Thursday, January 27, 2005

So, this post is going to come off as nerdy, as it's about comics. But, if you view it as a metaphor for life, the implications are staggering.

Went to the comic shop today. I'd been planning that the next time I'd go would be two weeks from now. I'd pick up the last issues of three comics, then walk out, and not return for a year. Disengage from the medium, and the culture that surrounds it. Stop seeking out things that are new that I might like but probably won't. Wash my brain out. The culture surrounding comics is fairly disgusting, and from the outside it just seems nerdy, but from the inside it seems psychologically damaged. So to get away from all that... Ah. It would also save me some money. Which I could use, you know, to pay off student loans, and not be in debt until I die.

But I went today, and added some things to my pull list for the future.

And really, this is an idea that's been in my mind for a while, but it seemed like the near future would be the only clean break for the foreseeable future.

So, why?

Obviously, sometimes it's pleasurable. Sometimes the actual work is fucking amazing, life-changing stuff. Not frequently. It's frequently disappointing, but the same can be said for music or movies or whatever. It's fucking insane to do what I was thinking about doing, because it's a medium like any other, and it would be absurd to go without music or movies for a year.

Granted, the thing with music and movies is that to disengage from them would be to disengage from pretty much all conversation with friends. Music and movies make up the majority of my conversation, and this blog. No one I hang out with on a regular basis reads comics though, so it's not like that'd be an issue there.

But, you know, I do know people who read comics, and I meet them, and... It's a good thing to share. It's a small hobby, and there's a certain degree of something there. The small insular attitude is one of the things that disgusts me, but when you meet someone who's down, that's a great moment. And it happens in Olympia. Plus, there's the discussion and the criticism online, which, again: FREQUENTLY HORRIBLE, but is also home to many a smart and funny person.

The reason I wanted to disengage is because it's, in many ways, too much fucking effort to engage to a full level, a level greater than I'm currently at. There's a lot of masterworks to read, and if you want to do that, it's really fucking expensive. Then there's the steady stream of that which gets hype, and to engage that, is really fucking expensive. And to attempt to be on the forefront of something and find out about something and spread the word... That takes money as well. And it takes time. It takes a fuckload of time.

But to disengage from any kind of anything because what you want to do is engage it more than you easily can is fucking nonsense, completely counter-intuitive. And yeah, to engage it is to let it damage you, to put wrinkles on your brain that you'd rather not have. But you fucking deal, because otherwise, what the fuck are you doing?

I'm writing this with a bravado that I don't really have. Part of me regrets that I could've made a clean break. A lot of the work is boring and the spending money on work that's boring blows. This is just the part of my brain that is thinking logically trying to convince the other part of my brain that is also thinking logically. One part's romantic while the other is cynical, but both are functioning properly. There are no misfires. There's work in the future that will inevitably be worth reading, just as there has been in the past. (Not the recent past, which is really the issue... The last time I was really excited by comics was the summer) To ignore it would be to say "fuck you, happiness!" in favor of, you know, mental health. Like mental health has ever been a friend of mine. It hasn't.

Fuck mental health.

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