Introducing “Multiple,” a new online artwork / web comic

Six panels from Multiple
Multiple on the Wednesday Cooper website.

What’s your favorite super power? Flight? Strength? Invisibility? For as far back as I can remember, mine has had to do with time: I wish I could do two things at once. 

The closest example in mainstream comics is Marvel’s Multiple Man. He creates duplicates of himself that behave independently, merging memories after-the-fact. I’ve long thought, however, that it would be more interesting to explore a character who could, using the memory and concentration of a single individual, do two things at the same time. That’s what I explore in this comic.

The drawings were produced in the winter of 2009/10. I spent an hour each night, four nights each week, drawing with pen. Whenever I was unsatisfied with a sketch, I’d squeeze in a weekend session. I used photo references, choosing then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as my main model; I liked the dark circles under his eyes — they fit a character whose every moment is a feat of concentration. Plus he was in the news a lot, making it easy to find images of varied expressions and angles. A young Ted Kennedy and news anchor Daljit Dhaliwal were used for supporting characters. I collected the drawings in little photocopy zines and, when the long dark winter was done, set the project aside.

I took Multiple back up in the summer of 2011, transferring the drawings to my iPad for shading. When it came to pairing them with text, I knew I didn’t want expository dialogue. I looked to analytical texts — Memory led to Time, and I landed on Heidegger’s short lecture The Concept of Time. I contacted the translations’ publisher, inquiring regarding the fee to license an excerpt of the text in an online artwork. They responded with a flat, “no web use” policy (which is scandalous, in my opinion). So I’ve used ideas from the text as a starting point, restating them in my own words and interspersing them with statements of my concept.

I’ve began posting one panel each weekday. There are 48 panels total, which should take it through January 2012. You can catch-up on the panels posted thus-far via the website, and I hope you follow along via Twitter or RSS.

Thank you.

Posted December 2011

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