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Graphic Literature

The Last of the Bunch

By Migo Rolzz
Translated from Arabic by Chip Rossetti
Contemporary graphic fiction from Egypt, exploring friendship, family, and loneliness.
Captions: (Title page) Migo/The Last of the Bunch
Captions: [At my age, there’s nothing to live for except the past…] Son: I wonder what the stars are hiding Father: The darker the sky, the brighter the stars! Son: Is that philosophy or something?
Captions: Father: No, that’s experience talking! Son: You seem happy today, Dad. Father: I feel like I’ve got a new spirit in me. Son: That sounds like big news. Father: You remember by friend Tariq? Son: No…I didn’t know you had any friends! Father: How is it I’ve never told you about him? Father: He’s the only friend I’ve had in this life. Son: OK, so where is he since I’ve never laid eyes on him?
Captions: Father: He moved away more than thirty years before you were born Son: Whoa, that’s a lifetime ago! Son: So what made you think of him, Dad? Father: I’m afraid you won’t understand the matter . . . You’re young and I don’t want my feelings to get hurt! Son: What “matter,” Dad? Why are you beating around the bush like this? Father: Tariq has returned. He’s coming to Alexandria tomorrow! [Tariq’s return is going to let me feel like I’m alive again.] [We shared memories and things I could never forget.] Father as kid: Kick it, Tariq. Father as kid: C’mon, Tariq, the teacher’s coming! [Hope and success] [Work and striving] [But he found the country’s circumstances too constricting. He emigrated to Canada and settled down there.]
Captions: [When your mother died, I was hoping he would come back so I could grieve with him.] Father: I’m going to go wait for him tomorrow! Father: Would you like to come along? Son: Sorry, Dad—tomorrow I’ve got to be somewhere in the morning. But for sure, I’ll meet him when I get back! Father: It’s not important that you meet him when you get back Son: Sorry, Dad. Now I understand what you meant that maybe I wouldn’t understand you. Son: I’ll leave you out here with the stars. I’m going inside to sleep. I’ve got to get up early.
Captions: Son: Good morning, Dad! Father: What do you think about this shirt? Or would wearing black look more chic? Son: Do you have a photo of him? Father: Of who? Son: Tariq! Father: No Son: That shirt is nicer. I’m heading out. Bye! Father: Alexandria Station, driver! Taxi driver: Yes, sir. Hop in!
Captions: Taxi driver: You were asking about the 10:30 train, I’ll get you someone who can show you. Father: Thank you so much, driver! Person: The 10:30 train arrives on the middle platform. Father: Cigarette? Father: What’s your name? Person on bench: Abd al-Rasul Father: Nice to meet you Father: The train from Cairo gets here at 10:30, right? Abd al-Rasul: I don’t know, exactly: I’m waiting for the Mansoura train Father: The fact is, the train that’s on its way is bringing my friend Tariq. He was in Canada for thirty years. We’ve very good friends! Abd al-Rasul: “May God preserve your friendship!”, as they say.
Captions: Father: Tariq! [His hair is white, too…And there’s the same glasses!] Father: He’s heading towards me…He’s definitely noticed me! Father: I’ll act like I haven’t noticed him… Let him recognize me! Tariq: Excuse me, is there a public payphone near here? Father: It’s…uhhh, there’s one next to the station, on the north side. Tariq: Thanks very much! [Where’s the sky, where’s the sky… Even the past didn’t recognize me.]
Captions: Son: Dad, you’re back! So where’s Tariq? Father: He had a few errands some people to visit. We’ll get together after that. Father: He asked about you. I told him you’re busy. He says hello! Son: And hello to him, too! Father: OK, boys, I’m going into my room to get some sleep. Son: Can I make you a sandwich? Father: No…thank you. Phone: Ring! Ring!
Captions: Phone: Ring! Ring! [The End]

© Migo Rollz. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Chip Rossetti. All rights reserved.

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