A Walker By Any Other Name

The link to my piece on the cartoonist Jessie Renklaw is below.


It begins:

“They think if something happened to them it is interesting because it happened to them…”
McCandless, on some writers, in William Gaddis’s Carpenter’s Gothic.

That is the challenge for memoirists. Make events from their lives meaningful to others. Wikipedia says about the cartoonist Jesse Reklaw little more than that he was born in Berkeley in 1971, grew up in Sacramento, studied at UC Santa Cruz, received an MA in computer science from Yale, dropped out of a PhD program in AI to draw comics, and lives in Portland with his cat. That would seem to leave Reklaw little with which to satisfy McCandless, especially if it was true, which it isn’t. The cat died six years ago, and Reklaw wasn’t born in 1971, Jesse Walker was but reversed the spelling of his last name when he turned 20.