DEBITO.ORG
Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle's Home Page

New ebooks by ARUDOU Debito

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • Happy Boxing Day: From deep within the archives: “Fred Fish” comic book, 1973, drawn by me aged eight

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 26th, 2010

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
    UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
    DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

    Hi Blog. Happy Boxing Day. For the holiday season, let me put up some rilly, rilly old stuff. I got a boxful of old comic books I made when I was a little kid. What follows is “Fred Fish”, from 1973. I was in second grade, just turned eight years old, and was in Mrs. Joseph’s class in North Street School, Geneva, NY, USA. I had been reading since I was about two years old (a LOT of comic books), and within five years I was producing some of my own. Mrs. Joseph saw me as reading at a level far above everyone else, she said years later, so she gave me class time to create whatever I wanted. That’s what I did — I sat down with pencil, paper, and a stapler and created what would turn out to be a pile of these mostly derivative but kinda cute works that fortunately got saved. 38 years later, here’s something for the blog, as a present and a diversion I hope you enjoy. Quick notes follow the story gallery.

    NOTES:  The story ends most abruptly because I always made the books (one ream) ready stapled before I made the stories, with no advance planning.  I realized I had plenty of pages left by the time our protagonist goes to bed, so I segued into a bully story.  But justice has to prevail by the last two pages, so all is returned to normal, the end, by the last corner.  Also, I recall that people said my eyes (hazel) changed color with the light and mood (like those Mood Rings so popular in the late seventies, it was later said).  It was on my mind, so I incorporated it into the story and gave Fred Fish my eyes.  I remember my mother (who was, shall we say, quite reserved in her praise of anything I did) reserving her praise for that page in particular.  Hence this is the first comic going up on the blog — it was my first success with my harshest critic.  Arudou Debito

    6 Responses to “Happy Boxing Day: From deep within the archives: “Fred Fish” comic book, 1973, drawn by me aged eight”

    1. Peach Says:

      Debito,
      thanks for posting, your work.
      very delightful and perhaps even some forshadowing to your life now…
      ie never sit back and let the bullies win!
      and also a testament to your creativity!
      Happy Boxing Day !

    2. OG Steve Says:

      Wow.

      Just…

      Wow.

      That was really good.

      There’s nothing negative anyone can say about that.

      Wonderful Story, Wonderful Drawings, Wonderful Narration.

      Right from the cover, I was pulled in. Then, when you zoomed into Fred being put into the fishbowl, I was like, “Whoa, this is really cool. This is like a movie.” Then the part about Fred’s eyes changing colors, I thought, “How original, I’ve never heard of anyone ever thinking about the idea of a fish’s eyes changing color.”

      Then, when the man went to sleep, I was looking so much at the painting on the wall, of someone smoking something, I was thinking “Right on Dave, you drew this at age 8? Wow, is that a joint? And is he holding a beer? Is this a high, drunk, Uncle Sam saying, ‘I want you to drink beer and smoke joints!’?”

      And my mind enjoyed imagining further fantasy developments based on that particular page, like, “Is the man plugged into the wall? Is this like some matrix-style message about the fact that people let themselves be plugged into mass programming broadcasts which thus allows the programming creators to shape the values system of the masses?”

      And I was spending so much time pondering that scene, thinking about the possible deeper hidden meanings (heh-heh)… that when I finally looked over to the next panel, I was totally SHOCKED to see that Fred was gone!

      I immediately started wondering how Fred could have escaped, what special powers does he have? Can he walk? Can he fly? And then, I was interested to learn that there was a more rational explanation for the disappearance: Fred had been taken by a bully.

      The protagonist then quickly had a bright idea (“a bright idea” – loved the way you made this doubly clear with the thought bubble too) then he immediately starts to put the good idea into action and… BAM! Problem solved, happy ending, the end. I loved it!

      In retrospect, it was a perfect short story: it had a normal start, it made us quickly zoom in on the main character, just when things were settling in, there suddenly was a surprise happening, a bad guy behind the happening, and the good guy quickly prevailed by using his creativity to solve the problem successfully.

      Word.

      PS – afterward, it was interesting to read that you didn’t really mean for the ending to come so quickly, but I LIKED that part especially. It’s perfect, and it made me think that more movie writers should apply this pleasantly surprising formula: BOOM! happy ending. :-)

      – You should be an art or music critic. You found more in there than the artist intended. :)

      As for the Uncle Sam thing, I member going through a silly phase where I would put a hat or a beard on, or a cigarette in the mouth of, the sun or the moon in the sky for comic effect, here seen through the window. But upon further viewing, I see that it’s a picture of somebody smoking a ciggie and a pipe nailed to the wall. Above the picture is the room light lamp, with the protagonist hitting the light switch.

    3. OG Steve Says:

      On closer inspection and further contemplation, I now realize that it was absurd of me to think that hat-man in the painting was holding a beer. How silly of me, it is now quite clear that he is obviously holding a nice hot steaming mug of hot chocolate! :-)

      Hot chocolate, and a Jay, what a wonderful day! Thanks again for sharing! :-)

    4. OG Steve Says:

      PPS – I also happen to have Hazel eyes, which do seem to change color between various ratios of brown and green depending on mood!

      http://i.imgur.com/BX2kc.png

      (Don’t know why my right pupil currently is larger than my left, perhaps that is caused by being overly-information-collecting-left-brained and needing to begin more creative-idea-producing-right-brained.)

    5. Selena Says:

      Very cute story indeed. Looking forward to read part 2 next year, it is never too late to continue the story. Gambatte ne.

    6. mashu Says:

      Well done. I thoroughly enjoyed that!

    Leave a Reply