Oh, the ambition . . .

Lauren sent me an email a couple days ago: “Have you seen Hyperallergic today?” I knew what that meant. I don’t get many emails from her that don’t circle around to the subject of what she’s up to, so I figured somebody high on the 26th floor at Hyperallergic World Headquarters must have finally detected the sound of her painting boots stomping the floorboards at 3 a.m. all the way over on the other side of Brooklyn. Along with strains of Tom Waits from her Macbook. (That’s when she’s usually hard at work on her comics and paintings. I don’t think she actually sleeps.) So I clicked and found that one of my favorite art blogs had discovered her poster, which got tons of shares when she put it up on Facebook a while back. Right after she drew this, earlier this year, she showed it to me, while I was visiting Brooklyn, and pointed toward one of the panels and said, “That’s you.” At the time, I thought, “Oh, cool. I inspired one of these!” Upon further investigation (in other words, Lauren told me to get over myself, I wasn’t her inspiration) she merely meant that, as an artist, she was able to pigeonhole me into one of her well-observed categories. (This flattered me at first and then made me uncomfortable. Lauren’s too intelligent. She sees exactly where most things fall short of the ideal, and shortfall is my niche.) It’s unclear, at this point in time, which panel she meant when she was putting me in my place. I thought it was “Normal things need my help to be interesting.” However, she insists there’s a jar in here somewhere, and she knows I love to paint jars. Here’s the thing, though. Now I recognize myself in more than one of these drawings. At least three of them. Hm. No, five, actually. OK, this is as high as I’m going to go: eight. I’m definitely in eight of these. As Charlie Brown would have said if Lucy had drawn this: I am the inspiration for this comic, Linus! Then Lucy decks him with a roundhouse left.

One thing, though. Zero desire to get naked in public. Not that anyone was hoping.

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