erik russell

  • Most girls: My favorite characters are the strong women or the strong men with hearts of gold!
  • Me: Me too! Especially the morally ambiguous ones who kill everyone except that one special lady who appeals to his softer nature!
  • Most girls: Wait, what?
  • Me: Yeah. You know, those characters that are introduced and one of the first things they do is kill or attack an innocent person to show how bad they are? But then you still wanna see them get a happy ending, and you get super overprotective of that character like they aren't a cold blooded murderer? Those are the best!
  • Most Girls: 😳
  • Me: And then they'll always have that one scene where they break down and have a moment of sensitivity and vulnerability and it'll feel like your heart is getting ripped out and stamped on?

So, my best friend and I saw this drawing the other day and wondered what the conversation that followed might have been like. We decided it would go something like this:

Erik: Hey! What are you doing here?! This is my big cape-swishing scene! Go get your own rooftop!

Javert: Me?! What are YOU doing here?! I’m in the middle of my biggest musical number in the entire film! Besides, I was here first!

Erik: Were not! My movie came out first!

Javert: Yeah, but my story takes place earlier than yours, AND it’s been around longer.

Erik: You don’t even GET a rooftop scene in most versions. That was just a thing for the film! I’m ALWAYS on the rooftop–go read Leroux!

Javert: *shrugs* Sorry, mate, but I existed before you did, so I get dibs.

Erik: Great! Not only do I have to watch Christine and the vicomte have a make-out session–now I have to share my rooftop with some nutjob policeman!

Javert: Well, at least you don’t DIE in the musical! I can’t catch a break!

Erik: Yeah, but I spend YEARS taking care of this girl, and then she just runs off with some other guy like I don’t even exist. *sigh*

Javert: Well, I spend practically my ENTIRE CAREER tracking down a guy who stole a loaf of bread–and then when I finally have the chance to catch him, I don’t even turn him in! What a waste! *sigh* I have no life.

Erik: Yeah, me either…


Erik: So…you wanna go get a cup of coffee?

Javert: Eh…I’ve got a few minutes before the next scene…. Why not?

Erik: But just to be clear, you’re not gonna arrest me after this, right?

Javert: Nah. I got a bread thief to catch. Besides, I don’t wanna overthink this. I have enough moral crises going on as it is.

[EDIT: Original artwork by m24601 on tumblr.]

Advanced Typography (Central Michigan University, 2014). I am forever grateful to Jonathon Russell and his Advanced Typography class at Central Michigan University for sharing a copy of this book. The project was apparently inspired by Ficciones Typografika and some of the techniques I have developed over the years for teaching both beginning and advanced typography students. Printed on a Risograph GR 3750 and hand-stitched by Jonathon and his students. Many thanks again to all involved.