Why do we do the things we do?
The answer to that question is well above my pay grade. Doubly so, when you consider that I don’t get paid. I’m sure some would say that the love of a child is payment enough. I’m equally sure those people have never tried to purchase an 18 inch Optimus Prime figure by cashing in all your “love of a child” tokens. But, I digress.
Those of you who know me or are familiar with my writings and/or artwork know that I tend to veer into a semi-autobiographical landscape when it comes to my comics. Not that I haven’t written or illustrated pure fantasy, it’s just that the day to day happenings of your average person is typically a thousand times more compelling than the best written science fiction novel. Okay, that’s quite an exaggeration. There are a ton of average folk that would make me pick up and read 1984 again before delving into any tale of their existence. For instance, there is this guy who lives at the end of my street that never wears a shirt. He’s got one of those “I eat pancake syrup and cigarettes for breakfast” body types, and just sits on his porch in a lawn chair all day yelling at cars that are driving too fast. He’s got a cat that looks just like him. Hm. Ya know, now that I’m writing this all out…he actually seems like the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
See what I mean?
So, with S.A.H.D.ness I had two goals in mind: entertain (both myself and others) and try to exorcise any emotional insecurities that I had so I would not end up killing (both myself and others). It has worked marvelously on both levels.
Okay, there is one more thing I hope to derive from this experience, and perhaps this one is a little bit selfish of me. I want Jack to know. I want there to be some tangible proof that, before he was old enough to remember, I sacrificed and I cried and I fought for him. I want him to show these comics to his kids and have them look at their father in awe that he was the star of a comic. More than anything though, I want him to know who he was to his parents and how much we have, do and always will love him.
There is a quote that immediately struck me the first time I read it. You know the feeling. That sting you get when you know you have just witnessed true inspiration.
“It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being.”
I write this at the beginning of all of my journals. For me, it’s indicative of progress and the future. The idea that you really can’t go home again because it’s not there. So, you’ve no choice but to keep moving forward. However, there is more to these words as well. Something much simpler and much more beautiful. Especially when you consider the context in which they are spoken. The monster in Mary Shelley’s immortal Frankenstein speaks them as he ponders his existence. We, none of us, truly can remember who we were before we decided who we were. We have no recollection of the incidents, the happenstance and the tragedies that formed us in our early years. Odd that we are wired this way, as these are clearly some of the years in which we at our most fragile. Like soft clay, we are being constantly molded by those who love us and the environment they secure for us. What a great gift knowledge of those years would be, even if it is through the lens of your “sappy old man” and his doodles.
I hope that Allison and I both can help to provide Jack with a better remembering of his original era.