Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Vision of Jack Kerouac as The Shadow

I just happened upon this. A mini-comic that delves into the lingering influence Sal Paradise has had on a certain type of working-class intellectual in America up to this day. This comic really nailed some of the things that lead to my obsession with Jack in my late teens and early twenties. Many kids who are infatuated with the Beats seem overly drawn to the "wine, women, and song," aspects of the subculture, coupled with rebelliousness and anti-authoritarianism. And, hey yeah, that's cool and all, but what kept me coming to Jack, and still does to this day, was (and is) the heart-breaking search for empathy and meaning in a spiritually bankrupt America. Most of his critics, and all too many of his fans, never grasp the full impact of this. Jack was like Jacob, wrestling with an angel, wrestling with God. Seeking a blessing for his ragtag entourage, stumbling through the desert, trying to find their home.

This six page comic about two guys in Indiana talking about Kerouac was called "nice sympathetic work on Kerouac" by Allen Ginsberg soon after it was written in 1989. Previously only available in a hand-photocopied version of less than one hundred copies, this entire story is now available to read on this site. Click on the cover and proceed through the six pages. Enjoy.


sky said...

boo yah!

i couldn't agree more.

have you pored through his Some of the Dharma?

Honky-Tonk Dragon said...

No, I've never had a copy, always wanted to, though.