down the shore
By Rachel Masilamani
I admire Ed Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations, but when asked to respond to this artist's book, I worried that our approaches were too far apart for dialogue. I am interested in the body explicitly and directly, and that was precisely absent from Ruscha's images. However, as I explored Twentysix Gasoline Stations, several of Ruscha's themes resonated with me: anonymity, unspoken family history, mechanical reproduction and the messy tangle of car culture. Once I identified these subjects, I was excited to form my response. Down the Shore represents a journey that many people make in the summer: a day trip to the New Jersey Shore. Along the way, I want you to see the seams, the pressure of my drawing hand and, as with Ruscha, the implications of the missing pieces.
Rachel Masilamani has been making comics since 1997. Her first comics collection, RPM Comics #1, received a grant from the Xeric Foundation and was named “Best Comic Book” by the Baltimore City Paper. Since then, her comics have appeared in Meathaus, Street Runoff, Graphics Classics, The Indiana Review and other anthologies.
All images and text © Rachel Masilamani.