Comic book brings Rocky Point Park back to life
Pawtucket-based artist Jason Mayoh recently published his third issue of Tales of Rocky Point Park, a Tales from the Crypt-style comic book that mixes historical facts with strange rumors and urban legends about the bygone amusement park.
These works by Mayoh, 29, can be purchased at local retailers, including the Time Capsule, Incredible Pulp, and Wild Time Comics, as well as Benny’s, Borders, and Newbury Comics, and via his Web site, talesofrockypointpark.com.
An art opening to celebrate Tales of Rocky Point Park, rescheduled following the recent snow storm, will be held this Saturday, January 3, at the Milk & Cookies Gallery, 250 Main Street (in the Grant), Pawtucket, at 7 pm. Musical performances by Sweetthieves, Lolita Black & Cowgirl are slated to start at 9 pm. Meanwhile, here are excerpts from a recent e-mail interview with Mayoh.
WHY FOCUS ON ROCKY POINT AS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR COMIC, AS OPPOSED TO SOME OTHER ASPECT OF RI HISTORY?
This project came out of a previous anthology comic called FIB which I was a part of. The first issue featured numerous stories by several different artists all about Providence, and the second one was supposed to be all Rocky Point stories. The anthology version never manifested, but I became infatuated with the subject and ended up doing three issues by my lonesome.
Rocky Point was a place I visited frequently as a kid and had very fond memories of. I literally hadn’t thought about the place in years, and when I started researching for the first issue I was shocked after seeing images of what the park had turned into 10 years after it had closed. Seeing it years later, in the state of decay it was in, was certainly a bit depressing and quite surreal. I knew I wanted to do something to try and pay tribute/memorialize the place — essentially to revive the park through imagination.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THE BOOK?
I try to retell the actual strange events that took place over the course of its 150-year history that supposedly happened because of [an] ancient curse. (Many old employees actually believed there was a curse on the park. I tried to research and come up with validation for it.) The comics are essentially 80 percent fact, 20 percent fiction, with the fictional elements being the reason the park was cursed . . .
It just seemed a bit tragic to me that this place had been forgotten over time, and like many other pieces of our history, was ready to be paved over to build upscale condo-miniums — as if we needed more of those . . . In the past, Rocky Point has been called the amusement park that refuses to die. I guess I feel honored to have helped bring it back from the dead in the form of a comic book. Perhaps the most rewarding part has been the younger generations’ response to the series. Those who were too young to ex-perience the park for themselves have told me they were fascinated by Rocky Point after reading the comics.
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