Anxiety Dreams and Twin Peaks in ‘Quarantine Comix’


Quarantine Comix

Comic, Miles Davitt, 34 pgs, @milesdavitt, $5

Produced during two different quarantine periods, March and July, in New Zealand and Australia, Miles Davitt fuses black and white, four-panel comics with classic cut-and-paste scrapbooking methods from pandemic-related detritus in order to document his times in isolation. Drawn as a dog (while family and friends are morphed into birds, cats, and horses,) Miles shares thoughts on optimal banana ripeness, documents movie nights with Twin Peaks and Night of the Comet, and offers interludes that feature random background soundtracks like Journey’s “Separate Ways.” Some of the more deliberate panels share common experiences around the pandemic: an anxiety dream about social distancing, the time he forgot a face mask after leaving the house, a tear-inducing COVID test, and an existential question about what he should be doing with his time. By the sixth panel, for instance, Miles wonders if his comics should be more introspective, approaching some of the challenges all artists face, especially in isolation: originality, audience connection, and the creative processes. At other moments, Miles pushes through these feelings of inadequacy, even in the absence of an idea or when he’s just not in the mood to make comics. This carries through to mixed effects as readers find themselves at once appreciating Miles’ tenacity while feeling slightly exhausted by it.