A week or so ago I finished the roughs for my comic about Mr Punch. The whole time that I was writing it I was thinking about little else. When I finished it I experienced a sensation that I have become very familiar with lately. Addicts call it a moment of clarity. I suppose I am an addict of a kind. The sensation is that of finding you do not, in fact, live on a tropical island with a deranged puppet and a crocodile but instead in a flat in Peckham. The dust is swirling about in drifts; the recycling is on the verge of an avalanche and your bed has become a feral nesting place. Whilst I go all over in my head, the rest of me goes nowhere. So long as I'm working on a story I honestly do not notice. When I find myself briefly awake and in my own life for a bit I wish I had a bright sword, like the chap in Shadow of the Colossus, that I could hold up and it would show me just exactly the right path so I didn't feel so lost in the world. What a useful thing that would be!
I remember that for my first and second books the American publishers insisted on a dust-jacket with a biography. The biography read, Alexis Deacon was born in 1978, he now lives in London. Thankfully they didn't mention that in 1978 I was also born in London. Since then I have been able to pad out my biography somewhat by talking about all the stories I have written or drawn. Take those away though and you're still left with, Alexis Deacon was born (in London) in 1978, he now lives in London.
Possibly one day something else will happen.
Don't bet on it though.
Here is a story that I sometimes tell myself when I am trying to justify all this lack of action:
When I was small I went on an amazing trip to the United States of America...
We lived in a big apartment building full of exciting people from top to bottom:
That's me on the right, third from the top, waving.
Although we lived around all these interesting people, very few came to visit. The only ones who called by often were the cockroaches... They were about my size so I liked them.
I wanted to make friends with them and have tea parties and such but they weren't really interested in me. They were only interested in a place called the Roach Motel that we had. I wanted to go in but they said it was for Roaches only. I wanted to know what it was like inside but none of them ever came out so I never knew...
One time I was walking home - we were still in New York but in a smaller place - when I noticed the moon between some buildings. It was big.
I walked on for a bit and then I looked around and it was still in the sky right above my head though the buildings had totally changed.
I found this disturbing... so I tried to run
But the moon followed me all the way home.
Because New York was freaky we moved to the desert. There I encountered cacti for the first time. This is how that went:
Also in the desert, I received a chocolate rabbit for Easter. At that time in my life I ate only two things
Therefore I did not know what to do with my chocolate rabbit.
I decided the only sensible thing would be to make him my best friend.
It being the desert though...
...my best friend melted.
So we left the desert. We went on a grand tour instead. We saw...
The Grand Canyon
It was the most exciting trip I have ever been on in my entire life. I was two years old. I remember none of it.
I hold this trip responsible for my addiction to stories and imagination. I felt like this is where I belonged, in super exciting things that other people told me had happened to me. It is a very small step from your aunt Joan telling you that you fell in love with a stuffed Polar Bear in New Mexico to George Lucas telling you that Darth Vader is in fact your father.
Of course lots of people suffer from the same addiction and didn't have anything like this happen to them when they were two. But it's a nice story.