Мишка В Тюрьме
Initially, I created "Mishka In Jail" as a way of adding a little humor to the letters I wrote to my wife during the nearly 2 years I spent in Moscow prisons. I also used them to communicate things which would be censored if I wrote about them in my letters. The quality of the images is reflective of their origin, most having been scanned by prison employees and sent to my wife via email. All drawings were created with ballpoint pen, as it was the only thing I had to use. The original letters and drawings were never given to me. Many times the censor would destroy entire letters because of the content of my drawings, others were taken by police, so I learned to pass some of them to my lawyers, between the pages of other documents.
Collectively, they tell a story of mistreatment, outright abuse, and deprival of medical treatment, yet, some level of humor is maintained.
Over time, "Mishka" developed into a real character which many people could understand and connect with. Although I am writing a book about my experience and some of the drawings will find a place within it, I also intend to produce a book which is focused on the cartoon. In which, the drawings are printed and a short description and or explanation will accompany each, providing readers with a very visual overview of the story that unfolded.