Dean Trippe’s Something Terrible

Caution: Mentions of child molestation are difficult to read about. If this will make you uncomfortable, this is possibly not the comic for you. (The reference is non-graphic and implicit in about two panels of the comic.)

“But the day I drew the first pencil sketch of Batman putting his arm around six-year-old me, I was changed.”

Some of the most difficult stories to tell are the most personal and the most important. Autobiographical comics are sometimes some of the most powerful comics— just read Justin Greene’s Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary or Alison Bechdel’s Funhome. You will survive many things in life, and creating art is both cathartic and a way to share your stories with those who may need to read them.

Dean Trippe’s autobiographical comic Something Terrible is a reflection of how superheroes changed his life, how fiction has saved him in the aftermath of his childhood trauma. I could say, “impacted his life,” but it would not be giving enough credit to the redemption that he found within Batman’s origin story. Some people scoff at the necessity of writing and other arts, but stories save lives. They can give someone hope, strength, and a role model, as Trippe found in Batman. “If you’re an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, I made this comic just to let you know there’s not something terrible lurking inside you.” Someday down the line, this story will in turn save someone else.

Why do you read? Why do you love the stories that you love, and tell the stories that you tell?

It’s a quick read, a single webpage with minimal dialogue and a neat art style. There are a lot of emotions packed into it— fear, redemption, relief. Buying a digital copy for $1 gives you the author’s afterword (which you can read here) and a few more panels that aren’t included on the website. I think it’s worth it.

Are you a comics artist or have a story to share? Submit to Memoryhouse!

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