Real Stuff: The Meaning of Life

"I was fighting a fire in Alaska, putting out hot spots with my friend E.J. and a squad of Indians. I remember that we were in a clearing, and I mentioned that I had some blisters on my hands." From Real Stuff #3 (Fantagraphics, May 1991).

Read the other Real Stuff stories and listen to Mark's interview with Dennis Eichhorn here.


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  1. Mark,
    Thanks for bringing these Real Stuff stories back to life. Back in the day I had a complete run of RS, and have favorites I'm hoping to see, like when he was riding his bike , and the hoodlum neighbor kids stretched barbed wire across the alley. Hey, I'd love to see that story of the body falling from the airplane as told on your pod-cast, but I don't think it was ever in RS, was it? Thanks again!

  2. I love this story; it's probably my favorite of all the RS stories, and that's saying a lot. It's always kind of a revelation to see Jim Woodring doing a more realistic subject, because even though I appreciate and celebrate his explosive and endlessly-fertile imagination, it can sometimes be a bit of a distraction from just how much sheer craft he has; his black and white work has this textured, woodcutty aspect to it that really shines through here. I also love the central mystery of the difference in memories; maybe his friend made the remark so offhandedly that he simply doesn't remember doing it, but if not, and it's Eichhorn's memory that's faulty, then where did this revelation come from? Truly, the neatest of Real Stuff.

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