A comic from my sketchbook about desire and inner demons | 2016


These characters’ development is a complicated one. When I first created the character of Tiefer, a bout a year or two after creating Jehan, I conceived of him initially as just this prototypical perverted priest — an almost archetypal monster that haunts us, especially nowadays, and that, whether mocked in comedy routines or discussed only in hushed whispers, is painfully one-dimensional, as many monsters and archetypes are. However, he quickly evolved beyond “horrible monster who hurt Jehan in Jehan’s youth” and into a person with a past and in death, funny enough, a future: he became a “ghost” of Jehan’s (perhaps I took the phrase “Christ-haunted South” a little too literally.)

Post-mortem, Tiefer became a sort of malicious Greek Chorus or perhaps a sadistic conscience of Catholic Guilt personified: a being that in one breath would speak reason and reassurance but in the next give only condemnation and abuse.

I wanted to show this function of his as both Jehan’s inner voice of reason and crippling guilt, especially regarding his sexuality and fantasies, in this comic and depict the inner battle between knowing, logically, that arousal or fantasies based on fear doesn’t mean you necessarily want them to come true and believing, emotionally, that everyone’s judging you because everyone knows so everyone hates you for being so abnormal and broken and even if it’s okay for everyone else it’s not okay for you for some arbitrary reason (because you’re abnormal and broken and nobody will love you except your demons so don’t even bother, is the answer your demons tend to give despite being untrue.)