This page may look a bit odd, and that’s because I cut off the bottom of the page. This page contains imagery of animal violence and, in the interest of some kid stumbling upon the website, I just wanted to take all precautions. However, the full, unedited page will be the one included in the print edition of “Dead Words.”

This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to edit myself and it’s strange.

It’s strange if only because I knew this chapter would be uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable when I wrote the notes for it years ago. It was uncomfortable outlining it and figuring out the details of what would happen. It was uncomfortable knowing how the character would be tested. It was uncomfortable knowing what I would have to draw.

With all of that in my head, I knew that the scene was coming. As with the previous scenes of violence, I knew I wanted to emphasize the horror of violence rather than glorify it. I was surprised that the page I actually drew was kind of horrifying (not to make a joke out of it, but horses are hard enough to draw normally). Every step of the way, the page consistently bothered me. This is not the kind of stuff I draw, it’s not the stuff I want to draw, but it worked best for the story to have it.

That being said, it was a wonderful exercise, artistically. Animals are already comprised of shapes uncommon to the shapes found when drawing people; so, to take that and put a horse in a non-living pose, thinking about the distribution of weight and––when looking at the anatomy of a horse––thinking of how its body would fall, it became a really interesting puzzle that, at the very least, distracted me from what it was I was actually drawing.

Perhaps I’m over-reacting. Perhaps it’s me selling out. On the other hand, maybe I put up an edited version because I don’t want to see this page every time I click through the archives. At least it’s good to know I can draw outside my comfort zone, no matter how much I fight it.