February 13, 2011

Why I'm not writing a comic book

With-a-Why looks up from his homework.

With-a-Why: Did you know that in French, the word avocado is the same as lawyer?
Me: Language is funny like that. The French word woman sounds like the word hunger to me. Femme. Faim. I can't tell the difference.
With-a-Why: Someday, I want to be famous for quotations that, when they get translated into other languages, become ridiculous. That’s my life goal.
Me: Really?
With-a-Why: No, my life’s goal is to write a comic book. (He grins at me). You know, one that perpetuates the stereotypes of my culture.

A few minutes later.

With-a-Why: You know how some characters shapeshift? My character could shapeshift into a polar bear, but he would get the polar bear instincts and all, and soon he would think he was a polar bear. Then someone would come along, and somehow know it’s him, even though he’s a polar bear.
Me: Stuff like that happens in the Animorph books.
With-a-Why: The problem is that every good superpower has already been done before. Becoming invisible. Shooting flames.
Me: I bet I could think of one.
With-a-Why: Flying. Telekinetic powers. Superhuman strength.
Me: How about this? My special power would be that I could just think of any person in the world and they would instantly feel hugged.
With-a-Why: Oh. My. God. That is the worst.
Me: I think it’s nice.
With-a-Why: What possible conflict could arise from that? Without conflict, you have no story.
Me: Why does there always have to be conflict?
With-a-Why: The Long Distance Hugger. No one would read that.

12 comments:

Sarah Sometimes said...

Look at this, I am posting almost before you finished writing! I like your idea for a new superpower. Send a long distance hug my way, I bet I'll feel it. :)

jo(e) said...

Ha! You must have felt me writing the blog post long-distance. Okay, I'm sending a hug.

(And hey, I'll be looking for folks to pose for me at the CCCC this year ....)

Kyla said...

I think that would be an amazing superpower!

Kait said...

The first conversation reminded me of a poem by Mark Haddon (author of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime"), called "Go Litel Bok." It's supposed to be what an acceptance speech would sound like if translated into Italian and back to English.

susan said...

Ha! Too funny.....Curious Girl had a friend sleep over in January, and I told the girls a story that I tell a variation of every night, involving a set of characters who go into a special forest where everything is wonderful and sleepy (it's more a guided relaxation than a story, but CG has gotten interested in the characters, too). her friend pronounced it not a good story because it lacked conflict. I guess the story = conflict notion is well taught in elementary school.

Sarah Sometimes said...

Hmmm . . . I was wondering when that topic was going to be broached . . .

Barbara said...

I would read that comic and I think my daughter would as well. We both dislike conflict a lot.

rented life said...

Maybe the conflict could arise when someone who doesn't like being touched gets a hug. But that's about the biggest conflict I could think of.

J.K.F. said...

the conflict could be that when the villains get long-distance hugged, they secretly like it. AND THEN THEY FEEL SELF-DOUBT (oh no!)
I'd read it. :)

Tall Kate said...

This is awesome. Gave me a much-needed laugh this morning!

Lomagirl said...

I would read it-and JKF- I like that idea. It reminds me of Despicable Me.

Anonymous said...

conflict: pair it with the dream about the snakes, the ouroboros which unites our lives even in the multiple diversions and paths they take...

and let it be a comic for grown ups with empty nest syndrome, regardless of how often they return or stay... that impending sense of doom always seems to linger somewhere.

And rather than relying the may be of divine beings or world famine, greater concerns than the simplicity of what our lives are... its the implicit grounding for getting through another day, knowing that someone, somewhere cares about you.

Or we could sell it back to AT&T as a corporate spokesperson to reach out and touch someone...

but if it grows out of proportion like Jean Grey to The Phoenix and becomes group hugs... it better be made a horror story.