Jonathan Alexandratos- Strawberry Blind

18 page comic 1x1 (1 panel per page) Read top to Bottom Black, White, and Red Sketched/Hand-written text Page 1: “Strawberry Blind by Jonathan Alexandratos.” A box with the word Moomin on it displaying several small items on a table. “Today, I bought a Japanese blind box. It contained a random set of miniature, plastic food.” Page 2: “When I opened the box, I found I had gotten the ‘Homemade Strawberry Jam’ set.” The box is open on its side with small objects fallen out of it. The box now looking like a little house.Page 3: “There was a small, toy basket...” Hand holding a tiny basket. “....and a tiny plastic bunch of strawberries to go in it.” A small bunch of strawberries is by the second set of text. Page 4: A pot similar to a crockpot with two Moomin on it and a spoon leaning against it. “(Berry ‘goo’ inside)” with an arrow pointing from the text to the pot. “the pot came with “boiling” berries.”Page 5: “I guess this is sugar? In some kind of canister? Shaped like a house?” A cylinder with six small windows on it, filled with something powdery, and a red lid with roof shingles beside it. “As I open each piece, I realize: I have no idea how jam is made...” Page 6: “...but these I do recognize. Kind of like the ones at Stop & Shop, but more Old-Timey.” The text is written around two jam jars with cloth over the lid tied with a string. Text to the left reads “jam jars.” Page 7: “What you don’t know is that I bought this set because, when I saw it at the toy store, I started to cry.” At the left of the text is a drawing of a man standing behind small boxes with the word “Moomin” on them. Only his face and neck are visible. He has short, coiffed hair, a short beard, and there are ink smudges at the bottoms of his eyes. “I do not know why.” Page 8: “But, as I look at these now-revealed contents of my once-blind box,” and beneath it are the basket with berries, the spoon, the pot, the sugar canister shaped like a house, and the jam jars. “I am comforted by a metaphor contained in these objects.” Page 9: A strawberry occupies the center of the page. “Sometimes, I am the strawberry. Looks bright, natural, full of life. You’d think being the strawberry is good.” Page 10: “But I don’t want to be the strawberry, with its cold, hard skin, pockmarked by its seeds, which it wears on the outside.” Beneath are two strawberries, upside down and not touching. “One strawberry cannot meld with another, even in a basket of dozens, where the world looks so claustrophobic, immobile and immediate.”Page 11: The page is dominated by a piece of bread with red jam on it that is partially flowing off of it. A bite has been taken out of the bread. “I want to be the jam. Preserved, but free. giving. fluid.” Page 12: A rough diagram of the inside of a human head in profile takes up most of the page. The skull, nasal cavity, esophagus, and spinal cord are labelled. At the back of the head, in the hollow where the brain should be, is a small strawberry, and its label reads “I have a strawberry in my head.” “Sometimes, it presses up against my eyes, making it seem like the world is closing in on me, crushing me from the inside.”Page 13: “The strawberry takes over. It robs me of my vision, voice, language.” Two strawberries flank a nose, with the word vision over the nose and the words voice and language beneath it. Page 14: “Like I said, I know nothing about making jam, but the boiling makes sense. In order for the strawberries to change, it takes fire, heat, and risk.” Risk is underlined. A pot of berries boiling on a gas stove. “‘Change,’ after all, is just one stroke away from ‘chance.’”Page 15: “But the strawberry convinces me that I don’t need to boil. I don’t need to take time. There’s jam inside me already. All I need to do is find it. Quickly.” A hand and forearm are laid diagonally across the page, and at the bottom right corner cuts are on the arm. “So I go in search of my quick fix. But what comes out isn’t strawberry jam.” Page 16: “Out of frustration, the strawberry in my head grows harder and more bitter, but it also becomes more vibrant. And you’d never know it. As things get back to ‘normal,’ I’m not sure I’d know it either.” Half of a strawberry, with little skulls for seeds.Page 17: At the top of the page is a box with eyes and a nose on it and “Moomin” written at the top. The box is open, and a red question mark floats above it. The eyes look up at the question mark. “In fact, when my strawberry shrinks back into its dark corner of my mind, I’m not even sure it’s still there. My head becomes a new blind box, its mystery equal parts hopeful and terrifying.”  Page 18: “Memories of the strawberry make this all feel like such a burden, however. So I choose blindness over the box, and I go back to the toy store.”

Jonathan Alexandratos is a New York City-based writer whose plays, essays, and comics tend to live in the space where pop culture connects with human emotion.  Their award-winning plays have been produced internationally, some of which can be found on the New Play Exchange (  Much of Jonathan’s non-fiction writing is about the academic applications of action figures, a lot of which is summed up in their edited collection, Articulating the Action Figure: Essays on the Toys and Their Messages, out now from McFarland.  Other action figure-related work by Jonathan has appeared on, Women at Warp, Legion of Leia, and PBS.  Jonathan also co-runs Page 23, the literary conference of Denver Comic Con.  This is Jonathan’s first published comic.