Sam Tier: The Wheels On The Bus Go. Picture

About fifteen years ago, I first wrote about the character who later became Sam Tier. The original Sam was a short, squat individual who believed he was the invisible man. He wore clothes that covered his whole body and was typified by wearing a beanie, sunglasses and a scarf that covered the lower half of his face. Since no one ever saw him without his clothes, they never knew if he was actually invisible or just crazy. Ur-Sam always carried a Beatles CD in case he bumped into one of the Fab Four, had a pet cat who was allergic to cats and he had two friends, one of whom may have been a robot. (I don’t remember the story too well, but knowing me in the nineties, there was probably a robot in it.) I do recall a plotline in which they had to go to Heaven for... some reason and thus found the lady from Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’, who demanded gold as admission. Since she’s sure “all that glitters is gold”, Sam’s friends convinced him to grudgingly give her his Beatles CD and thus they ascended to Heaven. In Heaven, they met John Lennon, and Sam was furious that they’d given away his CD when he could finally have gotten it signed. (By someone who died over half a decade before his back catalogue was released on Compact Disc. Thus it would have been the only Beatles CD signed by Lennon in existence.)

The Sam Tier in Round and Round has albinism, is vulnerable to sunburn, and is almost blind. (Interestingly, I believe real-life invisibility would - due to the necessity of eyes neither reflecting nor absorbing light - also result in blindness.) Sam still dresses in the aforementioned fashion, and is the modern reincarnation of Tiresias, the blind seer of Thebes. Several of the original Tiresias myths include him killing copulating snakes with his staff, and thus he is associated with the Caduceus (two snakes wrapped around a staff. The single-snake equivalent is the rod of Asclepius). Here, Sam stands on the bus - the symbolic snake(s) is/are an ouroboros, although the viewer can’t see the head(s). It’s my first real attempt at painting in Photoshop - I drew the original sketch on paper, scanned it in, then digitally inked and coloured. I enjoyed experimenting with the program and if anyone has any comments or suggestions, they’d be appreciated.
Continue Reading: Asclepius