Big Chooch Diary & Memoir Comics #2

Page 1

Fall 2021

Memoir & Diary Comics

by Brian. J Kelley

No. 2

Big Chooch

To the Reader, In 2015, I experimented with podcasting about family history. Most people I reached out to declined, all with a similar reason: they did no’t know enough. There was no one left to ask. Their family stories had passed along with their ancestors. “I Remember” lasted seven episodes. One of my guests was my cousin Fred who has been an amateur geneologist for a long time. Before we formally recorded the interview, I visited Fred and his wife Mary at their home where they shared photographs, video, photocopies of documents, and so many stories I never knew. One document that struck me is the photograph I include here inside the covers. My great-grandparents and cousins were in an Italian club that called itself La Fata Morgana. In the left inside cover, I can see my great-grandfather, Ferdinand Quattrone behind the shoulder of (possibly) one his sons, my uncle Dan, next to him (jacketless in a white shirt and tie; inside the back cover, my cousin Gregorio sits with one of his sons on his lap, Gregory (3 from the right, next to a woman and a young girl). My writing has long been rooted in my family. For a long time, I never knew what to do with it...and then I took a class in comics. Recently, I read that drawing someone is an intimate act of connection--think about stick figures drawn by children... After Big Chooch No 1 published, family, friends, and readers I’ve never met sent notes to me about the different memories one of my comics triggered in them. That just might be the coolest part of this passion project, and I don’t know how long this will last, but I’m hopeful it will.... Keep sharing, Brian

Big Chooch Comics #2; September, 2021. Published by Brian J. Kelley. P.O. Box 193, Kemblesville, PA 19347. Write to me snail mail or email at Visit me on IG bjk925 or on Twitter @RealBrianKelley. ©2021 Brian J. Kelley. ISSN 2769-3198

Write to me ...about you or any of your childhood or family history memories sparked by one of mine and I just might include it here in the next issue of Big Chooch. ...The panel with the rumble of the subway from street grate reminded me of my childhood - but we had to look up as our train was the elevated kind - the “L” as we called it. Seems more mysterious and ominous coming from below the street though. The family memories are particularly beautiful and touching. John (Perkasie, PA) On a warm evening early in July as we sipped our wine-I read your memoir from cover to cover to Paul, sharing your accompanying drawings along the way. Reading you memoir made for a fabulous evening--we paused and reminisced about our own Nannies when we read about your grandmother.... Mary (West Chester, PA) ...Definitely a slice of life, as they say. Many slices! My favourite pieces were the ones with the silent moments, like Stargazing, Night, Assisi. Ponytail was definitely close to home, lol! Aman (Oatlands, Australia)

Brian Kelley is a middle school teacher and now a cartoonist. He is the author of the autobiographical comics series “Big Chooch Comics” and his work has most recently appeared online at “Hobart: another literary journal.” He lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife Karla and a menagerie of dogs and cats.

ISSN 2769-3198