Everyone wears a mask. What we see of people on the surface is so rarely what’s ticking underneath. And, in Cortland Hunt’s case, what he’s hiding might just be more than Ian Tanner is prepared for.
Breaks is the story of two young adults coming to terms with who they were, who they are and who they’ll become.
It’s a love story…but a little broken.
Emma & Malin
Emma Vieceli is a freelance comicker, with titles including Vampire Academy, Avalon Chronicles, My Little Pony & Young Avengers under her art belt. She co-writes Breaks and provides art. Emma's Twitter
Malin Ryden is a prose writer most known in the field of horror and queer fiction in her native Sweden. Her work is regularly featured in Eskapix magazine. Breaks is her first foray into writing for comics. Malin's Twitter
Less happy page though. You can see why I didn't want to post this over the festive holiday!
Well - I warned you. This page is a painful one in several ways. Another little insight into Cortland's confused state, self-loathing and general messed-upness. And maybe a more certain, awful, confirmation of any theories readers had on Harvey's personal past. Cortland's shame at his treatment of his brother back then must have a huge impact on what he's now trying to accept about himself, and the event may go some way to explaining Harvey's need for control and neatness. Have you spotted the way he straightens up photos? Pens? Poor Harvey is dealing with his own demons as best he can. we'll learn more about how the events that year lead into the current state of affairs during this arc!
For those curious on the timelines, this is about seven years ago.Harvey was around then same age then as Cortland is now. Cortland was eleven.
Sorry to start 2017 with such a dose of angst - This is such difficult subject matter. This whole series set out to be real people dealing with (mostly) real problems. It can be hard and it can cast our characters in bad light at times, but you can bet that any anger we feel towards them as readers, they're living with.
@nirra: There have been strong implications, which this comic seems to confirm, that Harvey was raped by a man. He (probably) isn't gay, and he absolutely didn't "like it", as eleven-year-old Cort accuses him of here.
Since Emma says this comic takes place about seven years ago, this would be before all the mysterious legal trouble that Cort got into, so no leads on that front.
There's one point I've not seen discussed and for me it's one of the keys to Cort. In panels 5 and 6 we see the accusation he levelled at Harvey internalised. THIS is the voice the Cort hears when Tommy makes eye contact in primary school. THIS is what he hears when Ian kisses him in the stairwell. This is what he cannot and dare not admit and makes him fight even in primary school (note the bandages) so no one dares call him a sissy or worse, gay. Of course, Harvey's assault would have had consequences for Cort as he was probably called "gay like your brother," and that's likely what drives his anger at Harvey and the subsequent fights. Frankly, the writing and composition on this page is a work of art. The way you have visualised Cort's shadow as his childhood self, shown us his childhood cruelty to Harvey and then shown us how the knife turned in his hand to cut himself is just masterful. Painful, yes, but like a Pieta is painful: because you have made us feel it.
Ah I see. I was confused at first to who was who but its Court calling his brother gay in anger? Which is interesting but I suppose not entirely surprising as I've seen with gay people and gay friends of mine if they have a hard time accepting it then there's a lot of personal anger and there's only so long you can keep all that rage inside of yourself :(
@'Thene: @nirra: 'Thene is spot on, yeah. Harvey isn't gay. He suffered an awful attack and we'll find out at some point in this arc how that possibly span out to what happened several years later...there is a link. But it's not an obvious one, as you'd imagine with this story ;)
@Auldr: Perfect. Utterly perfect summary. There's a little more to share between the brothers, and a few more reasons for the fight in Cort, but this is the root to a lot of Cortland's insecurities and guilt about his own sexuality.
You've nailed the emotion going on, and I'm so glad. Thank you ^_^
@chaos-of-vinnie: After poor Harvey's attack little cortland was just too young to understand that sometimes you can't fight back or what the attack meant. Until Spence and his friends jumped Cortland (though there was nothing sexual about that attack, obviously), Cortland had likely never understood just how helpless his brother had felt back then. :(