not true

If only I had a job, too.


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David, who draws the comics.

A Celebration of Unemployment

With this week's comic, we pay homage to ourselves in observance of the annual Summer Job Episode. (Readers of advanced years will recall episode 3, perhaps with a sad inward smile and a sigh bespeaking the weight and wisdom of age.)

Today we find David much as he was a year ago, although much closer to the horrendous maw of actual work.

Comics read linearly while also presenting every moment simultaneously in a unified gesture. I'm pleased that this episode can be read without scrolling on a high-resolution monitor. This allows one to follow the narrative one step at a time, as well as remain conscious of the entire sequence. (Most conspicuously, the central hanging body shares itself generously across time. As though the reader were there in the room, there's no moment when one can fully escape that horrific sight.) After following the story as a thread through time, the eye roams back over the panels, experiencing between those collected moments new relationships which may have nothing to do with chronology. Lingering and letting time shuffle its deck is one of the pleasures of reading comics.


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(c) David Hellman and Dale Beran 2005