The stories behind the stories

Faraway Looks

“Cable makes you soft, boy! True warriors live off the land! Give me an intermittent signal off an aluminum foil antenna, and I’m golden!” — Millard Duke


College life goes immediately wrong for freshman Ricky Joe when he meets his roommate, a bizarre creature obsessed with… well, sitting around and watching television all day. But like, in a really twisted and psychotic way! And he might be really dangerous! (That’s what folks have been saying, y’know?) Join Ricky Joe and the harried resident assistant as they learn the philosophies and pathologies of the world’s least motivated student! Will he be their guru… or their greatest enemy? Or both?
Published by Faraway Press • July 2, 2002
Written by John Jackson Miller

Printing by Harold Buchholz

A lifetime ago, Faraway Looks began as a humor comic strip I did back in my minicomics days. The characters went through several incarnations as my style changed — they actually started as funny animals in a detective series — but their personalities stayed constant.

The 2002 incarnation, which bears little contextual resemblance to what began, is a college humor strip featuring three losers who never leave the front of their dorm room TV set — from whence comes a mass of snide observations about life, popular culture, academia, etc.

To some degree, it’s my love for trivia run completely wild (which for those who know me well should be warning enough)! In 2000, taking a cue from the ultra-minimalist (and wonderful) Knights of the Dinner Table, I put some of my scripts to paper using computer “cels” for the characters — allowing me to basically “draw” as fast as I could write. This resulted in an self-published sample press run of an 84-page collected edition in 2002: the “Fall Preview Edition.”

When Crimson Dynamo came about, I put the project aside, but it may resurface as a collaboration with an established humor artist, putting (much better!) pictures to my words.

“Life’s long. Pace yourself.” — Millard Duke

Well, Faraway Looks is all trivia. I hardly know where to begin …

…oh, OK. The cover test pattern is a salute to “Indian Chief,” the most famous of all test patterns. It began appearing around 1949, most likely the creation of RCA. Gone long before sensitivities might have taken it off the air, it stands as a pure electronic artifact in an age in which television stations rarely bother to turn off their transmitters. Salute, Chief!