If you were an obsessive fan of Freaks and Geeks, the short-lived NBC series set in a Michigan high school during the early 80s, then you already know the name Paul Fieg. He created the hour-long “dramedy” (god I hate that word) in 1999, and despite its critical acclaim and rabid (if tiny) cult following, it was cancelled after just a single season. Since then, Paul has written two memoirs, Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence (Three Rivers Press, 2002) and Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin (Three Rivers Press, 2005)
Paul’s attention to detail when rendering his asshole is impressive, but the anatomically correct sphincter muscles are almost too realistic. It’s difficult to look at without wincing. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that Paul is actually dabbling in magical realism.
His bunghole, despite its clinical severity, also represents the sun, warming the countryside estate of a man with an unusually large left hand and the passengers in a hot-air balloon. One wonders, what exactly is Paul driving at with this illustration? Is he suggesting that his asshole is a luminous orb, composed of hydrogen and helium, which sustains life on this planet by controlling the climate and weather? Or just that his anus is very, very hot?
Paul’s self-portrait arrived in the mail without explanation. And my attempts to contact him have remained unanswered. So we may never know what Paul’s intentions might have been.