In Memory of Stories Lost

I’m not bothering to update you on my groceries this week. There’s still some left, but I’ve lost interest enough that it is too much work to take it out of its various places and put it on my counter to take a picture. You’ll all get over it, I am sure.

But this month, I have brought you a random comic strip I wrote at work one night that would have been forgotten if I’d not bothered to put it online, as well as one of the very first comedical stories I ever wrote for the Internet. That one predates Contains2 by a bit. I think I first did it up as an email to Marq when I was bored one time.

It got me thinking about other stories I’ve made over the years that aren’t as lucky to have made it online. I don’t mean what’s left of the Contains2 stories that I’ve just not got around to bringing here yet, I mean the stuff that is well and truly gone and I don’t even have notes to salvage it. Granted most of these stories I, obviously, can’t remember, but there are a few that I do have faint traces of in my brain and I figure I should note them before I lose even that.

The earliest I recall was, I believe, in grade 2. We were assigned to make little illustrated books with a story in them and I can remember that my story combined Egyptian elements with cat people. Basically, what I am saying is that it was a Thundercats ripoff. Apart from that I can’t remember anything. I do know that my report card that year made an oblique reference to it saying that I didn’t adequately explain things in my stories, that I took for granted that people would know what I was talking about if I knew it. Stupid little me. Similarly I wrote a prose story in grade 5 that borrowed liberally from the plot of King’s Quest V. Plagiarism. It’s the easiest way for kids to write stories.

Also during my elementary years I remember a desire to make a Christmas movie and that I wanted a sort of Advent Calendar motif to open and close scenes. I was apparently deep. It was meant to end with a snowball fight, I think, and I remember getting in trouble when we started throwing snowballs to “practice”. Stupid little me. We also wrote a skit about bullying once and performed it at a school assembly. I’d love to find out someone got that on film, but I doubt it.

Around grade five and six, I guess, was about when I started getting into comics as well and it is no surprise that that is when I started making comics as well. I did a lot of the old fold-a-bunch-of-sheets-in-half-and-you-have-a-book style comics, including one about a superhero called Zappo which I don’t still have, but I do remember enough about the character that someday I hope to give him a home. Perhaps my other biggest comic effort was a couple sheets full of different comic strips with different themes, as if I were trying to create a whole Comics Page in a newspaper. I remember only two of the strips and one of them, I think, I will recreate for this site sometime. The other was a two panel bit with a Native American man sitting crosslegged on the floor/ground. The first panel he said “How” and in the second panel he said “ya doing?”

Sometime in either late elementary or early junior high I wrote just a couple of pages, pure description no story, about a family living in a house that was so empty people kept assuming nobody lived there and putting up for sale signs. I never did finish it, I don’t think, but I remember it impressing the parents and teacher types who read it.

In grade 7, I think, for an art class project I created a comic strip about a superhero called Dog-Thing. I got an excellent grade on that thing, the teacher wasn’t even willing to write my grade on the thing because he didn’t want to ruin it. Naturally I lost it at some point. Stupid little me. For years I assumed I would never see Dog-Thing again, but while the strip is indubitably gone I did eventually find a sketch of the main character. That means I can use him again! I haven’t got around to revealing it yet, but Dog-Thing is a retired founding member of the Team of Superheroes.

Around the junior high years I also created Little Choy. Now I can hardly call these “stories” but innumerable images of Little Choy insulting anyone willing to speak near him have been drawn on school desks and in text books over the years that I will never see again. Luckily every one of them is pretty much exactly the same.

For a grade 11 English class we had to write something and as I recall I did. I wrote something about an office being shot up by criminals or terrorists or something. Nowadays that might raise some alarm bells or something, but this was at least a year before the Columbine thing, so all I got was a comment from the teacher about how I use way more paragraph breaks than necessary and the teacher mused that usually he had to tell people the opposite. I’ve always bucked trends, I guess. I still tend to like smaller paragraphs better. And I guess part of the reason that writing that story didn’t make me look insane was because, as I recall, it was about a guy who encounters one of the criminal terrorists and while they can hear shooting coming from other parts of the building he actually talked the criminal terrorist into stopping.

Grade 12, I don’t even remember for sure which class it was, but this was after the point where I’d stopped actively trying in school, so on some exam I was taking I did what I could and then turned it over and wrote a story about a squirrel detective on the back. As I recall it involved some sort of mystery in a casino tree. I think there was a rabbit bouncer possibly? I really wish I still had this one. It sounds messed up.

Anyway, as I said, that’s just the stories I remember enough to know I don’t remember or have notes about. Who knows how many stories I’ve written that have faded into nothingness? I guess we’ll never know.

Unless Time Travel!

  1. I remember some of these. I love Little Choy. Best line ever is “You are not loved by your parents or your God”.

  2. I’m pretty sure that the first Little Choy was drawn in your basement even.

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