stef lenk
The Haircut


The third chapter of a larger graphic novel project entitled The Details.

Each story is told through sequential drawings, with text used only occasionally and briefly; This “silent” approach allows what words there are to act as signposts through the narrative. Recurring images through each episode weave the stories together and recontextualize what said images stand for in each story.

My work is largely occupied with the blurry line between childlike curiosity and an adult perspective on the world, as it is traversed through metaphor; objects have been taken from symbols found in everything from the bible to traditional children’s fairy tales.

Contrary to mainstream comics, the most prevalent form of visual sequential narrative, I have chosen a highly naturalistic style of rendering larger format drawings with minute detail, to lend a magic-realist element to my work. This style will also ideally place the completed book into a context closer to literary fiction than mainstream comics, which often undermine this crucial genre with a predominantly narrow breadth of subject matter (read: superheroes, vacant storylines, over-endowed women in pvc, etc).

The finished novel will follow a regimen of sixteen pages per chapter (the amount of pages formally required to produce one signature of a printed book). One of the prevailing themes in the novel is the correlation between real life and printed page; the final chapter will analogize the human reproductive system to the creation of a book, where the main character will literally meet her (a book)maker.

Synopsis of The Haircut:

What to do with the cuttings of a long anticipated haircut. Girl looks down into the community garden, and beyond all other occupants beneath a rotting apple tree is an uncleared portion, obstructed by bags of manure (fertilizer?). With some work it seems a perfect little corner home where she can plant her cuttings. But to get there she must pass through the garden of faceless people with their sectioned-off plots and covert gardening pursuits. And there is ever the Faceless Lady, digging an inordinately large hole for no visible purpose, silently threatening to reclaim the land.

And what will happen if/when the cuttings take root?

Self published
6×7.375 in, 20 pages, full colour, 2007
Edition of 500

Available from the artist

stef lenk is an artist/illustrator presently living in Toronto. Her work has been published in Brick Literary Journal, Descant literary journal, Broken Pencil , Rue Morgue, and Geist magazine, among others.