Saturday, April 26, 2008

Things Which Annoy

I have a near constant urge to create, to express myself. I want to turn the thoughts and feelings in my head into a media that I can show to you and say, "This. This is what I think. This is what I feel. Understand me." There are a couple problems with this.

The first is that it's utterly impossible. That seems like a fairly major issue, but it's not too bad in the end, because it's impossible for everyone, and frankly, that fact is so hardwired into my consciousness it took me a while to remember to write it here, because I had already taken it as a given.

The second is a lack of skill. Coupled with a short attention span, this means I can't put even a moderate facsimile of the image, object, words, music, or whatever in my head that I think might be able to represent what I want it to represent. This bugs the everliving crap out of me. This is what drives my love of paper and pens and pencils and paper and also paper. These things, for me, represent the potential to not screw up and actually create something that I want to create, and be able to get that little bit of whatever it is that drives the creative impulse out of me. If you've known me long enough, it's possible you've seen me carry around a notebook, and never write or draw in it, or maybe you've even seen me open it and not put anything on the paper. Maybe, if I was feeling really frustrated that day, you saw me draw a line on one piece of paper. It was probably curvy. Then I stared at it in frustration, turned the page, and didn't do anything else. If you ever saw this, and you probably haven't, you might have wondered about it. You probably didn't. In either case, this was me trying to transcribe emotion to paper, and failing miserably.

Sometimes I actually feel better just staring at a blank notebook then I do once I've put something in the notebook. I feel (not necessarily in such precise, conscious terms) that I might be able to create something this time, that the blank space represents possibility, represents a future where in I have given the world a tool to understand the crap that's flying around in my head. And then my pencil or pen or sharpie touches the paper, and the possibility is gone. The wavefront has collapsed, and there's a wavy line on the paper that isn't art, isn't profound, isn't a representation of my thoughts or feelings or ideas or my affection for you or for my parents or for my God or for anyone. It doesn't represent any sort of truth, it doesn't teach, it doesn't evoke emotion. You will not be changed by it. I will not be changed by creating it. It is a line. A curvy line. A curvy line in a ratty notebook. At some point I may throw it away. I won't remember what I was thinking or feeling when I drew it. I won't necessarily think about any of the things I've written here that I often think about. Actually, I most likely won't.

I don't know why I have this urge, but it bothers me sometimes.

I don't know why I feel the need to communicate this today. I feel like I haven't said what I wanted to say, and haven't told you what I really feel and think about the subject. I feel like this post is a wavy line.

Oh, snap! I said I was doing this diary thing maybe, but you didn't know it was going to be emo!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Webcomic: Able and Baker

Able and Baker
Updates most weekdays

Alright, Crap: My Readers, here's where this stuff starts. Able and Baker is a comic that's easy to like. It recounts the exploits of a sheep (Baker) and a monkey (Able) who are anthropomorphic in a standard comic manner, and employed by scientists as test animals. (Which generally involves them flying a spacecraft.) That whole last sentence sounded really dry and boring, which is pretty much the opposite of the comic.

A&B is lighthearted and fun. The humor is great, it's easy to laugh at, making Able and Baker one of the most easy to just straight up enjoy comics on my reading list. The art is simple, but the lines are clean, the colors are bright, and the characters and environments are expressive.

Seriously, just go read a few. There's a fairly extensive archive of comics, but you can pretty much jump right in. There are a few story arcs and references to past comics, but that's pretty minimal. Read a few, you'll probably like it.


Okay, so this will post under the actual first webcomic review, but whatever.

I'm not 100% sure how I want to do these things. Webcomics criticism has been done to death, buried, dug up, zombified, and beat back to death with a blunt object, and then had a close up of it's face shown after the credits with its eyes opening and a dramatic music cue, leaving the stage open for a sequel if anyone actually goes to the first one, which, considering the budget and content, seems unlikely.

I'm no longer even 100% sure what this post is about, so I'll just get to what is most likely my point.

I'm going to attempt to approach this as more of a webcomic recommendation than an actual review. There is a giant crap pile of bad comics out there, and I feel no need to point them out for ridicule. I'm just going to tell you about a comic I like, and then tell you why I like it. This seems like the sort of thing that should work, and that I might maybe be able to do on a regular basis. (Ha ha, guffaw.)

But, as always, this is all subject to change at any time.

So, yeah.