New Garden. March 2021.
Transcript of New Garden.
A seven page, black and white comic, painted with inks on paper.
The title “New Garden by Jessi Eoin” is overlaid on a scene showing a fat person (Jessi) with very short hair walking over a grassy hill of flowers, walking toward and waving hi to a group of people in the distance relaxing and hanging out near a group of trees on a blanket. The people wave back. Text boxes that indicate a narration voice reads, “The year I became severely disabled, my whole world changed in every way… almost overnight. I’d always been disabled, but…” The scene progresses to show the friends and Jessi up close, goofing off and smiling, a friend leaning on Jessi’s shoulder with a speech bubble above the friend showing Z’s for sleep as Jessi looks at the friend and says, “heh.” Another friend is behind them both, smiling mischievously while raising their arms up as if to surprise the people. Suddenly, Jessi looks alarmed, and then they grab themselves in a hug, saying “Owwww! FUCK! Owww!” as another person says, “You ok?” and as their friend’s head suddenly drops off Jessi’s shoulder from the sudden movement.
The final narration box on the page is against a black background and reads, “…this was much different.”
The first three panels at the top show a series of scenes of Jessi journeying through becoming disabled: the first shows several sheets of different lab works falling against a gray background. The second shows Jessi at the doctor’s office in a hospital gown gesturing in disbelief and anger at the doctor, saying, “What do you mean I ‘have to just live with it’?” as the doctor just shrugs dismissively. The final one shows Jessi alone in a room, sitting on a couch, staring at a cane on the floor in front of them. Narration boxes between the first two panels and the third and fourth panel reads, “The small garden of life, that I had nurtured so diligently for so many years, suddenly…”
The fourth panel is a large one showing Jessi kneeling in a garden, planting a sapling and smiling. The garden is filled with birch trees, a small creek or river, a fire pit with chairs, a bird bath with some perched birds, and a house surrounded by flowering bushes.
The final two panels are of Jessi’s hands from their point of view, cupping the sapling and dirt in the palms of their garden gloved hands. The first one appears normal, and the second one suddenly turns dark as the sapling morphs into a twist of gnarling branches that grab onto Jessi’s panicked hands. The final narration box continues, “…mutated.”
This page is a stark contrast of a pitch black background with three monsters dwarfing Jessi’s form in each section. The narration boxes read, “All of a sudden, I was always isolated. In agony. Changing drastically, constantly.” Next to the word “isolated,” a giant monster mutated from a tree has become massive and spiny with a single giant eyeball staring menacingly down at Jessi trapped within their body. Next to the words “in agony,” a giant charred, angry, disarticulated skeleton enveloped in flames rages at Jessi who bends over grabbing their own head as their cane falls. Jessi is completely surrounded by flame. Next to the words “changing drastically, constantly,” is a giant creature made of flood water swirling around and towering over Jessi’s dejected looking form, almost mockingly, threatening. The water is filled with things you would find in a flood, such as houses and trees.
This page continues with the high contrast of the black background against three scenes that flow into one another. There are two narration boxes that read, “I fought these demons for years.” The scenes show Jessi, whose hair grows a little longer with each scene, as they battle the monsters: they use an axe to hack at the isolation monster, the branches reaching up almost like arms and hands as the eye of the monster widens. Jessi vigorously throws a tiny bucket of water at the ever-growing fire demon of pain as it looks on at them as though it cackles at their attempt to quell the flames. The flood monster has morphed into a full, raging river that Jessi desperately tries to swim upstream, against the current, toward a home and tree at the beginning of the water, far off in the distance. A school of fish swim past them, following the current downstream easily and without struggle.
This page has only one panel. It shows Jessi’s burnt form, lying limply on the ground, unmoving, as flames rage across their body, licking high into the sky. There is one narration box that reads, “It only made it worse.”
This page shows three high contrast panels with stark black backgrounds of Jessi engaging with each of the monsters individually in each panel. The first panel shows Jessi with long hair sitting reluctantly but resolutely next to the fire demon, staring into its eye sockets. The demon is smaller now, only a little larger than Jessi themself, and it seems almost as if it, too, is sitting down. Jessi is covered in burn marks. The narration boxes for this panel read, “It wasn’t until I learned to sit with the pain…”
The second panel’s narration box reads, “…to embrace my new life at home…” as Jessi throws their arms around the tree monster, clinging to it and pushing their distressed face into the bark as the twigs scratch and cut them, leaving tears in their shirt. The eye of the monster looks at Jessi with a look almost like acceptance or resignation.
The third panel’s narration box reads, “… to accept my new limitations…” as Jessi, with even longer hair now, looks up stone faced at the water monster, offering their hand to the creature as if to shake hands in agreement, using a cane in their other hand.
The final page shows a return to a grayscale of colors. The first narration box continues the thought of the previous page, reading, “…that I began to see…” The top three panels show the monsters returning to their true forms in Jessi’s garden: the tree monster gradually shifts back into a birch tree, the water monster turns back into the river, and the fire monster turns back into the fire in a fire pit. The narration box underneath that continues, “…my new garden bloom just as beautifully as it did before…”
The final panel shows Jessi in the garden, smiling happily, hair longer than ever, wearing long, loose flowing clothes while using their cane comfortably. The trees are framed by raised planter beds, and there are flowers and flowering bushes growing everywhere. There’s now a single bench under the trees, looking out at the nearby glowing fire pit and the nearby flowing river. The sun is shining near a few puffy clouds. There are birds flying in the sky and fish swimming in the river. The scene is peaceful, and the final narration box concludes, “…just differently now.”