A Southern boiled tragicomedy journey of the self-destruction of a man escaping his past in his trek across Texas.
“I think you may just find what you’re looking for in Texas. A lot of us do.” – Nelson the Armadillo
Peter is on a trip, and you can take that however you choose. The story starts with him on his way to a Georgia airport holding a one-way ticket to Houston, Texas. From there his misadventures find him looking to ride a “Horse” in a hotel lobby (not a literal horse, kids, you’re gonna have to look that one up), calling for a cab, and having an existential conversation with a very wise armadillo.
Honestly, those are about the most straightforward bits of this comic so far.
Screenwriter Paul Deeter sent me a review copy of Lost in Tarnation #1, his first comic ever, and claimed that it was semi-autobiographical in nature. After reading it, I wasn’t sure if I should thank him for reaching out or try to track him down for a wellness check. In the end, I opted for the former. The opening issue lays out some pretty abstract ground rules as Deeter establishes the drug-induced delirium that is Peter’s reality. The dialogue is interesting and there’s humor to be appreciated.
Doing his very best to wrangle this herd of cats, artist Jorge Luis Gabotto follows Deeter’s narrative with a suitable artistic style. Just as Peter- and Paul Deeter himself- are on their own journeys, Gabotto’s pilgrimage is responsible for interpreting the script as written and showing the fever dream on the page. The imagery does get intense, and there are going to be some triggers out there for more sensitive readers, but it’s all with purpose. We’re just going to have to decide on whether the journey is worth the risk.
For the record, I have never done hard drugs. I’ve never shot heroin, but I’ve talked with people who have. By all indication, Lost in Tarnation is a pretty decent representation of the dissociative aspects that come with it. Anyone looking to participate can hop over to the successful Kickstarter campaign page and find Deeter’s contact information therein.
Final Score: 10/13