Although I’ve talked about Secondary School by the Sea at great length on this blog before (even being the basis of my story Life is a Beach), this exhibition will serve as a proper introduction to the series for people who have just started following and/or reading my blog.
Secondary School by the Sea (sometimes abbreviated to SSBTS) is a comedy/drama TV series in the world of Canadian Boys. Set mostly at the Jenhamville High School, which is an actual school in the City of Canada, the series and its connected comics and graphic novels follows the daily duties and doings of its teachers and students – especially the protagonist duo of Dartmouth McKinnon-Graham and Jollimore Ferrison, along with the twins Rockingham Hemlock and Boulderwood Wenlock.
Much of the show focuses on Dartmouth, Jollimore and their students, with both the comedic and dramatic aspects of the show coming from Dartmouth’s continual struggles against his often-rebellious students – some of whom have borderline-psychopathic traits and tendencies. These students are so because of their deeply-held grudges against Dartmouth, due to his violent habit of hitting out at them for the tiniest thing – and not even the rare breed of well-behaved students are safe. Jollimore acts as Dartmouth’s comic relief, though he more often than not just gets annoyed by his jolliness and attempts to cheer him up. The entire show paints violence against figures of authority (i.e. teachers) in a whimsical light, which is the possible reason why Dartmouth always seems to survive anything that’s thrown – or shot – at him.
Dartmouth and Jollimore’s character bios now follow, while the twins’ bios will be posted on their own exhibition.
A 28-year-old teacher, the main antagonist of the series. Pessimistic and always expecting things to turn out for the worst or go horribly wrong, he never looks forward to teaching at the school – the students are always finding new ways to get rid of him, resulting in him sustaining injuries (sometimes they are so severe that he has to be hospitalized for a while afterwards). Because of his good luck, Dartmouth will always survive whatever murderous methods the students will cook up next, but this comes at something of a cost – he has developed chronic paranoia, causing him to have nightmares about being successfully murdered and constantly turning thoughts in his mind over what – or who – is around the corner. Because of this, he is secretly suffering, but he does not make it known because of his cruel, uncaring demeanour – he has a very bad and violent habit of randomly hitting students with his suitcase, even those who are well-behaved (which is why the students want to kill him).
A 26-year-old teacher, the main protagonist of the series to contrast with Dartmouth’s antagonistic traits. An optimist, he is always looking on the bright side of life and loves to teach his students, as they get on the most with him. However, he does know when to act seriously, such as when visiting Dartmouth in hospital after sustaining severe injuries from an attempt on his life by the students. His philosophy of always finding the positives in life put him firmly in Dartmouth’s line of fire, as he is constantly getting annoyed by his ‘do-gooding’ and emphasizing the joys of positive thinking, which Dartmouth always complains about as being “a load of New Age malarkey”. In a similar manner, Jollimore is always disregarding Dartmouth’s naysaying, telling others not to mind him as he’s always wrong – everything will turn out just alright in the end.
Until somewhat recently, I’d only occasionally draw Dartmouth and Jollimore, or anything SSBTS-based. However, thanks to writing Life is a Beach, I now draw them a lot more frequently, and my portfolio of SSBTS artwork has grown almost virally. This gallery collects all the artwork I’ve drawn featuring Dartmouth and Jollimore together or alone, saving on having to make an exhibition for each individual drawing:
And as a special extra, here’s the marker sketch of Jollimore wearing his rainbow lei by Lighane, which was drawn as a commission from me: