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The Fate of the Artist September 21, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in 3D, Art, just my blogs.


Just picked up some great books from the library, including a fantastic 2006 “graphic novel” from artist/writer Eddie Campbell, called The Fate of the Artist. He generally loathes the term “graphic novel” but uses it for lack of a better one (and to make a buck … see his “manifesto”).

While a pseudo-fictitious autobiography, it also explores quite handily the frustrations of creative-types to find purpose and inspiration. Campbell illustrates this using a host of different visual mediums, including photos, sketches, old school cartoon strips (all his creation), and historical vignettes. He balances edgy insights with quaint, to create a wonderful non-linear, right-brain collage of thoughts and images.


My favorite, most relatable bit, begins with the struggles of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who writes in 1804 (possibly from his Dejection: An Ode) :

“So completely has a whole year passed with scarcely the fruits of a month.

Oh sorrow and shame! I have done nothing.

I am filled with and indescribable terror.”

Yet his luxurious self-obessession could not compete with earlier writers, who faced torture and execution for expressing their views freely. This is illustrated by a short graphical discourse on how Shakespeare, who rarely ruffled any feathers, ended up at the top of the heap, while other controversial writers of his time today suffer in obscurity; many of their works burned.

Finally, the author uncovers the secret to life, but I won’t give away the ending …
A nice reflection of this is the recent 9/17 Sunday “Opus” strip, by Berkeley Breathed:

“Ah, finding lifes’ ‘meaning.’ Maybe it’s not so much ‘found’ as its is ‘made.’ “

As for me … while looking at getting a super-spiffy Acer tablet laptop for 3D couch production, I’m getting back in shape, exercising, and trying to find focus …

Model, map, animate … apply directly to forehead.

Model, map, animate … apply directly to forehead.

Model, map, animate … apply directly to forehead.

Model, map, animate … apply directly to forehead.



1. Elise Tomlinson - September 21, 2006

Hey Greg,
I have a funny story, a co-worker was working at our Reference Desk at the library and a shy young freshman came up to her asking if we had any “graphic novels” and she thought he meant *sexually* graphic and got all aflutter and started trying to help him find porn!

well, almost, she asked some more questions and figured out that isn’t what he was looking for.

2. greg - September 21, 2006

hey Elise – I’d think you’d really like that book …er, not-toO-graphic novel … er, whatever it’s called. In fact, the latest dewey decimal sys. entry – for graphic novels – (721.x I think it is…) factors prominently in this funny story’s conclusion.

ha! That’s a good one. What if she had called the police? Someone should write that to Kevin Smith for his next “Clerks” movie.

… gosh, Alaska has porn in their libraries?? We just have a few nudies on the Life Sketching shelves (as far as I have researched) … and I’m not the one who ripped out the choice pages … honest!!

3. RR - September 23, 2006

That’s weird – I was reading “Dejection” just the other day. It’s been on my calendar for the last few months under the pictures of Lake District landscape.

4. Elise - September 24, 2006

Cool greg, I’ll check it out.

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