From Amanda Palmer paraphrasing Neil Gaiman on the true power and beauty of comics,
there is no other art form in which the beholder of the art can confront silence of indeterminate measure, no art form in which the artist can show silence in time.
As in: you can explain in a book that a character is sitting in silence, but your eyes move to the next page. You can make a silent sculpture, but it remains fixed in time, you can have a film in which a character stops and does not speak, but the film rolls on.
You can also pause the player/DVD/tv and stare at the image, but that is not how one should appreciate a film, and definitely not what it is possible in a movie theater - which is still the only real way to appreciate a movie, imho
In comics, you can turn a page and be confronted with a silent character, and there, you can linger, for as long as you need, to absorb the full measure of what that silence might mean.
Thank you Stan Lee for your legacy and your role as publisher and spokesperson for world of comics to the “rest of the world”. You brought us Spiderman, Avengers, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men and everything else you touched on (1960s to now).
From Wikipedia: Lee also supported using comic books to provide some measure of social commentary about the real world, often dealing with racism and bigotry. “Stan’s Soapbox”, also addressed issues of discrimination, intolerance, or prejudice.
So I’ve had friends and family suffering recently and past from the ravages of disease (cancer, etc) and age (dementia, stroke, etc). My father died from complications of diabetes and heart disease a couple years ago. So what, you might ask. These are the tragedies of life. They are happening to the best people, and yes, I mean the best-est, nicest, kindest people I know. How do I know that? Because I do and you know it also if you met them.
Yet there are many who are still with us, because we have the best science and medicine working tirelessly to do so. They will be here for many years to come. They will. These tragedies happen for a purpose (only the Big Guy knows). There are others out there where you can’t really find reasons for those tragedies, and for those I mourn with all of you.
So what can I (and you) do about it? Plenty. Spend time with your loved ones. Even the healthy ones. Because age and luck (fate?) and genetics can strike healthy people all the time. Spend time with those who are in pain/soldiering on. They really do need our support and love. Most of all, they need to know that we love them - warts and all.
Time and presence are really all that we can give that is meaningful. Gifts are great, but cards/knick-knacks/things are not really a “you” gift, unless you made/build/conceive/write and fill it with “you”. A call and text is better than not making an effort. A letter is even better (even if it is an email) because they can save it and reread it when is necessary. A video might be even cooler, but most of us though don’t know how to make a good video so that’s not probably a good choice (and most people have no way to store those - hmm, software idea #2367)
I made one short film because it was on my bucket list. I am not quite done with that film-making bug, but its hard to write well. So I procrastinate by blogging (haha, yup, this one). I made the first movie over a year ago and I dedicated it to my dad (and my wife’s dad who also passed away). It was always meant to be for him that I made the film, because he showed me who I eventually become. And I’m like him in many ways (you would know if you have ever met him).
So I plan to make more movies for him and for myself because the best movies contain a piece of one’s self. So don’t go dissing other people’s work because it is not perfect (because there’s no such thing), or because it is mis-casted (again, those actors are there because they wanted to be there, and are available to do it). It pains me that they over fill it with too much special effects and action - its always too much nowadays (because Fx is cheap now).
I started on this blog post with comics because of what I read today from a Twitter post from Neil about his wife. And how he loved her – her blog on November 18 2018 on blog.amandapalmer.net. I also love my hunny (and I buried that admission 1000+ words deep so she won’t probably read it for a long while). I’m happy that Neil found his soul-mate, and I, mine. But sometimes I wonder if I don’t show it enough because I’m who I am. I find it difficult to articulate my feelings because I’m not Neil Gaiman, or Amanda Palmer, or Stan Lee who have done many wonderful things. Like Sandman, American Gods, and almost everything Mr. Gaiman wrote is gold.
So here’s my 2 cents on life, writing, and sharing. You have it. Life. Live it fully. Don’t let the demons of despair (I’m talking about certain friends right now, you know who you are) take you to dark places and try to consume you. Don’t. Share. Yes, be with your family and friends when you can. Talk. And my advice to myself (and you). Write. Like this blog, or a short story, or a screen-play or a letter to someone you like/love/would have loved. And then write some more. I will.
Thank you for making it to over 1000 words. As a wise man told me: “Stop. And smell the roses.” And “don’t be a dick”. Take care, readers.