Work and Progress

September 30, 2010

Rolling City: A Graphic Short in Block-Prints Vol. 2

Filed under: 1. Rolling City: A Graphic Short in Block Prints — Work and Progress @ 5:05 pm


When you’re 11 yrs old and there’s no father figure in house you go looking. The City becomes your surrogate.

In the 1980’s television father figures looked like these guys. They symbolized family, good morals, ethics, generational knowledge, and on T.V. they made you laugh and they told you it was o.k. to cry.

But where does knowledge come from when there is no Heathcliff Huxtable to ask?

When you’re looking for something new, when you’re looking for a bit of a break or a pick-me-up.

I suppose knowledge comes from experience and experience comes at a price without guidance.

It felt like I chipped a tooth but I couldn’t tell because my face and mouth were numb.

I had an instant feeling of betrayal, like the city had stuck out its foot and made me fall. We’re supposed to be friends! I thought to myself. I looked on the ground beside me, and yup, there it was, gleaming. Gleaming because I was a kid who brushed. And the tooth should be in my mouth, I thought, not on the floor. But there it was, blood and ivory on pavement.


I got up and out of the street holding my board in one hand and a chip of tooth in the other.


If this isn’t a sign from god I don’t know what is, I thought to myself.  I shouldn’t have left the neighborhood. Mom’s gonna flip. What do I tell her? I sat there, investigating the empty space where my tooth used to be. I was humiliated, embarrassed, confused. Supposed to be my friend! I said to myself as I smacked the skateboard to the pavement.

“Well. Well.  You little fat ass watcha up to?” a voice asked mockingly.

Augustine! A 200 pound, 7th grade, metal-head from my school, picks on me in P.E. and he had a couple of goons with him.  My humiliation  boiled into anger as I picked up my board.

“Takes one to know one PIG FACE!” I responded while picking up my board.

They started to grab at me. I drop my tooth and fell to my back, clutching  the skateboard tightly.

For some reason I began to scream out random lines from the movie Uncommon Valor “YOU CANT KEEP ME FROM THIS MISSION!” Which got the attention of some man parking a station wagon full of kids, who then chased them off, but not before they put some solid kicks into me.

Without a thanks, I skated off in the opposite direction as fast as I could. Back home.

Why do I want to leave? Why do I want to roam?  I can count on things to be the same here. No random bumps or bullies to worry over.

Here  I know what to expect.

like the parking rail over by Foster Freeze….

or the Garduno Banks (where even chubby kids can catch some air.)

Even things I typically ignored comforted me…like the Asian man playing the accordion at the Garmar Theatre. Sitting in the same spot every Saturday afternoon, playing the theme from the Godfather over and over.

Most weekends I skated right past him. Today I sat on my board next to him to hear that familiar song. (cue music*)

My face felt like it had been scraped down to the bone. I was missing a tooth and a shoe.

There were many emotions I was feeling right then, and I wasn’t sure which one to address.  I wanted to wail like a fire engine, but I was afraid it would attract the attention of moviegoers.  So I put my head in my lap started cry,  in tune with the accordion.

If the City is a teacher what was today’s lesson? Did I do something wrong?

What would Heathcliff tell Theo? “Try harder!” or “watch out for bumps, stupid!” followed by something philosophical, I suppose.

I wonder where Charlie is.

Wherever he is I bet he skating.



“What do you want?” I responded.

“I got my drivers license, look.” It was Shelly.

(cue music* )

“How nice for you.”

“Serg..” She called again.


“I know where Charlie lives…..”

Text and original block-print images © by Sergio Teran

(*) means  you may click to play and read along with music.

Rolling City Vol.1

Rolling City vol.3

Rolling City Vol. 4

Rolling City Vol.5


  1. aww man, I love it!!! can’t wait for Surg to join Team 3 Star!! keeep em coming!

    Comment by Rich Duran — October 1, 2010 @ 2:56 am

  2. This is amazing! I love the angle of all the illustrations–I feel like I’m flying through the city.

    Comment by Cheryl — October 21, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    • Thanks Cheryl. Vol. 3 on its way.

      Comment by Work and Progress — October 21, 2010 @ 5:27 am

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