Sometimes I Am Not Funny


I hope you are well dear readers.

I am having a grand, but strange day right now. I have a new hobby. I don’t know if you can call something that has absorbed all my thought for several days a hobby (I tend to obsess over things), but I intend it as a hobby.

When I was small, I loved watching late night television. It was not just any program that interested me, I needed horror. I needed to sink my fangs into something scary–the spookier the better! I’ve mentioned that I wanted to be a mad scientist as a child. I did not explain that this was so I could live i the same world as the monsters I adored from media.

My child brain assumed the horror hosts like the Cryptkeeper of Tales from the Crypt, Big Chuck and Lil John from the show of the same name and the other horror hosts lived in the same world as the monsters. Some of the hosts were monsters themselves (Cryptkeeper, Vampira). I didn’t know how one might become a monster, but I knew that mad scientists were often stars of the show. I knew that they went around creating monsters from nothing. It wasn’t long before I had decided this was my path.

My career choice set, I tried many, many, MANY ways to become a mad scientist. This post is not about those. I might do a post about those adventures later if anyone is interested, but today’s post is not that post. I only mention my childhood obsession to explain my new hobby. I am going to become a horror host. If you don’t know what that is, I am so sorry. Please go google it or watch American Scary on amazon/iTunes/your media provider of choice.

Here are some of the great, legendary horror hosts:

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
Zacherley, Shock Theatre
Zacherley, Shock Theatre
Vampira, generally regarded as the 1st Horror Host
Vampira, generally regarded as the 1st Horror Host

Vampira was inspired by Morticia Addams by the way:

Normal is just an illusion. What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.

I adore Morticia. I actually adore the entire Addams family, but she has a special place in my black little heart. When I have a finished video up, I will post a link here. Until then I will leave you this experiment of mine to imagine with:

Hello Ghouls!

This post however is not really on horror hosts or monsters, as I keep saying. I’ll try not to get distracted again (it is hard!). I only mention such things because this post does have to do with a particular kind of monster. The “it’s no good” monster:

Artist Rendering of the It's No Good Monster
Artist Rendering of the impossible to photograph It’s No Good Monster

The it’s no good monster mucks about in creative spaces. It boldly declares that art isn’t good enough. It criticizes the particulars of each piece with distinctive viciousness. It does not sleep; it needs no rest. It is always at the ready wherever and whenever art is being born. To a baby piece of art the art monster can be particularly devastating. Those brave souls who dare to study the art monster have found only one weakness in its vast metallic body: the “magical so what formula“.

It works like this. The it’s no good monster slithers into the room focused on an unsuspecting baby art. The baby art is displayed proudly. It sits, waiting to be seen, trying not to tremble with too much excitement. The It’s no good monster begins to criticize: The lines are wrong. The proportioning is off. The colors are bad. The work is bad. IT’S NO GOOD!

In the past you might have tried to parry words with the it’s no good monster. This is a trap that never works. The it’s no good monster does not care. It ignores your reasoning and attacks the art even more viciously than before. When the it’s no good monster begins to criticize respond with the magical SO WHAT? formula as quickly as possible.

It might look something like this:

I.N.G. Monster: The lines are bad.

Artist: So what?

I.N.G. Monster: The proportioning is off.

Artist: So what?

I.N.G. Monster: The colors are bad.

Artist: So what?

At this point the artist could even throw in an “I like it that way.” or “That’s on purpose” formula in there. The monster will most likely get to its main weapon now.

I.N.G. Monster: IT’S NO GOOD.

Artist: SO WHAT?

The it’s no good monster will have nothing left to respond with, so it’s best at this point to throw in a few “I like it” and “it’s beautiful”. The monster, having been defeated, will slither back to it’s smelly cave. It might try a few more things if it is a particularly nasty beastie, or, it might slither out again in five minutes ready for another round. Stick with the so what? magical formula. The monster cannot really deal with it.

I had my most recent fight with the it’s no good monster yesterday. I made a new comic in Goth Gal, like I do every Friday. It had been a struggle to create a comic that day. I was feeling pretty down and I find it particularly difficult to be funny when I am down. However, I had managed create a comic and to publish it before 7pm–the day was beginning to look up. I stretched and waited for people laugh at it, like it, comment on it–the works.

Nothing happened online. Normally I at least get one or two likes. (at the time of this posting there is actually one like, but there wasn’t yesterday.) No one around me got it either. I don’t know why. I thought it was ok. Certainly not as great as some of the comics, but not bad either. Still, everyone has off days. I doubt if there is a single comic in existence that is 100% funny 100% of the time. I’ve realized that this imperfection thing is normal.

Being human is all about contradictions. I am kind, cruel, afraid, courageous, powerful, weak, confident and hesitant all at the same time. And that’s ok. I came across a post today on tumlbr’s post it forward page that said something like “artists can get hung up on the imperfections, but those imperfections are part of what make the masterpiece.” The post was referring to one’s body, but I think it can apply to anything anyone makes. The point is: you can’t let the inevitable imperfections keep you from creating.

Sometimes I feel like it’s no good, but SO WHAT? I did it. I made that thing. I created something that wasn’t there before I put it there. I pushed myself to use my talent, to do something I enjoy, to make art. It does not matter if it’s good or right or near perfect, it matters that I made it. It matters that I keep making it, despite the doubts and fears and it’s no good monsters that I, as an artist, face every day.
Facing Face of Faceness   

Sometimes I am not funny…and that’s ok.

Bright Ideas and Long Shadows

Hello. Me again.

I have been writing and painting A LOT recently. I am still not meeting my target goals consistently every day for writing, but I like to think I am getting closer to that goal.  I keep reminding myself that every single word I write moves me closer to the finish, whether I meet the target for the day or not.

In other news, I now have a new writing chair. My old forlorn chair (which you may recall from before) finally snapped one day. He will be remembered as the best chair ever. He was over 20 years old. The new chair is remarkably similar to the old one. The patterns are very different, but the construction is almost identical:

Rest in Pieces
Rest in Pieces
It's alive, aliiiiive!
It’s alive, aliiiiive!

Not bad for chairs purchased decades apart, eh? I had to do tons of looking to find a fabric chair of similar quality and build. Most of them are that awful mesh, or worse, leather. Yay for amazon!

I have recently been on a “house of horrors” kick. By this I mean the old films that centered on hidden horrors in old decaying mansions.  These films are often in black and white and full of atmosphere. The most recent addition to my collection is The House of the Long Shadows starring four of the great horror actors: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine. I love it as if I had seen it during my midnight wanderings when i was young.

As a child, I used to stay up late then sneak downstairs to a t.v. we had in the basement. I would watch Tales from the Crypt and Big Chuck & Little John. There were times I would be up until dawn then sneak back to bed only to have to get back up in a couple hours for school–no wonder I’m such an insomniac now!

It may seem strange to you that I am seeking such things in the middle of the warmer months (at least for us Northern Hemisphere-ers), but it isn’t really. In Japan, Summer is their season for ghost stories and the like: Ghosts in Japan. I always say East met West and I am their child, I guess it’s more accurate than I realized.

I leave you with thoughts of unnaturally cold creaking manors full of dark rooms, death and delightful depths to be delved.