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Saturday, August 12, 2006

West of Bathurst 7

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Saturday, August 12, 2006
At last, we are getting a colour comic, and we get to see this world in non-black-and-white terms. This may take a while to describe. *Deep breath*

Panel 1: The long title panel, which takes up an entire row of the comic, is set in the foyer of the graduate college in which the comic takes place. In the foyer, the usual orange brick walls frame a large bulletin board that features various (too small to read) sign-up sheets, announcements, posters, and newspaper articles. Part of the board is dominated by a large dry-erase calendar on which is visible the word "Toronto," presumably the latter part of "University of Toronto," with the "University of" being hidden by a speech bubble. One of the documents tacked to the bulletin board is a mauve banner reading, "West of Bathurst." The words "by Kari Maaren" appear on a smaller poster. On the extreme right side of the bulletin board is a small chalkboard featuring the words "College Tour Today: 2:00 p.m."

There are six people in the foyer. A man who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, and whom we already know from the banner header, is leading four of the others out through the foyer's larger, imposing wooden doors. He has short black hair and glasses, and he's wearing a brown shirt, dark grey pants, and a defeated expression. Following him are: 1) a young white woman with dark brown hair, a black shirt, and brown pants; 2) a young white man with light brown hair, a little moustache and beard, glasses, a light blue shirt, and dark blue pants; 3) Marie, whom we know, dressed in a navy blue shirt and grey pants; and 4) the blond gentleman she met yesterday, who is wearing a green shirt, a green-and-white tie, and brown pants. The blond gentleman is smirking. All five of these people are walking past a woman we met a few comics ago. She has dark brown skin and blue hair, and she's wearing bright red lipstick and dressed in a red tank top and black pants. She's smiling and crossing her arms.

Blue-Haired Woman: Make way for ducklings!

Grumpy Tour Guide: Oh, shut up.

Panel 2:  The tour guide is standing in one of the residence rooms, the four aforementioned people (minus the blue-haired woman) ranged around him. We can see a yellow wooden barrier next to a brick wall. An incredibly ugly light fixture, a sort of long rectangular wooden thing with weird orange-brown panels that block almost all the light that might otherwise emerge from it, hangs from the ceiling beside him, so low that if he turned suddenly and tried to walk through it, he would get a faceful of splinters.

Grumpy Tour Guide: Davies College was designed and built in the early sixties by famous architect Tom Rhon...

Caption #1 [points at light fixture]: Lamp (no light)

Caption #2 [points at floor]: Tile floor (orange)

Panel 3: The tour guide walks in front of a student desk (built permanently into the room), which is right near a series of huge windows. There is a radiator between the desk and the window. We can see a strange-looking chair that seems to have only a very thin strip of wood as a back support.

Grumpy Tour Guide: ...also known for many other projects, including two churches, several theatres, and a magnificent grocery store on Front Street.

Caption #1 [points at window]: Window (leaking)

Caption #2 [points at chair]: Chair (no back)

Caption #3 [points at radiator]: Radiator (will emit heat for one week in October)

Panel 4: The tour guide leads everyone down some stairs. The walls here are brick, interspersed with narrow opaque windows.

Grumpy Tour Guide: Rhon was responsible for all physical aspects of the college, from basic layout to furniture and decor. Over the decades, his vision has been carefully preserved.

Caption #1 [points at stairs]: Stairs (steeper than usual)

Caption #2 [points at window]: Window (no view)

Panel 5: The tour guide stands in front of the fireplace in the dining hall. As usual, brick is everywhere. Next to the guide is a tall chair with a wooden and leather back, plus a heavy wooden table.

Grumpy Tour Guide: In acknowledgement of his role, it is traditional for college residents to start each day with the following invocation:

Caption #1 [points at chair]: Chair (no seat)

Caption #2 [points at fireplace]: Fireplace (spews smoke into room)

Panel 6: We see the tour guide's face in extreme close-up.

Grumpy Tour Guide: "I remember you, Tom Rhon. I remember you, O my architect...

Panel 7: As everybody watches, the tour guide stalks away. In the meantime, Barbara pokes her head into the scene and waves a piece of paper.

Grumpy Tour Guide: "...and I hope you are spending eternity rotting in one of your own miserable buildings."

Barbara: Amen.

Caption #1 [points at tour guide's neck]: Frostbite scar

Caption #2 [points at Barbara's piece of paper]: Chiropractor's bill

Alt-Text: I hope this all sounds familiar...

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