a found cartoon

Let me be clear: This wonderful little drawing is not my work. I found the cartoon just as it appears here: lying in the street in a zip-loc bag.

I was walking to my car early Sunday afternoon and saw the bag on Spring Street at Cherry Alley. I realized it wasn’t litter from a few feet away; it was spread flat, and smoothed out as if intended for clear presentation. I slipped it into my pocket to review later. It turned out that I couldn’t wait long; after I started my car, I pulled out the bag and dumped the contents into my hand. It contained a small, folded, very stylish cartoon and a glass marble. My instincts told me the placement of the bag was intentional, and the method of random distribution only made the thing more endearing. I may replace it in an alley somewhere, but maybe I’ll frame it. I’m not sure.

After I ran my errands, I messaged the folks at Comic Swap and walked to Jack’s comic and Game shop on High Street. I asked if they recognized the style. I knew Comic Swap sold the work of a number of local cartoonists but wasn’t sure about Jack’s. Neither was able to shed any light on the work. I posted a snapshot to twitter, and it, too, resulted in no response.

The work is beautiful. Whimsical and gritty, I think the piece is just stunning. Stumbling onto it, finding it in the street, feeling like it’s a personal message – all these things just make this package a little jewel.

I don’t need to know who did it, but I’d sure like to let them know how much I like it. And I’d like to pass it on to keep the story alive, but the “thingness” of it is so wonderful I’m hesitant to give it up. Will posting on twitter or this blog help keep the story alive? Not sure. Will the post eventually reach the creator so they can ignore it, reclaim it, add some backstory, whatever? I have no idea. By all means, read it. Enjoy the drawings. If you recognize the style let that artist know about this post.

But by any and all means: Pass it on, and keep the story alive.

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6 Responses to a found cartoon

  1. Mary says:

    Love both the cartoon and the method used to share it! It’s so right that it landed in your appreciative path.

    • dave says:

      Thanks Mary; I’m glad I could share it with a cat (and cartoon) lover. I’m wondering if the dark marble is an addition by another “finder” right before me- a glass eye for the Alley Cat – before passing it on?

  2. Kim says:

    What a great find! I wonder what the true intent of the artist is, to pass along the actual cartoon, or just the story. The black marble is a nice added touch. Would be cool if the cartoonist dropped the same story elsewhere, or continues the story. Have you seen any Alley Cat’s near your car? I imagine there are quite a few wondering the streets.
    Keep us posted at what you decide to do… perhaps draw up your own version of the story and put it in a bag w/ a black marble and place it in a different Alley… gosh I would want a web cam to see if anyone picks it up. Such suspense. (I feel like Mary Russell trying to figure out who left the cartoon.)

    • dave says:

      I think it’s a pretty great find, too, Kim. The situation is certainly ripe with creative potential. I wondered if someone was watching to see who would find it. Were they disappointed that it was some old guy? Beats me, but I feel privileged to be caught in the current of the thing.
      There are a few stray cats in the area, but none are missing eyes!

  3. Pat says:

    very cool. looks like something you’d do, so very appropriate that you’d find it. Maybe you could add to it and drop it in the same place? some old guy? I was in Five Guys last year and commented on a college kid wearing an Adventure Time “Jake” hat. he was totally impressed that some old guy recognized and appreciated the cartoon. i’ll bet most of his friends hadn’t a clue who it was.

    • dave says:

      Thanks, Pat. I’m thinking about adding and returning it to an alley, somewhere. I’m not sure, yet. It’s definitely pretty cool. Maybe not as cool as Jake. Ha! I could have the Alley Cat put on a hat!

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