As mentioned in the comic, I’ll be running in a half-marathon this July– the Missoula Marathon, in fact. Now, I don’t balk at going 13 miles– last summer’s hike to Hyalite Peak was over 14 miles, and that was with a pack and a 3,000 ft elevation gain. Experience indicates I can walk for literally hours on end. What I haven’t done is run that sort of distance. For the last several years, most of my running has just been infrequent two or three mile jogs. So, with that in mind, I called someone who ran the route last year to gauge this individual’s experience with the event. I thought I’d share some of his or her insights with you.
When I originally opted to use King Leopold II as my substitute person to maintain anonymity for this individual, I selected him because he was a little-considered European monarch with a pretty awesome beard. I didn’t want to accidentally be disrespectful to Leopold, though, so I did a bit of research to make sure I wasn’t accidentally lampooning a beloved icon. As it turns out, he was kind of a bastard. Can I say that here? Hell, he’s considered to be responsible for the deaths of 5 to 15 million people in the Congo. He’s the very model of the modern colonial oppressor– I’d say I can safely call him a bastard. I certainly have no problems drawing him stuffing his face full of bananas and having a second gastrointestinal marathon in the bathroom.
So, I’m sure Leopold II did some very nice things for Belgium… but as far as the Congo is concerned, he might as well have been Dr. Doom. Nevertheless, he’s fun to draw. I think I’ll continue to hijack his likeness if I have the need or desire to maintain some degree of confidentiality for someone in this comic.