Fifteen-year-old Rachel Pratt of Garden City, Kansas, had just found out she was pregnant with her secret boyfriend’s child. He was an eighteen-year-old high school senior, and once Rachel’s condition became known steps were taken to charge the boy with indecent behaviour. However, just days before Rachel was due to testify at trial, she mysteriously vanished without a trace.
Rachel had spent the night of January 16, 1995, relaxing in front of the television with her younger brother. He went down to the basement to sleep at approximately midnight, and when their mother arrived home from work at 2am Rachel was gone. All her personal belongings and ID were left behind, except for her denim jacket.
Rachel’s mother reported her daughter missing after she failed to return home the following morning. The police printed flyers and appealed to the public for information; five days later, the one and only clue in Rachel’s disappearance came to the surface.
Three girls had contacted the police claiming they had seen Rachel using a pay phone late at night, accompanied by a man. The girls believed the man to be her high school boyfriend, and Rachel appeared distressed as she walked over to where the girls were sitting and asked them for a ride. They refused, and Rachel returned to her boyfriend by the phone. This strange sighting reinforced the police’s suspicion Rachel had run away, but it took them no closer to where she might be. Her boyfriend was questioned multiple times in connection with her disappearance, but he has always maintained innocence and denied being with Rachel when she was spotted near the pay phone.
Rachel Pratt has never been seen since. At the time of her disappearance she was two months pregnant, yet no birth certificate has been registered nor has Rachel applied for a drivers license. The police continue to hope that Rachel has simply started a new life elsewhere, yet there are fears she has met with foul play.
She came from a background where nothing was ever good enough. And I assumed that weighed heavy on her. But in our house together, it was a sense of just trying stuff and allowing each other to fail and to be excited about things. That was liberating for her. It was exciting to see her grow and both of us grow and change together. But that’s also the hard part: growing without growing apart or changing without it scaring the other person. I still find myself having conversations with her in my mind.
Political activists climb one third of the way up the back of the Statue of Liberty with a protest banner reading, ‘Liberty Was Framed - Free Geronimo Pratt,’ New York City. The men were arrested on charges of defacing government property. Black Panther Geronimo Ji Jaga served 27 years in jail before his murder conviction was overturned and he was released in 1997.
And last, my mom. I don’t think you know what you did. You had my brother when you were eighteen years old, three years later I came out. The odds were stacked against us; a single parent with two boys by the time you were twenty-one years old. Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here, we moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves. One of the best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment, no bed, no furniture and we just all sat in the living room and hugged each other ‘cause we thought we made it. And when something good happens to you, I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to look back at what brought me here. You’d wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertimes making me run up a hill, making me do pushups, screaming at me from the sideline of my games at eight or nine years old. We weren’t supposed to be here, you made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our back, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.
Great James Harvey piece on how to properly color Frank Miller’s new work. Elsewhere, Miller’s draftsmanship is questioned again: “But he’s a great storyteller!” Undoubtedly, but Miller also has monster chops. His values just aren’t the same as his critics or his fans. Miller built his technical skill via Neal Adams & Gil Kane. Like Kirby, he nailed the basics and went from there: Moebius/Kojima (RONIN), Pratt (DKR), Muñoz (Sin City), Kurtzman (300), Feininger & Watterson (DK2). Bold, polarizing POVs but always more than technically solid. The results are too raw for a fan’s sensitive palette and too square for the alt crowd who would theoretically be simpatico with his approach. Even the illustration elite dismisses his work. You’d think *they* would recognize the underpinning the most. Anyway, I ❤ those DKIII covers.