Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The "game changer" PT. II

Before reading this, you may want to catch up on part one of The "game changer"

"You don't want to read about it fool, you want to feel it..."
Brother Ali

Years ago I attended the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. My room mate was a classically trained Opera singer, and he was amazing. We got to be pretty good friends. He was a happy go lucky, goofy, & lovely human being. I couldn't imagine him taking anything seriously, which to me was what being an artist was about. Taking shit really seriously. So, I went to one of his performances one night to see him in action. I was blown away. This boy sung like a dream.

That would have been memorable enough, but then another thing happened that changed my attitude towards art for years to come. I was totally enthralled with the performance, but then something in the crowd caught my attention. A few girls, all students and artists, were openly weeping. They were so moved by this guy's incredible performance that they just cried at the beauty of it. And even through the tears they never stopped listening, never took their eyes off of him.

I swore then and there that some day, God knows when, I would make an image that would move people they way this song had. I would make something so pure that the viewer would forget the artistry behind it, the technique, the draughtsmanship, and just experience it on an emotional level. I would take this task very, very seriously. Because I was a serious artist.

I failed for years. So many years in fact that I forgot about the goal, forgot about adding pure soul to art, and focused more and more on the technique.

Then I sent some pages from The "game changer" book I'm pouring my heart into to a cartoonist friend I respect to get his input, and he typed back something stunning. He said the pages made him "tear up".

I was floored. This guy is not the crying type. He's been through some shit in his short life that would break the strongest amongst us. I mean, real pain and struggle. The kind that either crushes you, or hardens you into diamonds. This dude did the latter.

And I made him tear up with some comic book pages.

My mind went back to that night in that Opera hall and I'll be damned, I finally figured it out. My Opera singer friend didn't TRY to move people. He just stood up on a stage, forgot we were all there, and sung from the soul.

When that shit happens, you can FEEL it.

I think, God help me, I think that is happening here with this book. I'm holding my heart while I draw this thing, and hopefully you will not only read this book...you'll FEEL this book.

Thank you.



PatrickWedge said...

That is an interesting post you had there Mike. I will say that I don't think I've ever cried reading a comic book, but I have read a few issues/arcs where something just "hit". You get that feeling that what you just read was by far so touching, you get that feeling in your gut that it made the connection. Mine hit twice. Once was a story arc called Wake Up in Daredevil by Bendis and Mack. The second was when I read Hero Bear and Kid.

Awesome story that you're sharing.

Mike Hawthorne said...

Yeah, by no means am I expecting people to break down and cry when they read this book. I just hope they make a connection with it on a gut level. happened to me once with an issue of Lone Wolf and Cub.

Anyway, thanks! :)


Winston Smith said...

Last issue of Y: The Last Man KILLED me. It was more that I had an emotional investment in the characters than the power of the story, but the story was great. I still can't read it. Other than that the only thing coming close is Scott Morse's Visitations.

Opera has hit me that way. I remember talking to you about that before. I didn't even know what it meant...since it's in Italian and I no understand. It connects on a primal level. Deep shit.


Mike Hawthorne said...

Yeah, dude. Opera will sneak up on you. You dismiss it as high class bull shit, till you get sucked into one and then your whole head gets turned around. It's crazy, and amazing.


Samax said...

congratulations! i look forward to being blown away!

Mike Hawthorne said...

Thanks, bro :)