Graphic Novels: Drawing from the Past.

March 9th, 20130 Comments »


From “Malcom  X: A Graphic Biography” Andrew Helfer (Editor), Randy DuBurke (Illustrator)

How do we learn about something the world witnesses in a brief flash of time?  Who’s subject to the erosion of time and interpretation, oft at the mercy of the interpreter.  Enter: The Historian.  Fulcrum of future decisions.  Cartographer, trusted recorder of reasons and choices.  Causes and effects.

Can one be so sure that the past will be easily recalled?  With the rate of funding and attendance at our libraries at a relative low, our education system in a downward spiral in some places and desperately treading water in others.  Word of mouth is not only the most ancient form of story telling.  It’s still the most common.

But if our children and young adults can open that vault of images and words known as the comic book, projecting and protecting the truth of where we come from and where we could head if we cannot recall those victories, losses, and most critical pieces of our history’s puzzled past.

Story tellers need stories to tell, history makers need their story to be told, in a medium that can secure it’s reader’s imagination.  Art, derived from the human heart, to be freely offered and opened to the hearts and minds of other free men, women, and children.

Would it be nice if we reached a point where interest of history and interest in comic books are indistinguishable?  And before one thinks such a thing is impossible here, just ask a tenth-grader what September 11th was. Or ask a Chinese national what happened at Tienanmen Square on June 4th  1989.  They can’t tell you, that request is redacted by Google and other sites in that area.

Free Expression.  Uncensored, and unapologetic.  It has the ability to inspire.  Infuriate.  Inflame and Interest.

Enter: Future Bear.

Julian Chambliss (writer) & Rachel Simmons (artist)

FutureBear On display from Jan. 22-March 2, 2013 as part of the exhibition “Telarian” @ CSU Illges Gallery

Future Bear

Rachel Simmons

Click the picture or follow the links to learn more about this fascinating collaboration by some of Central Florida’s brightest hearts.

In speaking to Julian, the story’s writer, Future Bear is an example of the graphic novel’s nature to transcend mediums.  Chambliss’s  imaginative story telling and Simmons’s unique artistic flavorings make up for layer after layer of style.  Stories within stories.  Symbolism between the pages.  They are socially conscious (the best kind of conscious 😉 documenting the causes and conditions of who we are today, who we can become, or can’t, because of who we were before.

Now if only we had the ability to communicate with our future selves.  Let the power of God be in the hands of men (and bears).  Knowing no bounds outside of time and space.  Like how the graphic novel and comic book medium mediate between the inaccessible and intolerable…and makes it acceptable

More from Future Bear in the near future!

But first take a look and see how you resonate.  Take it for a spin.



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About Jay

Jay was born July 8th 1986 and is an aspiring adult who is versed in several writing styles from poetry to short stories to hip-hop. He holds black belts in two different martial arts but has been self-trained to eat sleep and breathe comics and the people who make them. He started Inside Comic Books to get closer to the people in the comic book industry and find out if they're real or if they're all the result of his hyperactive imagination. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. The O-Zone, if you will. If you're interested, you can email him at

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