Friday, June 15, 2007

Ten Ideas for Graphic Stories

1. The Taco Truck--is the equivalent of the Chuck Wagon of the trail drive in the old West; it feeds the vast army of migratory workers, supplying them in taco and burrito form some honest attempt at a cuisine that is not only nourishing but as well a reminder of the gustatory tradition in which most of its customers was raised. These trucks move from job site to job site, restaurants on wheels, bringing affordable food to those who need it most. The taco truck faces threats from entrenched restaurants, bureaucratic health inspectors, and impatient motorists who drive leased BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes, all of whom want in one way or another to drive them off the road. In many ways, the taco truck is the symbol of the Dorthea Lange Nipomo, CA photo of the migrant worker mother, a gritty, nurturing independence on wheels.

2. Cemeteries in California's Central and Coastal Valleys--the iconic records of the Gold Rush, the Land Rush, and every other rush in between. The stories of lives lived, dreams dreamed, and judgments rendered, are there on the fading tombstones and rococo columbaria.

3. Pet cemeteries in California--the often sentimentalized and overdone but invariably emblematic representations of the human species' regard for its animal friends. Where else but in California would the bereaved feel so free to express the strength of their sentiments? South Dakota? Yeah, right.

4. Gift Wrapping--the first casualty of a party or celebration, the cheery accouterments of the way people commemorate their love, duty, obligation, and sentiment.

5. Doctors' Office Waiting Rooms--places where, even when empty, the atmosphere is charged with the heaviness of the expectation of bad news. That tooth has to go. That lump appears to be malignant. That ache cannot be reached by aspirin.

6. Pawn Shops--temples of sacrifice and propitiation, in which fortunes have been reversed and held for ransom, and where the victims are trying desperately to buy a little more time.

7. Old movie theaters converted into other use--or the Cineplex as Norman invasion.

8. Hamburger/Hot Dog Stands/ Restaurants in out-of-the-way or industrial locations

9. Telephone Booths in Remote Locations

10. Used Clothing in Thrift Shops

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