The Life of an Artist

INTO THE DARKNESS - A Graphic Novel by Richard McDowell

I've decided to create and share a page a week from this crazy life of mine. Follow the story as I make my way along and through it all, the meandering back streets of Downtown Los Angeles.  I hope you hear the poetry and in this panel… like all things that have a beginning… I embark on my journey, but I’ll start by asking – “Where am I?”

On Any Given Day.

The morning had been very strange, but had already past.  It had ended with a visit from my art dealer, my model and the Doctor.  I was hoping to put the past behind me, and in the early afternoon I was headed for and on my way to the Arts District.

 On Spring Street at 7th

Dear People,

Some where near the corner... I begin to believe I'm being followed...
but than again, do I really believe in anything?

5th and Spring as I look down from above

Leaving The City

“Stand clear of the closing doors please,” and off we went, leaving Ben and Jenny behind in the heart of it all, the financial core, where seldom, if ever, money is found, and oddly enough it is sometimes king, but more often whore.  Where people pass and hardly glance, but are always rubbing elbows with “who knows who,” and we headed into Bleeker Street station.  And on we went, and on and on.  And crossing Astor Place a man coughed, and the rest of the world fell silent as we waited for the doors to close, and they did, and we were off again.  And I remember I sat in that small cafe and said, “What's holding this place together?” Two hundred coats of paint, the last of which turned an old East Village meat market into a trendy French cafe.

And he passed like Peter Lorre in “Casablanca,” hair parted, hair separated, and that little black mustache like Jose Ferrer in Lawrence of Arabia.  What a strange cafe, what a strange place, what a strange day.  If only we knew each other a little better.  When the sound of voices could travel no further than an empty city block.  And I walked a lot, and never really talked to anyone.

The Conversation

A glass of wine, a cigarette, and the sound of a piano played, a voice of an old radio on red walls. And a banana found its place, as I have done. There are potted plants, and glasses on an empty wooden table. Blue coffee coasters. And a chicken makes its way from poultry farms in Arkansas. It's been such a strange day. I don't look the way I used to, but maybe someday.

At 5 am

I awoke from a dream as if I had been sleeping. A deep, deep sleep that is comforting by its nature, yet when awoken from, and you are in the middle of, remains disturbing and oddly aloof, with pieces of another world floating at the edge of your consciousness. As if a vestige had been left behind, and a part of you is trapped in a void of dreamy silence that you can never retrieve. You are now incomplete with memories that linger, and the only way back to them is to dream again.