Need for Noise

This is Pythagoras.  He helped invent math.  He also invented his own religion around not eating beans.

This is Pythagoras. He helped invent math. He also invented his own religion around not eating beans.

I was wondering why you never hear of crazy unhinged comic book artists.  These people seem to exist in great numbers in just about every other creative field.  Painters, musicians, actors, directors, writers… they all have a hundred examples of insane, drug-fueled, bi-polar, eccentric geniuses.  But not comics.

Every once in a while you hear about an Alan Moore (worships a snake-deity) or a William Moulton Marston (invented the lie detector, created Wonder Woman, and loved to be married to several lesbians at once), but for the most part, this particular artistic genre is void of crazies.

Is it because comics are where the nerdiest of the nerds go to create, and nerds, by definition, aren’t loose cannons?   I think it’s a little bigger than that.

When my kids get old enough there is a lot of advice I’m going to give them on a variety of topics that will help them through everyday life.  One is: if you’re an angry drunk, don’t drink.  Another is: Act “as if” (meaning, if you want to be happy or rich or sexy act as if you are happy or rich or sexy).  Another that I will probably tell them over and over throughout their lives: master the ability to sit in a quiet room.

Everyone I know who has a screwed up life – those that are alcoholics or still live in their parents’ basements or had kids way too early or got married way to early or still have that shit job they had when they were 20 people they refuse to go to college – has a screwed up life because they were unable to just sit.  They can’t be in a silent room.  They constantly have to have music playing, or have a TV on, or checking their phones.  These are the ones that had to go out every Friday night.  They had to go to the bar.  They had to be dating someone.  This need for noise gets you into trouble.  This need is what sends you out to accidentally have kids at 19 or get married right out of high school or go to the same bar for 20 years.

This need is also practically non-existent in comic book artists.  One page of Tiny Life takes anywhere from about eight to sixteen hours.  And I’m not that good.  Imagine how long it takes someone who has some real artistic talent.  They have to be able to sit in a silent room and be alone and do nothing but think.

I think being extremely nerdy also helps.

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