Bonnie Jo had the idea for a comic about the origins of American Salvage, and she sent me about 6 sentences, one per panel, and then we sort of bounced the script back and forth until it worked for both of us, so this is actually the first true collaboration we’ve done in 2 books. The other 31 (thirty-one!) comics I’ve written about her work didn’t really involve any direct communication or feedback during the process. So this was fun. I love memoir.
The dog in panel 5 was named Rebar, and he only had 3 legs. The picture of me in panel 6 is totally recycled from the last book. The donkey in panel 4 is the only donkey I drew for American Salvage, while Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is full of them. American Salvage, on the other hand, features many more drawings of blood and weapons.
Look into his shiny black eyes and try to say no.
There were a couple details from “American Salvage” that seemed especially striking, and this ermine definitely topped the list. So cute! In the story, the white-furred ermine has been scarce in Kalamazoo, Michigan, having been long over hunted due to the value of their gorgeous pelts, which probably look way better on their original owners than any subsequent possessors of said coats. They are returning to the area of the salvage yard due to it being neglected for so long, but soon enough they will pave the place over to build more suburbs, and what will become of the poor weasel then?
At any rate, I’ve spiffed up his lines and memorialized the elusive ermine in my RedBubble shop. You can support the artist and can get Ermine on a T-shirt, sticker, and a variety of other fine products.