The Naked Boy is a birth-of-the-nation myth. The Naked Boy is spit out of the mouth of a white whale in early spring. A group of crows give him the task of rescuing his twin sister from Ursa Major- The Great Bear. In order to achieve this, he must follow the railroad west across the continent. Forces for and against The Naked Boy converge with cataclysmic results. Under the surface of the adventure story in The Naked Boy is an allegory of North America. The Naked Boy uses the Bear Mother myth, an indigenous myth of the northern hemisphere, as a scaffold. The landscape in which The Naked Boy unfolds is an amalgam of American myth and history. The story has the logic of a dream. Incongruous historical figures and times coexist. Many of the characters are based on historical figures from Walt Whitman and Cotton Mather to Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. The story follows the arc of a cyclical, seasonal myth. The Naked Boy makes landfall in early spring and culminates with a harvest time election.
The Naked Boy Parts 1-3 are available from Lulu Publishers. The entire graphic novel will be collected in one volume. The Naked Boy was shown as an installation of wall drawings, comic pages and sculptures at Atlanta Center For Contemporary Art in 2008. In 2011 and 2012 a series of letterpress and woodcut posters inspired by The Naked Boy appeared on telephone poles and community boards around the world. The story is the basis for an installation of wheat pasted woodcuts traveling in the exhibition We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order To Live. The show began at Museum of Contemporary Craft in 2013 and traveled to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum in Eugene, Oregon in 2014.