Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Great War and Sheep's Pond

"The Great War," is an interesting project that came to me working as a dishwasher. Before then all my graphic novel attempts were complex stories that puckered out due to the lack of good characters. "The Great War" revolves around character and very little plot. It is a war fought by eccentrics, and the story of the war is told in fragmented moments from brothel girl to emperor. Eventually I'm going to scan the very first comics to the series which I cherish, grease stains and all. Before then all my serious graphic novel attempts were all hyper-realistic, but in "The Great War" I allowed myself a much more liberal framing.


There is more than one Sheep Pond dotting Nantucket, but only one Sheep's Pond. It was with a dismissive revulsion that I heard it referred to as Miami Beach, but that name is a falsehood.

Every year my family and I stay in Cape Cod for two weeks. As a child this trip would include my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my six cousins. We all stayed in "The Ranch" which my grandparents would rent out. After a long day in the sun on Coastguard Beach, we would walk to Sheep's Pond. The pond is one of many kettle holes left behind the Ice Age. Gigantic chunks of ice were broken off as the ice scraped across over North America. Slowly they melted and left behind freshwater ponds that are still scattered across Massachusetts to this day.

Just walking on the edge of these ponds you see damsel flies, dragon flies, frantic schools of minnows, the curious offspring of Striped Bass, and the varying stages of bullfrog. These speckled squirts were the focal point of my attention as a kid. My brother and I would catch them and hold them, peering into their yellow eyes until they leapt from our palms. I remember one year a group of other boys were doing the same thing, only they would throw the frogs as hard as they could against the water until they lay motionless. I still mourn the loss of them from the pond.

The beauty of Cape Cod is constantly mingled with its rugged nature. It is my favorite place to be.

Last summer we found ourselves back in the pond. I hadn't tried to catch a frog for years. I had the pleasure of showing my best friend for the first time what it was like, and found myself once again filled with child-like excitement. I was not particular over what I caught as long as I had something to show for my lunges.
You should have seen it!

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