This article about Brian K Vaughan is a few months old but I just found it and it’s got me thinking [LINK]
In short, it posits this theory that BKV has been dealing with 9/11 in a lot of his books and that’s pretty well true. So that made me wonder, what am I dealing with through my stories? Obvs fatherhood, probs depression. Which is interesting because I am a father but I don’t suffer from depression. I’d think to claim that would do a disservice to the crippling affliction actual depressed people have. I hate myself from time to time, but I’m a writer, that’s just called creative process.
The article also mentions BKV’s comics/stories come from questions that he feels need answering.
I think that’s a fantastic way to come at your stories. I’m wondering what I’m working through in my books, and it’s a great thought to lay over any work/stories I’ve got coming up. To analyse their root honestly, and address their issues, is to better understand why they matter. That’s powerful stuff if you are brave enough to peer into your own soul.
What bigger truths does HEADSPACE address?
Is NEGATIVE SPACE going to be about something?
I am a firm fan of what is often called genre fare [sci fi, crime, gonzo, whatever really] still tackling real world issues but through some kind of genre and narrative lens. I know I’ve tackled the idea of responsibility in fatherhood, to get more specific, the concept of the human need to survive down to the very last possibility, the idea of how far anyone is willing to go for certain things and then examining if we choose the right things to fuel how far we push ourselves and if it’s indeed even in the right direction. I seem to look at family and responsibility above all else but now I’m wondering on what kind of wider scale?
Because it would seem that writing about fun stuff like cheerleaders or drugs or endless summers or robots is just too damn freakin’ hard for me. Maybe as a writer/teacher/father/husband kinda guy the ideas of responsibility and emotionally fracturing and family and doing what’s right/best weigh on my mind a lot.
And being Australian, 9/11 means little to me, I haven’t been in a war, my life is relatively easy, I just live in a world of terrorist threats [though few that will seemingly hit as close to me as they do other nations] and human rights violations committed by politicians stating they have the right cause and online activism that turns to public shaming in a blink. These are the wider concepts that avail my mind in the night when not concerning myself as to whether I’m raising my kids right, or if I’m around for the wife enough [spoilers: I’m not], or if my son or daughter will have it harder growing up [no spoilers, please] or when the hell me and my generation will ever actually be able to retire.
My concerns for myself and my future are so internal that it’s no wonder my characters struggle through mindscapes and suicidal depression and crushing responsibility.
Huh, yeah, that kinda all came together in the end. I see what my stories are doing now. Thanks for letting me talk it out.
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