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Road Essays
FF6666: orphan going offroad towards home

FF6633: orphans going home along the Blue Highway

FF6600: Orphans looking for home on the Interstate

FF33FF: orphans in rural places surrounded by cornfields

FF33CC and FF3399: rural orphans in the maze and labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for December 2018

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FF6600: Orphans looking for home on the Interstate: 01/17/19

FF6600: Orphans looking for home on the Interstate

Last week I wrote about Louisiana's Way Home is an exemplar for the orphans going home along the blue highway. This week we look at the last orphan home journey, the one that goes by way of the interstate or railroad. In my reading to date, there is one book that fits this category: Demon Volume 1 by Jason Shiga (2016).

Jimmy is an adult, unusual but not impossible for an orphan or lone traveler. Orphan is from the Greek orphanos, meaning bereaved. As a widower who has lost his wife and daughter to a car crash, Jimmy qualifies. His state of grief is further illustrated by his numerous suicide attempts in the first few pages.

In Jimmy's case, he's not actually looking for home. It's more that he's trying to escape the memory of the home he no longer has. He does however, through his multiple suicides, learns that he's a demon. While he could take on a new home life through one of the lives he has possessed, he choses instead to look for his own home. There's a good chance his daughter is actually also still alive (and a demon). His method of travel throughout this comic book is along recognizable interstate highways.

placement on the spectrum

Beyond the Demon example, one can imagine an orphan walking the railroad tracks or even riding a train to either escape home or get back from home. An orphan could also hitchhike along the highway or if the orphan were old enough, drive.

While this type of narrative is in the fantasy end of the spectrum, Demon shows how it isn't automatically a fantasy. Demon is clearly a horror (albeit a grotesque comedic one). An orphan child going to a new home on the interstate, or on a train if it's historic fiction, could be realistic fiction. It could even be a memoir.

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