Cactus Water


CACTUS WATER (TABOO #3, 1989)

Cactus Water pg 1

Cactus Water pg 2

Cactus Water pg 3

Cactus Water pg 4

Cactus Water pg 5 (no yellow)

Cactus Water pg 6

Cactus Water pg 7

Cactus Water pg 8

Cactus Water pg 9

Cactus Water pg 10.

Artwork: “Cactus Water” (as featured in TABOO #3, SpiderBaby Grafix) ©1989 Rick Grimes.

GRIMES: “Though I feel this to be a significant story, (as well as one of my longest to date) and welcome further discussion on its ins and outs, for now I’ll let stand the intro insertions I originally wrote, {with some additions}. They’re already dense, thoroughly related, and {mostly} of that time:

“Plainly broken time may make this story vulnerable to misperception.

Not just a disgruntled attempt to confuse readers or make a ‘show’ of indecision, instead, it comes of a simpler stream…

Cactus Water might seem to report or feign a dream. None of it was dreamed, tho’ dreams may be a guiding force.

Some of these techniques are familiar enough to me that there was no particular strain involved in putting it all together this way. Nor any desire to fake some effete inscrutability.

It thrives as a vital chain of reveries, compounded without forcing tiresome, constraining logic onto them, or cropping all extrusions into line.

An exercise in how simple consolations are often lost, swamped under waves of pain.

“Maybe the main character’s behavior demonstrates a form of survival in the raw, unreliable realm of this story’s confines. But implying a Broader Flood of which he and his plagues are only part.

Shorn of any grounded reality, he bobs amidst the most memorable or knowable or comforting moments of any crisis, any scrap of pleasure too soon sloughed off or disturbingly yanked away as each new moment degrades him further.

The many elements of masochism, apparently overwhelming and terminal, conceal a Mysterious Urge to dissolve all such self-contempt and emerge recurrently renewed.

“More than a tossed-off display of undiagnosed spasms, Cactus Water‘s seeming unintelligibility is a (proudly) karmic purge in an erratically fluctuating world.

The various, telescoping ends culminating in what looks to be a final loss should not be taken as only so. It’s a typical device, such misery in the lap of apathetic, once hostile others.

I’m not one to say ‘the struggle is the thing’ either. I’m not a big fan of that.

The victimized hero, in my opinion, truly is one here. He has not harmed others in the process of his torture.

His almost cherubicly glib stupidity and willingness to take whatever’s delivered has an edge of divine malleability to it.

Something worthwhile should & shall be his, even if we can’t yet see it.

“I, for one, won’t be dipping his doodle in such a sea of tears again. “ –RG 7/’89; 9/20;22 ‘015

“I will add that a version of the main character showed up again in one of my notebooks, principal player in a different type of story. I like his tenacity in TABOO. But consider reusing him, without such a beleaguered fate, as he is fun to draw, his features hark back to my childhood drawings, and he is, likewise, some true part of me that after all of the above could definitely use a brake of the karmic wheel.” — Rick Grimes (December 22nd, 2008). +9/’015

+“With all the mirroring, reiterations, and truncated arcs, it’s a very complex story that could probably feed an entire dissertation by somebody. But, I’m not sure I should ever be the one to attempt it.

“I’m still too(?) highly impressed that it even came out of me.”  –Grimes  9/20/015

{For those interested in how the above section, and any other intros, originally ran in Taboo simply click Published In…/(1989-1995). Mag publisher & editor, Steve Bissette’s edits of my text–many for the better, and most of  necessity–are implied there with his parentheses, if not my color highlighting.

On this page, however, it all rang a bit choppy. And I’d prefer my words alone here. I’ve long intended to post my original page copy, as there might’ve been some few nuances omitted I might like read at last.
 
That being impossible to find again, for now, I’ve added what I hope are several clarifying tweaks & phrases.

I did find an earlier version, too rough for use here, that would just emphasize dubious chunks, later excised. And showing me at least, that Steve did fairly right by it all, back then. Tho’ that wasn’t the final page I sent him.

Nonetheless, the above will (without any implied ire) serve well, if not better, for the time being, in all its wobbly cogency}. –rg 9/20/’015

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