Monday, 2 March 2015

SPECTER SPEAKS - I Love Writing Comic Book Stories. Here's Why I Can't Function In The Real World.


I’ve always loved imagining stories. But having my brain hot-wired into a fantasy world isn’t always a good thing.



As a kid, it was cool to spend 90% of my time playing with action figures or drawing stories or creating comic books – I was just being a kid. But as I grew up, my brain didn’t really change. It stayed stuck in fantasy-land most of the time, making up crazy adventures when it should have been focusing on more adult concerns. To this day, my brain continues to be in la-la land so much that functioning as an adult has become a bit of a problem.

Writers Aren't All There

If you know a comic book writer, or have been afflicted yourself with the need to think up mad stories in your head, you know what I mean. The blank stares. The feigned interest in conversation.  The forgetting to pick up the kids after school.

To help the uninitiated understand, let’s turn to everyone’s favorite pedagogical tool, the Star Trek Analogy. When the starship Enterprise gets hit by a Klingon phaser attack, the crew is forced to divert power from the ship’s systems to maintain shield integrity. While they can now survive another hit, the trade off is they’ve lost a good deal of functionality throughout the ship.

Living With Only Half A Brain

Such is the writer’s brain. 95% of a writer’s brainpower is used in the pursuit of dreaming up stories, leaving scant few brain cells to accomplish the tasks of day-to-day living. It is essentially like functioning with a lobotomy – your brain isn’t all there. While this sad affliction affects millions across the globe, to the chagrin of forgotten wives and neglected boyfriends everywhere, I have to think it’s part of a grander purpose.

Stories are important. Stories are not just an expression of ideas, but an expression of the writer’s deepest thoughts on the nature of reality. At least, that’s what I think shapes the foundation of a great story. Authors dig deep inside themselves to bring up big sloppy handfuls of their most profound insights, gleaned over a life-time of experience, that we the audience are allowed to experience through a dramatic art form. This is by no means a small task – hence the toll it takes on the minds of those afflicted with the itch to write.

So when next you encounter a writer, instead of rolling up a newspaper and whacking them upside the head to get their attention, gently take their hand, sit them down in a corner, and allow them to quietly filter the secrets of the universe through their wondrous, if socially frustrating, lens.

The world will be richer for your kindness.

G.S.



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