Jacob Rochford is an illustrator working in ink, charcoal, graphite, and digital media. Their work reconciles encounters with queer romantic growth, fiction, adolescence, fetish, and found community. Much of Jacob’s work reveals — both thematically and literally — their major concerns and questions as an artist, those being about perspective, repetition, identity, and democracy in images. They are currently working on a graphic novel named Roof Cig, a short story about two sexually frustrated and emotionally mature queer teenage boys in a long-distance relationship trying to see each other. Partially autobiographical, this fictitious story is a combination of real-life longing in high school being a lone gay teen with a fantastical edge of addiction, frustration, and miscommunication. The comic itself takes form in fragmented images, often overlapping and presenting semiotic cues to text messages, Skype calls, and fan-fiction webpages interspersed between panels of their story. This kind of visual assemblage runs throughout all of Jake’s work and draws on the frantic, multi-faceted pace at which one exists with and grows up with others online.

My piece in Outrageous Plans is about my two boys. They are both very gay and very stupid. Felix is an angsty, stubborn little mouse whose active libido and obsessive personality intensifies his longing for companionship. Brendan is a romantic, aloof little hound dog with a love of charcoal drawing and a terrible secret.
      In 2,4-Dinitrophenol, five illustrations are split into two portions. One portion, a triptych, builds a chasm between Felix and Brendan. This frames the beginning of their story as a long-distance couple, and introduces the quiet tumor manifesting between two forlorn young men — brought to light by the unfolding subconscious in an unseen letter.  The interior of their minds overlap in the exterior of their bedrooms, 3000 miles apart, as the climax of Felix and Brendan’s story rears its head and the center illustration in this triptych reveals Brendan’s secret addiction to hyperthermic weight loss pills. The second portion of my piece, a diptych atop charcoal, forces my boys into the turmoil of their doomed plans. One a reality and one a fantasy, these are the climaxes which frame their fate — these moments drive Felix and Brendan towards each other, to finally, awkwardly, lovingly meet.

Message from: Brando (BeanDan)(BBBBrenBan)Bren(((Dan)
I can’t handle not being with you. I’m not just being obsessive or think you’re more than you are, I just well up when I imagine holding you, having you finally to hold forever. I can feel you against me, your warmth against my body, even just in the words we share. It’s hard to make friends. It’s hard to be gay. Fuck love wins shit. Being gay is tiring. I’m always looking. The gays who grew up have it easy, I’m stuck here. Stuck in this abyss of being a kid, being too old, feeling like a kid, feeling old. Whatever I know its stupid. I just want to kiss you. Fuck it

Message from: Feelicks (FLIX [felix mousie, Feel O)))], the Gay one)
Maybe one day I’ll come home from work and you’ll give me a big kiss in our home. For right now I just have a dumb brother calling me a faggot. He’s right!

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