This epic graphic novel was done from 1975 to 1976.
The ACADEMY is my biggest accomplishment to date! My first and only full comic book sized adventure, or, "Graphic Novel" as they are now called. In addition, this was the first comic of more than two pages where I actually thought out the plot in advance and wrote it down. As I worked, more weird things continued to happen, and much of these events found their way into the comic, but the plot kept its course throughout all the mind numbing detours.
The ACADEMY is about my high school. My parents were fed up with the poor quality of public schools so sending me to Trinity Christian Academy, ("The Academy" as I called it!), was their viable solution. An added bonus was the school was only a few blocks from home, so they didn't have to drive me.
The first year was actually pretty good. It was fairly laid back, and there were not a lot of students. However, the following year "white flight" hit when the public school system initiated desegregation! A lot of rich parents didn't want their precious sons and daughters bussed across town where they might encounter "differing cultures". This was Texas!!! The school was soon flooded with students, a lot of whom came from very conservative rich families. Consequently, tuition began to increase, and quadrupled over the next couple years. Also, a lot of football wannabes who couldn't make 4th string at a public school were now big men on campus. And, because a big slice of the student population came from strict religious backgrounds, there was NO DANCING!! That's right, no prom, and a sever restriction on extra curricular activities. Having sweaty, smelly, teen age boys bash each other was OK, but dancing and lurid rock music was out.
During my junior year (1975/75) much oppression, double standards, and downright bad vibes were starting to get to me. I am not built to play football, and I find it boring to watch (except for the cheerleaders). Being a non-participant in the school's only social activity, having longish hair, being quiet and drawing weird cartoons put put me in a very small minority! I reached for the only voice I knew to express myself, COMICS! I started planning it out, and after Christmas break, I put pen to paper on The ACADEMY in 1975.
I worked on it with religious zeal, (Kind of ironic, huh?), until I finished it just before graduation in 1976. A lot of what is portrayed actually happened, though some parts may be a bit exaggerated. OK, some parts a LOT exaggerated!!! This is a comic book, deal with it! I use a lot of the actual names of people for the characters in this comic, and I actually did help publish an underground newspaper called "Chicken Scratch" (which we got busted for). You'll notice that all the teachers are portrayed as humans, while the students are portrayed as animals, birds, or insects (except three students, can you spot them?). This mirrored my feelings that we were only money gathering "attractions" at a zoo as far as the authorities were concerned. Plus, I think animals are cute and more lovable than humans.
I have been told by people who have read this comic that it is juvenile, crude, and dated. Hey, I was a teenager, and that is how I felt at the time, and that is the way things were for me! By the way, I still feel the same! Also, because this is a personal rant of mine, there are lots and lots of inside jokes. If you have a question about any of these, please go to the "Email Max Comics" link, located on every page, and send me your questions, comments and praise. I will accept curses if they are creative. You may notice the spelling is atrocious. This has been brought up to me many, many times. I have taken note and I am trying to correct this. I'se beein' larned bettur!
I hope you enjoy this little trip into my past!
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