in my living room, in a wooden crate next to the couch, i have a dozen issues of SPEAK magazine. when it was still in print, i looked forward to every edition as a work of art. besides its consistently courageous design, SPEAK featured comics by chris ware, the author and artist of the acme novelty library. his comic strip centerfolds in SPEAK introduced me to rusty brown, a socially maladjusted comic book collector.

my mom gave me a rusty brown ® lunchbox for christmas. like all of chris ware's creations, the lunchbox is an implosion of details. every surface is illustrated with scenes, strips, and word games. they establish rusty's sad history as a super-girl obsessed school boy.

the box is certainly a collector's item but mine is nearly destroyed. thanks to frequent use, it is dented and splitting at the seams. i use it to carry my markers, pens, and crayons. also, as you can see in this cartoon, i use it to carry buttons and magnets. you can see some of the magnets stuck to the lunchbox lid in the upper right hand drawing.

if you'd like your own button, click here to send me your address. (i do run out of buttons now and then but, if i do, i will be sure to send you something else that you might like.)

© 2003 rama hughes