This week saw the beginning of a series of comics with a weird history. Stu, or as I call him, Top Hat Stu (To the Rescue), was a character I started drawing and writing at the age of something like 11. I drew about 10 strips of silly stick figure nonsense with a story wrapped around… I don’t remember what the conflict was, but I can assure you, it was quite asinine. I recall only the punchline to one joke and the ending, respectively: “Ralph Nader couldn’t eat an orange with directions,” and it ended with John Ashcroft accidentally falling out a window to his gory death.
Fortunately, Stu grew up along with me, and now he represents a totally unrelated set of ideas. Mostly, the voice in all of us that’s too meek to be heard, even while screaming for companionship. In the end, I suppose Stu is an unbelievably tragic character with which most people likely to read our comics can likely identify. He has no friends and is totally aware of this to the point of what might be considered mental illness. It’s funny how loneliness can cause a perfectly a reasonable and totally common social ailment into debilitating depression. Heh. Funny.
It was originally my aim for him to resolve his problems, but that’d require some experience with success myself, which let’s bloody face it, I’m not likely to get while I’m crammed into my chair before the mighty computerized light bulb. I guess Stu’s ahead of me in that you’ll never see him in front of a monitor, he’s always talking to someone. Even if they don’t like him, at least he’s tried.
Fuck. Stu is who I most want not to be, but at the same time, I know he came completely from me.
In any case, it may be schadenfreude, but if we can laugh at this guy while understanding his plight…