The Slide

October 1st, 2008 by

Random minicomic from Lutefisk Sushi Volume C (2008)

A painful childhood experience given life in drawing, The Slide, by Jesse Haller, features a young boy who is in over his head, literally.  I remember a number of similar events from my own past, although for me, it was the tornado slide that gave me a fright.  I remember the line of kids behind me, and how far down it looked.  The stricken look on the child’s face is very believable, and I feel that I probably shared his expression.

A few notable things: the first page sets up the location and season, and the slide in the title features prominently, in sort of a cross between nostalgia and loneliness.  There are a lot of little things that I caught as I read through it several times, like the detail in the background houses, and the playground equipment.  The view from the top of the slide, and then again from the bottom.  Toby’s sleeve from his hand-me-down flannel, which won’t stay tucked.  The way Toby is overwhelmed by the word balloons, and in particular the word balloon in the shape of the word GO.  His buttcrack revealed to further his embarrassment after he reaches the bottom.  And then the expression on his face in the last panel…I have to admit, I’m having a little trouble figuring this one out.  There’s something up with his mouth, maybe he got a bloody lip by sliding down on his face.  Could just be dirt.

A short, simple comic, but of such a strong shared memory.

2 Responses to “The Slide”

  1. Susie Says:

    I also got scared by this really tall slide at a local playground. I got all the way to the top, and suddenly lost my nerve a climbed back down. Of course a couple of other kids saw me and laughed. The next time I was there I climbed up and slid down with no problem, but no one saw me that time.

  2. William Schar Says:

    I lived with Jesse as he was working on this piece. It was a hard time for both of us, both going through the post graduation post-partem thing. It was good and bad times and the slide really captures that time in his life. I look forward to every project he undertakes. He’s a good artist and an even better storyteller.