The Shepherd began as a surreal dream I had in which I was presented with this sort of shrine to the goddess of winter, which I had to destroy so that spring could begin. Not wanting to destroy this beautiful shrine, it was a very sad dream that ended up making me feel quite depressed, until the end of the dream, in which I was running up long flights of stairs through this large building. I spotted a deep blue sky through one of the windows, and that’s when I knew everything would be okay, and that I wasn’t a bad person for destroying the winter shrine.

Needing an interesting, but short story to illustrate for my Studio Time class in Winter 2008, I expanded on many ideas in the dream and came up with the Shepherd of the Seasons, an androgynous being who guides along the seasons throughout the year. Instead of my usual comic style, I experimented with a heavily stylized, alien-ish style, which worked especially well with the Shepherd’s androgynous features.

The Shepherd is genderless and has no affiliation to either sex, though with the pronounced femininity of the Goddesses, I knew that a more masculine light would be cast upon the Shepherd in comparison. My point with this characterization is not based around the traditional relationship of a heterosexual couple. Love, in whatever form it takes, should be honest and genuine.

Photo of Alex's hand holding The Shepherd book.

Photo by Amy Youngs

The Shepherd is 19 pages long, and debuted on March 6th, 2008 at SEED: Art & Technology Student Exhibition.