Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Comics—Positive vs Negative

Originally posted on March 18, 2015

So many comics have been "dark"—feeding on the "dark side"– while I turn towards the light if I can, and enjoy happier commentaries. Still, I get pulled into the dark on occasion. I have come to recognize that this is a theme in comics or stylized illustration—a theme of dark versus light.

Alas, comics are not comic, they are often tragic. The narrative art form that once was comic, silly, and even somewhat celebratory of imagination: I checked and I have not yet posted my paper on surrealism in imaginative art last fall. I’ll say now that comics are not necessarily and indeed mostly not comic at all. They betray a late adolescent attempt to cope with the prevalent cultural trends that suggest nihilism rather than positive faith. I am in no way supporting common religious sentimentality—especially the type that suggests that no one can achieve higher consciousness except through well-worn traditional paths—but there is a turning away from the dark and toward the light that I do practice and advocate.

Saying it another way, the people doing “dark” comics are today’s equivalent of the once prevalent nihilistic existentialists in some neo-bohemian circles in the 1960s. Admittedly, this is an observation about a cultural trend, not an ultimate truth.

My own comic-cartoon work is more uplifting. I am afflicted / blessed by a condition some few has labeled "pronoia," which is the opposite of paranoia. It involved the sense that "they" (the forces of the cosmos?) are working (plotting?) to make me enlightened and happy. So my comic aims at supporting this general theme. Haha.

Many are averse to outright fantasy, on the grounds that it isn’t being realistic, as if that were a criticism. Haha again. I have no idea of disabusing them of this dubious notion. Let ’em be. But for those to have ears to hear, and other types of receptivity, sometimes the most useful truth will come in by the window, from the side, from categories that have little official truth status, such as the comic worlds.

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