Six years ago, as part of my senior thesis at Hampshire College, I produced four issues of a magazine called Burn Book. The magazine contained comics, illustrations, and essays. Each issue examined a different stereotype or label. The issues were Slut, Hick, Hipster, and Geek.
Slut was the first one, and the one that got the biggest response (such as it was). I finished Slut in November 2009. That feels like a million years ago, but also yesterday.
It’s six years later, and I just self-published another project: the mini-comic for my wedding.
It’s a little ironic, right? Slut vs. Wedding. They even both have pink covers:
The Athena who made Slut was not particularly happy, but she was bold. She performed in a burlesque troupe, and put angry comics on the internet. The Athena who made the wedding mini-comic is also not necessarily happy, but somewhere closer to content, and more comfortable in her own skin. She is quieter, though, and wary.
I haven’t opened any of the Burn Books since college. I can’t bring myself to look at that unformed art, read those raw words. Maybe I should burn them, eh??
No, I don’t think I’ll do that. I don’t think there’s much point in being ashamed of past experiences, or past creative projects. For better or worse (get it?? marriage??), they’ve shaped and carried me. So here’s to the sixth anniversary of Slut, and to the future comics and essays I hope to produce.
And you know what? I gave Jason all four issues of Burn Book, as well as all my other mini-comics immediately after we met. And that seems to have worked out.
I will leave you with two panels from Slut that I still like pretty well: