Published in Oi, Oi, Oi #1, ComicOz, April 2014.
There is a title in the first panel in case it’s not obvious. This story was conceived for publication in the Australian Book Review as a comic essay on why and how I tell stories with pictures. It is a small autobiographical piece on my visit to the Story Museum in Oxford, which is intended to be a repository and forum for the art and craft of telling stories (would that we had something similar in Australia!). At the time I was there in 2012, they had the site, Rochester House, gifted to them by a nameless benefactor to the tune of £2 million (we do not have that). As you will read, they needed more money to make the old British Telecom exchange into a place of wonder, though I rather enjoyed the detritus of its working history still lying around.
Comics will be a part of the Story Museum, though to what extent is to be determined. Anyhow, I treated this piece as an experiment to push the reader’s ability to read the visual metaphors and puns I put in to get all of the meaning I intended, and it appears this was unsuccessful. Hence it was rejected by the Australian Book Review and later, Meanjin. I later reworked it, filling in some of the gaps as I saw it for submission to Going Down Swinging, but it was again rejected. Only Nat Karmichael at ComicOz saw something in it. Maybe it's too difficult for non-comics readers. Maybe there really is something missing in it. You tell me.