Towards the Tail of the Spiral

Graphite, digital; March 2014

My first contribution to an ongoing collaboration with a friend of mine in Providence. He wrote a poem; then I (significantly) trimmed it down, adjusted it, and put it to comic. The title comes from the original poem (included below the comic with the author’s permission).

Fragile Courses

Towards the tail of the spiral
on the island planet Jerkota,
there are no stars at night.

The upper atmosphere is thick
with an egg-smelling fog.

Even in the bright day,
the haze obscures the precise
position of the sun overhead.

Before the GPS satellites,
navigation was a serious pain in the ass.

Seafaring relied on Wal Ort,
the art/science that forecasted
the slow movements of each sky whale.

The pinpricks of light from the whales high above,
glowing to attract their mates, was often deceptive.

Once, Frage, a famous sky whale,
discovered a lover had copulated with someone else.
Frage and part of the family strayed wildly into the unknown.

On the world below, the great war-fleet of a vast nation
was instantly lost. However, they did not give up hope.

You know it’s like. When your northern star
is whisked out of place like a firefly on a breeze,
you cling to life like an ocean clings to her world.

They drifted for seven months
before they found an uninhabited land, and began a new life.

The new nation born from this fiasco
discovered imaginary numbers
as well as the sandwich.

Original poem ©2014 Jackson Loper
Adapted poem/comic ©2014 Tyson Pease