Some things are more revealing than others, but every action is, to some extent, influenced by our past, by our thoughts and feelings. One of the key functions of creativity is to find a better way of expressing those thoughts and feelings. Not necessarily deep thoughts or especially personal feelings, but “what looks good” or “what makes a good story” are personal nonetheless. How effectively anything is expressed varies greatly and sometimes what gets expressed is very revealing – not always intentionally.
How we relate to other people’s creations can be very revealing as well, Colin Smith’s blog TooBusyThinkingAboutMyComics is both a source of in depth analysis of a range of comics and a rather personal expression of his relationship with those comics.
Possibly the most revealing single piece this year was inspired by a bad Green Lantern comic. Not the most promising grounds at first glance, yet from the poor storytelling of ignoring how a characters past affects their present actions, to the wider issues of racial politics, moral obligations and real heroism; he unearths an unsettling message and reveals a range of issues that are important to him. It also ends on an important argument as to why all that matters. Why a disposable pamphlet about colourful men hitting each other does have a responsibility that shouldn’t be ignored. Because all creativity is revealing: and in examining the deeper political content of these comics Colin ends up reveals an admirable moral outlook in himself.
He’s actually embarked on his own end of year list at the moment, which, as with mine, is not actually listed in order of preference (what a crass notion) and, as is usual at TooBusyThinking, is going to be a bit longer than forecast. The list is a pretty good summary of his core themes (clarity, diversity, a consideration of moral and political implications, etc.) and warm hearted recommendations of comics that shine under his analysis.
And if you like warm hearted tales, there’s always tomorrow’s choice…