For some time it has been apparent to me that blogging ought to be the most holistic experience possible for a writer, incorporating all of his or her interests and viable abilities for the purpose of artistic communication. With so many millions of people “saying” so much (and with such manic relentlessness!) in cyberspace, I have for some time felt the need to change-things-up a bit in terms of my own contribution. Namely, I hope to withdraw from the Great Cacophony (as I call it) and perhaps diminish the infernal din by expressing myself in another medium: comics. Believe me, I’ll continue to write; in fact, I have completed three new novels in the past two years an shave plans for a number of other long-form works in the near-future. But for blogging purposes, I am taking a bit of a detour.
So often in this beleaguered age our ramblings and pontifications can take on the damnable hue of cynicism that pervades much of the internet, whether in the blogosphere or the nine billion comments sections in which people anonymously lash-out at each other like frustrated toddlers, with comparable grammar and vocabulary levels to accompany their invective. I decided a few months ago that I didn’t want to get anywhere near that world. It’s odious. It’s poisonous. It’s soul-destroying. My heart breaks and, frankly, writhes with something close to despair at what I see people doing to each other when I browse almost every corner of the web. The temptation to join the fray is perilously seductive, even for those of us with functioning intellects. Sometimes especially so; if you care about the degeneration of society, you want to shout for an end to the madness.
Well, that doesn’t work, these days. There’s far too much noise already.
Yet, there are other ways that a genuinely satirical mind can render commentary. Whether that commentary is valuable or not (much less entertaining or not!) is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, “behold” the first of two ongoing comic strips that I am pleased to introduce for readers. The first of these two strips is called Finnegan’s Treehouse and it features a bright, precocious young fellow named Fin and his hard-working single mother, both of whom are on a collision course with adventures they could never have foreseen … although I did. The second comic strip I aim to introduce is called Planet Zanzibar. That strip will debut next week, with the second installment of Finnegan’s Treehouse slated to appear seven days later. They’ll alternate, and we’ll see how it goes.
On a special note, I’d like to mention that the launch of Finnegan’s Treehouse is specially dedicated to my good friend, Andrea, since certain elements of the strip were–and will continue to be–inspired by places and experiences we enjoyed together in Germany. I have a feeling that she will figure-out which elements of the ongoing story have particular resonance in this regard. Suffice it to say that I am thankful for her hospitality and graciousness (and indeed for the excellence of her entire family) and it is thus a pleasure to proffer this heartfelt dedication. Lastly, don’t beat me up about the dialogue balloons; the inaugural comics were hand-drawn, and proudly so, because I have been doing comics for years. Nevertheless, I still have to play-around with the very helpful text software that will sharpen things up for this “non-rudimentary” era. Until then, all hail the Rudimentary that still exist among us.
Enjoy, and thank you for your interest, everyone. ~Jonathan
All Images Copyright 2015. Jonathan Kieran and Treehouse Ladder Productions. Click on images to enlarge.