The Good, The Bad, & This Kid: “Down the Left Thigh”

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This week I can promise you no anger-induced rant. It’s really about time too. I’ve spent far too long letting my anger get the best of me, it’s really not healthy. So, this week I return to a sense of normalcy, for me anyway. I’ve made it quite apparent that I’m a big art snob freak. I believe art is a sacred medium that should not be taken lightly. This week I plan to delve into this, and why I want to be a part of it. So, sit back and relax, for there will be no anger in the paragraphs to come.

First, before I begin, I’d like everyone to leave their notions of art at the proverbial door. Let go of the belief that art is what happens when pencil touches paper. It’s only a small fragment of the very large picture. Art is so many different things, that to have your mind single in on only one of its aspects does it harm. Anytime someone does anything creative it’s art, whether you appreciate it or not, it is still art. Someone writes music, it’s art; someone writes lyrics, it’s art; someone paints a forest, it’s art; someone writes a story, it’s art, I think you see where I’m going. Sound, movement, words, pictures, all these things are art. There are so many parts to the medium that it’s easy to just concentrate on one aspect. It’s time, however, to open your eye to all the pieces.

One of the most overlooked members of the art family is the written word. Whoever said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” must not have read anything decent. A good author can take one word, and make a whole story. They can make you see countless worlds from just mere words, worlds no painter could dream of. Don’t let anyone tell you that art is just paintings and drawings, let yourself see that art cannot be shackled down by someone’s poor peripheral vision. Many of the great paintings and drawings in our world have come from someone’s written word. Someone wrote a story, then some painter said, “I can draw this”, and there you have it. Art works best, when it works together. The only medium that combines all the aspects of art, are movies. They have movement, sound, words, and pictures. Movies blend these elements seamlessly into one big art explosion.

Another median that combines different facets of art, are comics. The written word rides alongside drawn pictures. To me, and millions of others, this is one of the best examples of art working together. Comic books are really the last unspoiled form of art. Artists get into music and movies seeking fame and lots of cash, the artists who go into comic books are seeking to produce quality art. Most people have this idea that all artists want to do is share their ideas with people. All that’s fine, but I don’t believe it. I know for me, the main reason for doing anything creative is to release some kind of demon. I’d like for people to read my stories and find something for them to relate to, but at the end of the day, it’s really about helping me. That said, it’s also really wild when people dig for the deeper meaning in your art, it really gives you a sense of worth, like you’ve created something that people actually care about. Those two things, I feel, are why artists exist. That’s why comic books are a great medium for artists who can draw or write, it allows them to not only tell a complete story, but countless little stories in each panel.

I think it would be great to be in a band, and play your music for a crowd of people. Just as it’d be great to be a director and show your movie to a theater full of people. However, those things really aren’t for me. I’m not the typical artist who craves all that much attention. Every artist craves attention, but some don’t want all that much, and that’s where I fall. So, comics are the perfect place for me. In comics, your art stands or falls on its own. It makes no difference who you are, if you can’t produce quality art, you’re not worth anyone’s time. In music and movies, if you’ve got a pretty face, that’s all that really matters. That’s why I said that comic books are the last unspoiled form of art. People could care less what you look like, people who enjoy reading comics, read them for your stories or your drawings, not your pretty face. People who enjoy comics crave art over media hype, and an artist could not ask for anything better. This is the medium I feel I belong in. I want my stories to stand on their own; if someone enjoys my writing, I want them to enjoy it for its content, not for who I am. Who I am is nothing to my art; my art becomes who I am. When someone lets their ego step in for their creativity, then they’re off the artistic roll call. That, or if they do a commercial.

So, at the end of the day, I really want to write comics to release my demons, and hopefully help someone else release theirs. I want people to read my stories and apply it to their life. There is never a right or wrong answer to what an art piece is about, it means whatever it means to you. That’s what art is really about. It’s not about getting the chicks, or getting the huge paychecks, it’s about bringing something wonderful into the world, and having people find something in it for them. You exorcise your demons when you produced the art, then it’s time for others to do the same.

The Good

On Tuesday of this week (11/11), Mary and I drove to Orlando to see A Perfect Circle in concert. It was a two hour drive, and it was beyond worth it. This was our first time seeing them live, we missed them a few years back, so we weren’t about to do that again. Amazing stuff. Much like seeing Tool live, seeing APC is a very spiritual thing. If they’re coming to a town near you, I highly recommend that you check them out. This is not a review of their concert, so this is where The Good ends.

I hope everyone enjoyed the fact that I was not full of venom this week. If you’d like to share your thoughts on the artistic fortitude of comics, then stop by the Soapbox message boards. ‘Til next time…

-Josh Stone

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