Barak Hardley Isn’t Sure

Donald Miller

Barak Hardley (left) after another plane crash. This one was during a flight over Antarctica where Barak was looking for “Zoo Animals.”

My friend Barak Hardley contacts me about every three months. I met Barak in a pub in New Mexico, where he had crashed his plane in a field, stayed with firefighters while they put out the flames, then walked over to the pub (we were about one-hundred miles outside Santa Fe, in the high desert) and ordered a beer at the hotel bar. His pant-leg was burned from the crash and flames, but he didn’t want to talk about the crash. (It was the fifth time he’d crashed a plane. He just said he wasn’t a very good pilot and that “these things don’t work like cars.”) Within seconds, he asked what I did and I told him I was a writer and from that point on he wanted to talk about Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie and whether or not the dog represented Marxist Lenninism, of which I am still uncertain, but Barak had some theories I found interesting.

Regardless, since then Barak sends me cartoons he draws and asks what I think the social commentary might be. Barak is clear there is no social commentary intended, but in his most recent e-mail states:

“ social commentary for these three, but if there were one, what do you think they would be? I have hurt my brain on this and I can’t figure it out. They fly off my hands, Scout (Barak calls me Scout) and I know they are saying something but what? You gotta help me, Scout. Do you think I am controlled by God? Still haven’t read your book.”

So, I thought I’d introduce you to Barak Hardley and ask what you think his drawings are trying to say, even though he wasn’t trying to say anything with them. You can offer your suggestions as a comment below. Thanks!




Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller has been telling his story for more than a decade, now he wants to help you tell yours. He’s helped over 1,000 companies clarify their message through the StoryBrand Workshops. For an introduction to what he’s doing now, check out the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.

  • Merry Moore

    This was so long ago, I highly doubt you are going to even see this, but here is what I think.

    #1 Fat Iron Man, something along the lines of America’s laziness seeping into all corners of our culture, even our super heroes.

    #2 Ha.. No comment. That seems a little obvious…

    #3 I either absolutely love this or completely hate it. I love it if this means that kids look up to the super hero Kermit who teaches about friendship and, in a way, morals in general rather than looking up to the guys with the biggest guns (hence the beefed up frog). I hate this picture if it means that even the innocence of Kermit the frog has been lost to the idea that in order to be liked, cool, accepted, etc. then you have to be externally attractive.

    Those are my thoughts 🙂