Monday, February 13, 2012

Isaac & Ida, episode 8: the Black City

I've spent the past few weeks digging through my old projects and ideas, looking for some gold that I missed the first time around. (I may have found some, but that's a story for another time.) All this nostalgia reminded me of one of my very first comics projects, good ol' Isaac & Ida from the good ol' University of Chicago. It's been a while since I posted one of these strips, so why not join me in my trip down Memory Lane?

I'm not gonna lie: this might be my absolute least favorite strip. The art is pretty unspectacular, the joke is perhaps understated and definitely depressing, and I blatantly stole the punchline from Cat and Girl. What's more, it's a pretty thin strip; there's only one real joke, not even any amusing background additions or anything.

The 'white city' is a reference to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood; the Exposition featured a number of large, Classical buildings made of white stucco. After the Exposition closed, the University of Chicago was built on much of the same ground out of more durable stone, thus leading naturally to the nickname of "gray city." In fact, to quote our alma mater: "The City White hath fled the earth,/But where the azure waters lie,/A nobler city hath its birth,/The City Gray that ne'er shall die."

Not much more to say here. If you're curious as to what the actual Max Palevsky Residential Commons looks like, check this link. It really is a complete departure from every building around it, though it's hard to say whether it's objectively ugly or just ugly in context.

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