There are so many things I could say about “Something Terrible” by Dean Trippe, but I honestly have no idea where to start.
I suppose I can start with how I found out about this intensely moving comic. While I was at NYCC, I passed a booth that had a print with just about every comic book character (or geeky character, for that matter). The art was amazing, I took some time to study it and then moved on. It was called “You’ll Be Safe Here”.
I got lost in trying to find my favorite characters, and you can probably see why.
Fast forward to the past week or so. I’ve seen Dean Trippe’s name come up a billion times in the geek therapy world on my twitter feed, so I decide to check him out. And I see the same print I saw at NYCC. I had no idea that it was part of a larger story. I just thought that it was a stand alone illustration.
The result of that search ended up in me spending one of the most well spent dollars (his entire comic is only 99 cents) I have ever spent. I would have spent more!
The art is beautifully simple. It is so crisp and simple, which really draws you into the story. The storytelling is brilliant. Trippe’s ability to convey so much emotion with so few words is an accomplishment to be proud of. I can barely tell such an emotionally loaded story coherently using words.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why it works. The words don’t get in the way.
By now (or maybe a bunch of paragraphs ago), you’re probably wondering what the story is about. Trippe tells his life story in just a few panels, but the message is strong. Essentially, the story is about his having been molested as a child, and how Batman saved his life.
Batman, through watching the movies and reading the comics, became Trippe’s personal hero. Trippe also became Batman. He became a trauma survivor who was able to do something with his life.
Unfortunately, Trippe grew up believing that because he was abused, there was something terrible inside of him. That he would someday become an abuser himself. I can’t imagine living through life constantly worrying about harming a child. Especially my own.
In the end, Batman helps him see the truth about himself, and he is able to build a positive relationship with his son.
Something Terrible is the epitome of geek therapy. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will keep it as vague as possible. Trippe was able to heal a major wound due to superheroes and comics. It helped him to heal and become the man he is. It helped him to become the incredible cartoonist he is.
In the process of writing the comic, he was able to change his narrative. He re-wrote his story to help him feel better about what happened to him. Trippe did something on his own that many people do in therapy, with or without the comics.
Dean Trippe is a brave man to put his story out for all the world to see. His story shows the power that one childhood (or lifelong) passion can have, and the healing properties it can possess.
I’m sure that resonates with some, if not all, of us with a geeky obsession.
If you’d like to buy Something Terrible, you can do so here! (And you should buy it. You won’t regret it!)