written by Petra Magno
Petra is probably one of the best, most interesting people I know, and it’ll be a bummer to see her gone. She’s leaving for New York and I’ll miss her so.
Background on this comic: We were hanging out in a coffee shop. Petra was trying to explain how she was dealing with being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Somewhere in that conversation we came up with a metaphor for how othe people have gardens inside them and she has a hive of bees for a heart. She decided to write a comic around that. And here we are.
I’ve been gone from Manila for a little over two weeks. For most of that time I’ve been kept busy assembling all the paperwork needed to thrust me underneath the American government’s unwavering gaze: state ID, medical insurance, a bank account. In the process of assembling portfolios for a variety of job applications — one of them is to rewrite online dating profiles, I’d be great at that — I came across Beehive Heart again.
To this date it’s the work I’m proudest of, which says a lot because I am generally very embarrassed by anything I had a hand in. I’m honored to have had Rob help me develop the metaphor, walk me through the process of what he’d need from me, and lend his sensitivity and art to depict something I’d been carrying for a while.
What clued me in to the value of Beehive Heart was Rob’s Facebook message — sent to me while he was drawing the comic itself — requesting a photograph of my parents as reference. You’ll see them in the middle panel of Some have tried. Seeing this particular page helped me realize that Beehive Heart, and everything else we ever create, was (is) a deeply personal project, not just something for me to eject out of my brain and into Rob’s and from there onto paper. It’s real to me, and from hereon out, every thing I make should be as true.
You lose sight of that when you’re rewriting tens of different versions of resumes: yourself into so many best selves at a glance. I’m glad I got back to Beehive Heart. It’s helpful to me in many ways, and I hope it’s been good to you too.