I drew the hand touching its reflection for panel 2 on page 7 of my 2009 comic Flying Solo. The background was an unsatisfactory sketch, maybe from 2003. I filed it away, thinking I could use it for something at some point. That something was a collage in 2011. I added the white paint and red maker in 2015.

My interest in collage has a lot to do with an artist named Harold Dinkel. He worked with my mom as a cataloger at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University. Harold would make his friends and family collaged post cards to celebrate birthdays, holidays, etc. He made hundreds of these two-sided postcards every year, using the same technique and dedication as he did for his artwork.

Harold drew from a huge picture file to create humorous juxtapositions of unrelated symbols and pop culture icons. It was the library’s practice to throw away many of the dust jackets of new books and this provided Harold with a lot of material. His collages were intimately-sized, but incredibly complex. The layers of scotch tape that Harold used to seal in all the elements of his collages made me think of amber, forever holding onto some fantastical moment in time.