Chris stood quietly in front of the mirror. The pain he'd felt only a short while before transformed into a dull heat that warmed his face and body. He had never looked at himself this closely before. Chris swept away his bangs that covered his right eye and placed it behind his ear. He stared at the roundness of his face; his eyes tapered slightly upwards at the corners were red and puffy. His left brow made swollen by fists reminded him of when he used to pull on the skin of his eyebrows to make it protrude like the male actors he saw on television. His ears were large and fleshy, and stuck out a bit, but they weren't ugly. According to his aunt, his ears were signs of good luck. He looked at his lips which were full, pink, and chapped, but now they were more brown than pink. The blood he had tasted earlier when he was struck in the face was dry now.
He licked them.
He never liked his lips.
"Fag Lips," kids called him.
But now staring more closely, he saw them differently. They were largish and matched the largish features of his face. He looked at his shoulders which were slightly rounded and then at his hairless chest that barely rose out slightly and then softly sloped inwards near his sternum. He stared at his nipples which he always thought were pink, but now discovered were brown with tiny bumps. Lowering his gaze downwards past his stomach along the strands of hair that trailed towards his pelvis, this hair densely collected itself at the bottom; this hair was coarse, thick, and curly unlike the hair on his head, which was soft, thin and straight. His penis which looked like a deflated balloon sat near the center of this pubic hair nest. He paused for a moment and stared at it, blaming this body part for all of his sadness. He lowered his gaze, staring at his thighs which looked strong, but were now covered in scrapes and bruises, past his knees stopping at his feet.
He scanned his body.
His arms were thin, but he could see by the shadows cast from the light hitting them the musculature underneath. The cuts along the inside of his forearms were less visible now. Scraping against the pavement seemed to erase them. His hands were smallish and his fingers thin. Leigh called them lady fingers after the cookies they both liked to eat.
The above is an excerpt from a graphic novel that I'm writing and illustrating. I've kept quiet about it for some months now, but wanted to share some of what I've written because I'm nearly finished writing it. I have no experience in sequential art except for some of the very few random editorial commissions I've received throughout my career, and previous to that, a comic that I didn't quite finish drawing when I was 8 years old. Comics have been something that I've fallen in and out of love with since I was very young, for whatever reasons. I'm not sure why this has been the case, but at this point in my life it's something that I'm becoming very interested in. And sometimes wanting to do something creatively if it feels right, when it feels right, can be reason enough.
There is an obvious intimidation factor that carries with it. I'm a list-and-rules guy, so having no experience with comics is incredibly daunting insofar as my being unsure how to lay out the panels in a way that tells the story not only logically, but rhythmically as well. Still, it's a venture that I've chosen to explore.