My problem with diary comics, I think, may be that I read them in the same way I do other comics, and then end up feeling guilty when I judge the central character — i.e., the person creating the actual comics — for decisions they’ve made or things they say. It’s not even as if they know that I’m thinking such things, but nevertheless, I find myself feeling bad for being so unsympathetic to such talented people.
From Graeme McMillan’s excellent column at Robot 6, The Middle Ground #124 (just compile them into a book already; jeez), “The Problem With Reality”.
I think about this quite a bit, considering my current project, and whether it makes me look like a totally selfish and pompous jerk writing about myself. Part of me says, “It’s all about celebration of not just me but about how comic books can positively affect someone’s life.” But isn’t that most comics-related material these days? It’s all a celebration. Part of me tells me that I have something new to say; something different; something more…illiterate? It’s not just a testament to how much joy we can have with comics, but it’s also a bit of a reckoning for me about how they’ve affected me, because I want to truly understand my love and my obsession with them. Part of it comes from a place of wanting to come clean about aspects of my life, being honest about them. Is that in itself unlikeable? I feel like yes and that’s why I should abandon the entire exercise. Though that’s a shitty pr reason to abandon a piece of writing. You shouldn’t do it if you think people won’t like you for it.
The other side of me thinks about what I preach. Earlier today, a student left a comment in her journal saying that I must really love my job and that I remind her of her eleventh grade English teacher who says, along with me, that in order to write about something effectively you have to care about it. This student said I’m really good at teaching writing, because I inspire her and that I’m not like a lot of teachers she’s had. The other thing that spoke to her was that I am constantly pushing the idea that in order to write and talk about something you must also do it in practice. To be honest with you, I spent a good hour nearly bawling at this comment, because it really blew me away.
What do you all think? Should I abandon the project or not?