Monday, January 9, 2012

When You Can't Stand Yourself Walk Outside: Ten Foot Rule Journal Comix Spring 2007

By Shawn Granton
PO Box 14185
Portland, Oregon

I’m pretty sure I’ve read this issue of Ten Foot Rule before, but if I did I didn’t review it for this site (or at least I can’t find it). So here we go!

Granton’s diary comics are about cycling, travelling, travelling to cycle, writing about cycling, and going to lots of zine and small press events. He seems to do a lot of things, and makes me feel kind of lame for spending too much time playing Mario Kart (that is part of why I haven’t been writing reviews of late…).

I really miss cycling. I haven’t owned a bicycle since I left Vancouver a few years ago, and the last time I remember spending any significant time (ie. more than an hour) on a bicycle was getting lost while trying to find an art gallery outside Copenhagen in 2010. Reading Granton’s comics make me miss cycling even more. Okay, so maybe I don’t want to be cycling at exactly this minute (it’s cold! And it is raining or snowing frequently), but the general idea of cycling appeals to me. Hopefully in the spring time.

I like how enthusiastic Granton is about cycling, and how he makes it a major part of his life. I also liked the comics about tabling at comic and zine events. That’s something I generally don’t like doing, but it’s interesting to read another person’s thoughts on the process.

One neat thing Granton does while traveling is write postcards to himself. These are included here and are nice little snapshots of what he was doing on the day he sent them. Plus it’s interesting to see what postcards he chooses to send. (Gosh, can you tell I’m a mail nerd?)

Daily diary comics are interesting in that you are able to see what is going on with someone’s life over a long period of time. However, there are lots of limitations with the format. The short nature (most that I’ve read are only three panels) mean that they give a skewed view of what’s going on in the person’s life. They can focus on the macro (“I went to work.”) or the micro (“I ate an orange.”) and it’s only by reading lots of them that you start getting into the head of the person creating them. When a major life event can take up the same amount of space as a day when you stayed in bed and played video games you start to see the limitations of the form. Yet, I still enjoy reading them and getting a peek into other people’s lives, no matter how limited it may be.

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