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Why create comics?
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2001 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that matter, why create any art? There's an essay of one person's view to be found here: http://www.ninthart.com/display.php?article=90

I feel the same way.

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buzzard
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2001 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally disagree.

I mean, maybe you gain yourself ten, fifty years. But the odds that anybody will remember you--or your work--500 years after you die are incredibly tiny. For writing? Shakespeare. Music? Beethoven, Mozart, perhaps ten or twenty people. Da Vinci, Michaelangelo. (And how well do we remember them, as opposed to their works? Some people debate who Shakespeare really was!)

How many millions of creative people have lived and died and been utterly forgotten?

Well, not utterly--for the elite, the academics and historians, a lot more names are known--but still only a tiny proportion of those who create.

Every artist (in the general sense) who I know who's worth her salt does it because either (a) she can't help creating or (b) because she wants to leave a mark by changing the face of the medium--with no expectation of necessarily being remembered for it 500 years down the road.

On the other hand, the inescapability of death does in itself lead to some great art, as a thematic element--just covering a range of modern media, The Smiths' song Cemetry Gates skillfully slams together concerns over mortality and plagiarism; some parts of the last few Black Company books by Glen Cook have characterized various memorials and lifestyles as "immortality, of a sort", setting up the recent ending; and of course don't forget the storyline of Zot! Online by Scott McCloud.
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buzzard
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2001 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A minor clarification--I don't mean to imply that anyone who doesn't do it for one of those two listed reasons isn't worth their salt, just that the small sampling I'm aware of has that criteria. Mortality is certainly a scary prospect, and I don't blame anyone for trying to find a way to reach beyond their allotted span--I just don't think it's realistic.
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John2two
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2001 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fear my mortality just as much as the next person, but one of my favorite incarnations of the divine, Spider Robinson, reminds us that for humanity to continue, long-long-term, a high percentage of art *must* get forgotten in order for future artists to have room to work. This point from his story 'Melancholy Elephants', collected in a short-story volume of the same name. Story concerns the consequences of extending copyrights to perpetuity.

Good story, worth hunting down. And if you haven't been introduced to Spider Robinson yet, I'm glad I had the priveledge of pointing you in his direction.

John
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Des
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with buzzard. Any fame or fortune you get through comics is probably going to be limited. (For instance- ever mentioned Winsor McKay (or any other semi-famous cartoonist or comics creator) in conversation with someone who isn't all that thrilled with comics?)

Human motivations are almost limitless. I'm sure everyone has a whole swamp of them, ranging from noble to petty, and I'm not even going to try to make a big list to cover everybody.

The appeal of comics is (and I hope I don't offend), for me, that I really don't feel like I'm here to top Shakespeare when I'm drawing a comic strip. It's a medium where you can be an absurdist and people will appreciate it anyway. And because it is a little bit undernoticed, I feel a lot less pressure.

Plus it's kinda fun.

On the fame angle: while that might be a bit limited just due to comics' limited readership, it's still neat. Take Zwol, for example. Here we have a lovely comic; characters we care about (rather than sarcastic dolls), good writing, good art- it's just nice stuff. AND we have a nifty forum to wax philosophical in. Greg has obviously put quite a bit of work into this, which seems altruistic to me, even if there are other motives. And as a result of all this good stuff, he has almost 120 people regularly taking notice of his work (going on the forum members; there are probably a lot of people who don't bother with forums, so I'm sure it's even more)and appreciating the forums.

That's kind of like fame and immortality, isn't it? 120 people who like your work?
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2001 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed it is.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2001 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I wouldn't want my comic to be read in twenty years-- because then it will be out of context. A lot of the references won't make any sense. Besides, if my past works are any indication, my slowly growing artistic maturity will soon make my current stuff look like dog crap. And I don't want people complementing me on my dog crap.

No, what matters to me, now, is that I can make other people happy, now. Friends of mine read my comic, smile, and pat me on my digital back. Making comics is hard sometimes, but it feels good.

--Tailsteak.
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Max Leibman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2001 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Immortality has never been a desire in my art.

The main reason I wish to create comics is self-expression, communication of my ideas and observations to others. The more people I reach with my art while I live, the better. Once I'm dead, though, it doesn't matter any more. I'm not here after that point. If people remember my work two days after I die, that's a bonus to me, not the goal.

In short, I'm creating my work with the hopes that others understand and appreciate it, but I'm creating it for myself first. Any fame or fortune that comes I would want only for myself and my immediate decendants. I wouldn't create anything to be immortal. Being forgotten is part of the game.

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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2001 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Max- Your comment raises what I find to be a common dichotomy among many artists. If the "main reason" you create comics is for "self-expression, communication of... ideas and observations to others," then is it true that you are creating it primarily for yourself? Communication implies- no, requires!- an audience and, I think, immediately removes the purpose from creating for one's self to creating for others.

I think it's more accurate to say that the reason for creating the work is to have others experience it, but the way in which one creates it is purely selfish. I create the art that I want to experience (either in the process of creation, the work's aesthetic, in the work's message or- most likely- some combination of all three), but I create it for others to experience.

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damonk13
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2001 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make people laugh.

To make people think.

To make people smile.

And when I say people, i nclude myself there, too.

And Tailsteak, I disagree with you -- your comic is VERY much NOT limited by time or such... i tihnk that people twenty years from now will laugh and enjoy and learn and think and smile as much as they do now at 1/0...

I know *I* will.

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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-10-24 12:15, Greg Stephens wrote:
Max- Your comment raises what I find to be a common dichotomy among many artists.


Greg -- I couldn't agree more with your comments on this particular dichotomy among artists. To me, the litmus for the artist's intentions is very simple -- is the artist actively seeking an outlet in which to display his/her work? If so, then he's not creating it purely for himself. If we were creating purely for ourselves, we'd be putting our work in diary, not on the Internet.

Quote:


I think it's more accurate to say that the reason for creating the work is to have others experience it, but the way in which one creates it is purely selfish. I create the art that I want to experience.


Even here, I think the audience comes into play as a motivator -- in that you create the sort of art that you yourself wish to experience not merely because you enjoy creating it, but also because you wish to raise your audiences awareness of the particular type of art that you enjoy. The goal being to use your artwork as a bridge between your own audience and the work of other artists you admire, whom you feel are not getting the recognition they deserve.

This is one of my own motivations, at any rate. And judging by the considerable effort that I've seen so many other creators put into supporting each other, I doubt that I'm alone.

[ This Message was edited by: Alexander D. on 2002-02-17 01:56 ]
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Thomas51471
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:22 am    Post subject: I agree with Greg... Reply with quote

I agree with Greg. I have the same thinking as the author of the article. Of course I dont want to leave something behind so much for the general public as I do my generation of family to come so that my family 100 years from now will know that they have a legecy of art in thier family and to let them know what kind of person I may have been. If that will bring some inspiration to other generations of artists or would be artists in my family then that is great. I just want my family to come to know who I was and what I did is pretty much all. That is why I create, that and the fact I have no control over it at all. Art has chosen me I can only follow.

Thomas
www.gutterflycomix.com
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As of this writing, I've hardly drawn anything in the months since I vowed to myself to draw something every day, no matter what it is. Why is that? Well, it's got a lot to do with my state of mind which is, to say the least, not artistically sound at the moment. I think that's why I'm attracted to this quote from Chris "Bruno" Baldwin today: "Without Bruno, I'm not special."
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Jack Masters
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, creating comics is more a part of my thought proccess then a means of communicating ideas or getting people to remember me.

I do feel a need to have an impact on the world, but the specific impact I'd like to have is not really something I'd go about making through comics.
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shadefell
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2002 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i either create for other people, on commission, which ultimatly is for myself and the money i make, or else i create entirely for myself.

i draw. i draw constantly. when i have no other paper, i paint in ink and ink wash on newspaper. if i don't have that outlet, i go stircrazy.

i don't really care about being well known (excepting that, if i'm well known, i'm more likely to get work) or immortal of deep or anything. i draw and paint and write because i love it, and because i have to, in order to survive. when i don't create, i get depressed. i'm not myself.
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