Monday, March 10, 2014

Lego - Building Blocks - Grant McLaughlin

Excuse my gross tardiness.  It seems stories about Lego are far harder to build than the playsets proper.  Oh, well.  I hope you enjoy.

1 - It's Christmas morning in the McLaughlin household.  Hard to say what year, but Grant can't be much older than 7 or 8.  His parents watch on from their easy chairs as Grant opens a big box.  Though still in the process of unwrapping the gift, he has gotten enough paper off to see that it's a Lego set (this one, let's say).  Grant looks overjoyed.

CAPTION: My parents have done a lot of great things for me

MOM AND DAD: Merry Christmas!

CAPTION: Buying me my first Lego set was certainly one of them.

2 - Maybe a small temporal jump.  Grant is building a Lego set with his Father - it's not necessarily the one he received in panel 1, but it isn't that long after either.  Lego pieces are everywhere, with a small whole coming into existence through their combined efforts.  Grant, holding onto the instructions, is the foreman of this operation, his father kind enough to humour him.

CAPTION: I wasn't the most innovative builder to ever wield the bricks.

GRANT: No, Dad!  The instructions say to do it this way!

3 - Yet another small leap.  Grant looks on at an amazing creation (this one, although not box art, obviously).  He holds the discovery ship and moves it as if it's floating underwater on some important mission.

CAPTION: And yet, even when following directions, those tiny little plastic pieces, ordered in the right way, would invariably add up to something amazing.

GRANT (quietly, small words in a balloon bigger than necessary to hold them): cool

CAPTION: A sum far greater than its individual parts.

4 - Grant, slightly older yet again, sits at the kitchen table, intently reading a book.  It's a chapter novel, without pictures or anything like that (if we're being historically faithful, probably something like this).  On the table, another Lego set (say, this one) lies, unopened.  Grant's Mother smiles at the unopened box, asking her son a question.

CAPTION: It's not unlike stories and their composite words in that way.

MOTHER: When are you going to open your new Lego?

GRANT: Soon, Mom.  Just gotta finish this chapter.

CAPTION: Fantastic totals constructed solely out of tiny base ingredients.

5 - Let's have one more time jump.  Repeat framing from panel 4, but Grant is now reading the instruction manual for a Lego set.  The box is open and pieces lie spread all over the table (it's this one).

CAPTION: Did I recognize those similarities while playing with the toy in my youth?

GRANT: Let's see...

CAPTION: Doubtful.

6 - Final time jump.  Grant (no older than 11 or 12) is playing with all the sets from the previous panels at the same time - each playing a role in the grand adventure that he's concocting as he plays.  The Star Wars gunship from panel 5 lies overturned some distance away from a town made up of the cowboy and Robin Hood playsets.  Various other sets (many not seen in earlier panels) lie between the town and the fallen ship.  Grant holds two figures who are talking (the active members of the cast, if you will).

CAPTION: But did it fuel some of my early spurts of creativity?

GRANT (1): The ship crashed in the far distance beyond the Evernight.  I don't know if we'll be able to get there in time to help, but we have to try!

GRANT (2): You're right.  Let's go!

CAPTION: Well, I can't imagine it hurt.

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