Cliffhangers part 5

by Jeremy Curry

Illustration by Kiarra Albina

Cosby

“BAM BAM BAM!” A very loud knock made the two boys almost literally jump right out of their seats. Their beers flew out of their hands, and onto the carpet, making two large, visible spills. They quickly grabbed a couple of Theo’s dirty t-shirts and started scrubbing as hard as they could. “What is it?” Theo chimed. “It’s your father. Turn your music down and come out of your room.” Theo was surprised, but thankful his dad didn’t just barge into his room like he usually did.

Cliff was usually suspicious of his son’s behaviour, but thought nothing of it this time. He had just rushed up the stairs, hearing Theo’s loud music and thinking of an excuse to be busy. His duties as a father always got him out of sticky situations with his wife — at least temporarily. He would soon have to face the music, but as long as the children were around, he could find ways to interfere in their business. This evening was going to be a long one for everybody in the Huxtable household.

Claire had almost finished blowing off steam until she saw Cliff wobble up the stairs. Because he was out of shape, he could not run straight. He always wobbled quickly, like a penguin being pursued by a seal. It was usually charming, but in this instance of health and dieting, it was a pathetic display of cowardice and unhealthy living. She was going to scream at him, but instead, knew a worse punishment. She was going to manipulate him. She stayed silent, and marched into the kitchen to prepare a healthy dinner for herself and the children.

Meanwhile, Theo and Cockroach were freaking out about Cliff calling them downstairs. Did he know about the beers? How did he find out? Did beers have a distinct smell? Will it come out of the carpet? So many questions, but no time to answer them! “HURRY UP!” Cliff bellowed. He was wasting no time in bothering the children. Theo and Roach threw the dirty beer-soaked shirts into the hamper and slowly exited the room. “What are you two boys up to?” Cliff asked in a calm, soft voice. “Nothing dad… just working on homework…” Theo stammered. Cliff’s calm tone was always confusing to Theo. Half of the time it was sincere, but the other half of the time Cliff was playing mind games with his son. Had Theo done something else wrong he had forgotten about? Did something strange happen at school today? It was all a blur, and Theo was buzzed off of that Bud.

While Cliff was about to continue the awkward conversation between him and his son, Vanessa burst through the front door. “Hey! Anybody home?! I have fantastic news!”

To be continued…

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Cliffhangers part 4

by Jeremy Curry

Illustration by Kiarra Albina

Kiarra Albina - Cosby 4

Cockroach pulled out two large cans of Budweiser beer, closed up his binder and threw the brews on top. “I got these from my fridge at home,” he exclaimed with a smirk. “Try some.” Theo had never tried an alcoholic beverage in his life, and had been hounded by his father that alcohol would do serious damage to a boy if he was under the age limit. Cliff and Claire were known to have the odd glass of wine, but it never escalated beyond that. The fridge was usually stocked with various juices and jugs of water. Beer was not a normal thing in the Huxtable household.

“I don’t know Cockroach…” Theo timidly replied. “What if my dad busts us?” Theo was known for receiving harsh and unusual — but fair — punishments when he did something stupid. He was once forced into waking up at dawn for a couple of months to work in the missionary soup kitchen because of a wild party he held while his parents were out of town. The party was only supposed to be a small get-together with friends, but word got out and it soon turned into a raging party, which almost destroyed the whole Huxtable residence. Theo and his good friends managed to clean up most of the mess, but when Cliff and Claire got home, the living room table fell apart in front of them and the jig was up.

“Don’t worry man, it’s only one beer. This will loosen us up a bit! No harm done.” Cockroach sounded very confident in saying this. It put Theo at ease, and his guilt subsided. “Sure, why not? Crack it!” Theo exclaimed. Suddenly there was a banging on the wall. It was from Rudy’s room again. There were no words being said, but the knocking was a large indicator in the volume of Theo’s voice. He had to keep quiet or else someone was bound to burst in. Theo and Cockroach put their beers underneath Theo’s comforter, in order to mask the cracking of the two cans. “Krrrk!” The cans blasted open and beer quickly oozed out onto Theo’s bed. They both quickly sprung into action and slurped up the flowing brew.

The boys felt like sophisticated adults. They only saw men drinking beer on television from large frosty mugs. If only the babes at school could see them now! Two fine gentlemen sipping brews on a weeknight. What sophistication! What class! The taste was a little bit funky, but who cares? It was something the two gents would have to get used to. Theo felt so great about this that he put on one of his favourite songs, “You Can’t Stop The Music”. The jams were blaring and the boys were maxing and relaxing, without a care in the world. Homework was quickly forgotten, and the topic of babes was back in full force.

Unfortunately for these two fine fellows, they couldn’t hear the knocking on the wall anymore, nor could they hear the sound of foot steps approaching from downstairs…

To be continued…

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December 8th, 2009

Art by Kiarra Albina

Photos by Maruki

Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8 Kiarra Albina - Dec 8
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The Eastern Canadian Book of Drawing

Kiarra Albina lives in Montreal, where she makes drawings in her bedroom and while sneaking into her friend’s University art lectures. She is inspired by relationships, overcast afternoons and the thrill of living in the same neighbourhood as Drawn & Quarterly.

Heather Smith has recently returned to Calgary from a spring/summer residence in San Francisco, with the determination to make the city awesome. She has recently been finding inspiration in mouseketeers, vintage yearbook photographs, and masks.

These are some drawings from their upcoming booklet, due to be released in mid-November. The books will be assembled by each of the artists in their respective cities, with alternate page orders and covers.

Kiarra Albina

Kiarra Albina Kiarra Albina Kiarra Albina

Heather Smith

Heather Smith - Tongueyweb Heather Smith - Tattyweb Heather Smith - Topweb
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Cliffhangers part 3

by Jeremy Curry

Illustration by Kiarra Albina

Cosby 3

Claire stomped furiously, twice onto the floor. She had had it with Cliff’s childlike solutions to problems. Running and hiding? Hmph! She was also exhausted. Claire was a busy woman who not only worked but also was the primary caregiver for the children. It seemed to her that sometimes Cliff was just around for cheap laughs and to make simple lessons of life much more complicated than they needed to be. Making the children hold plays in the foyer, forcing them to trick each other into doing something — it all seemed like a lot of work for little or no pay off.

Just as Claire was standing there, contemplating what to do, Theo flew in the house with one of his friends, Cockroach. Cockroach was a regular visitor to the Huxtable residence, and seemed like a nice enough fellow. The nickname was a bit odd, but teenagers do and say some strange things. “Hey mom!” Theo yelled as he ran to his room. In most circumstances, this would prompt Claire to ask him why he was in such a hurry, and if there was anything strange going on with him. Luckily for Theo, Claire was too angry at Cliff to have anything else cross her mind.

When Theo and Cockroach were safe in the confines of Theo’s room, they both threw down their knapsacks and started reminiscing about the beautiful girls they saw that day. “Did you see Wanda at the water fountain? Mmm Mmm! She was on fire!” Cockroach quipped. “I’d like to put that fire out… with my tongue!” This escalated for quite some time until Theo’s sister Rudy knocked on the wall separating their rooms and told him to knock it off.

Back in the basement, Cliff was arranging his record collection. He had neglected to put them back in alphabetical order for the last few months, and was eager to have them back, as well as to take his mind off of the trouble he was in with his wife. He thought about what he was going to say to Claire when he decided to go back upstairs, but nothing seemed clever enough. He knew even if he did think of something clever, by the time he made it upstairs, everything would change and he would end up saying something stupid. He heard Theo arrive home and wondered why he sprinted up to his room so fast. “What is that boy scheming?” He thought to himself. He wanted to find out, but would have to face dire consequences if he did.

Theo’s room had subsided from the loud “babe talk,” as the two boys were starting their algebra homework. Theo was horrible at the subject, but thought as long as he managed to get his homework in on time, his grades wouldn’t be too bad. Grades were docked for late assignments, so he made sure to have his assignments in on time, all of the time. Him and Cockroach were becoming extremely bored, and a bit antsy. Cockroach then reached into his bag. “We need to have a little fun here. Try this.”

To be continued…

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r i v e r t e e t h

by Kiarra Albina

river teeth july 29, 2009 from kiarra albina on Vimeo.

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Cliffhangers part 2

by Jeremy Curry

Illustration by Kiarra Albina

Cosby 2

Claire rolled her eyes, aggressively squeezed the hoagie, causing the sauce to splatter on the floor, and threw it in the garbage. “Even Theo knows better than to pull a stunt like this!” she spouted.

While this ruckus was happening, Cliff was upstairs helping Rudy memorize the multiplication table, using comparisons to jazz theory, which she hardly understood. He was completely oblivious to the situation downstairs, or even that the hoagie would stink. “Cliff?” Claire’s voice echoed from downstairs. “I need to speeeakkk with yooouuuu…”

Cliff’s eyes bulged almost completely out of their sockets. He knew this particular tone of voice. It was not only a tone of anger, but also disappointment. He slowly crept down the stairs, holding his hands behind his back as though he were in a shop containing a lot of breakable items. Claire asked, “Cliff, do you know why I asked you down here?” Cliff lowered his eyes to the floor and shook his head. Sheepishly, he answered, “no, ma’am.”

Claire burst into a tornado full of rage. She talked in one long sentence that, in Cliff’s mind, felt like an eternity. “What did I tell you about eating these fatty foods don’t you know they are bad for you I mean you are a doctor after all you are such a hypocrite for giving your patients dietary advice if you yourself do not use it how can you go sneaking around my back this is a trust issue what else have you been hiding from me why can’t you just tell me when you want a snack you should watch your health we are getting older and we have to be careful what we eat….!!!!?!?!?!?!?!”

“STOP IT!” Cliff exclaimed, and then he started sobbing uncontrollably. “A MAN NEEDS HIS SPACE.” Cliff then ran into the basement, where he spends his alone time after a hard day of work, or when things seem a little stressful.

The basement was childproof, but only in the sense that nobody under the age of 17 would want to be down there. It would be too boring. Instead of a CD player, there was an old record player that could only work if you placed a dime on the needle cartridge. The only records down there were classic jazz records. There was a TV, but without cable, or a remote. You had to turn a dial to operate it. The furniture was old and drab, and it was much darker than the rest of thee house. The Huxtable children did not dare venture into the basement, unless to call their father upstairs for dinner.

Cliff put on one of his favorite Dizzy Gillespie records and took a rest on the couch. His brain was working overtime. “How did she find out about my hoagie stash? What gave it away? Why is this situation such a big deal? You only live once,” he thought. He knew his escape would not last long. He also knew that HE was overreacting as well, and that just made things a lot worse.

To be continued…

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May 31st, 2009

by Kiarra Albina

North Carolina Sister 1 North Carolina Sister 2 Psychic Damage 1 Psychic Damage 2 Psychic Damage 3 Pukey Fuckr Break

Cliff Hangers part 1

by Jeremy Curry

Illustration by Kiarra Albina

Cosby

He could barely stand it anymore. He sat in the living room in the middle of the couch, with his elbows resting against the table, his hands pressed firmly on his cheeks and his head hung low. “How could she have done this to me?” he muttered. Before exiting their New York City town house to attend parent-teacher conferences, Claire Huxtable found Cliffs’ secret hoagie stash underneath the loveseat.

For years, Cliff had hidden hoagies underneath the couch before Claire would trot off to their children’s parent-teacher conferences, unbeknownst to Claire. She would go to the interviews as long as Cliff stayed home to sit the children. All of the Huxtable children knew of this particular secret, but kept it quiet in exchange for candy and the chance to stay up later then their usual allotted bedtime.

The reason Cliff got caught was not due to his children babbling. In fact, the problem came from the hoagie itself. Cliff usually obtained his hoagies from Ahmed’s Hoagies n’ Such, located three blocks from their home. However, in this particular day, Cliff had no time to get there. He had an emergency at his work, and had to take the late train home. Next to the station was Queen Hoagie, which happened to make their sandwiches more recklessly and quick, but delicious nonetheless. He had just enough time to stop by Queen's before hopping on the train. The thing about going to Ahmeds was that they took their time preparing, as well as packaging their hoagies. Queen Hoagie is more about quantity rather than quality. The reason this is important has to do with the packaging. When Cliff hides his hoagies under the couch, they are usually wrapped tightly and neatly, as to not emit a smell or a leak. This hoagie was sloppily wrapped, with a small crevice open on one end of the sandwich. When cliff rolled it under the couch, the sauce oozed onto the carpet, creating an obvious scent of fatty food.

Claire had warned Cliff about hoagies many times in the past. He ignored her warnings about heart problems caused by eating fatty foods. Although he was a doctor and knew all about his own dietary problems, he chose to ignore them completely in order to enjoy his favorite foods. His favorite meal consisted of:

So when Claire arrived back home after a long, stressful day at work, the last thing she wanted was to find out her husband was lying to her about his dietary habits. As soon as she dropped her bag next to the front door, she could smell the scent of the sauce. The scent was powerful, and Claire knew it wasn’t any food from home, because she made an effort to discard all fatty foods from the house, and to ensure all food was “mostly bland and tasteless”, in Cliff’s words.

To be continued…

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