Comic Book Movies

I have consumed so much creative content lately, I need to produce some. For example, yesterday, I finished an audiobook while watching a movie (don't worry, the film was dialogue-less). Last evening I read three comic books while watching a movie based on comic books. While it may be argued that to truly appreciate each unit of art, I should spend more time devoted to each, my philosophy of speed-reading applies across the forms of media. Take what you need and move on.

A few months back, I met Jordan and decided I wanted to get to know him. All I knew about his was he is into comic books, so I said, "Jordan, introduce me to comics." Unlike any other medium I've seen, graphic novels manage to combine the strengths of many art forms. The written word meets visuals meets film-like frame-to-frame movement. I am fascinated by techniques used to tell the story and direct your eye.

"The medium is the message": different art forms allow you to tell different stories. Logically, Marvel comics were my gateway drugs, since I am familiar with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I continued on to other adaptations of familiar book/film/television stories and vice versa. Although I have found some graphic novel-only stories I enjoy, I still like to watch the same story become different stories across multiple media.

Some movies are said to have the "comic book feel". I'm still trying to put my finger on what exactly causes that. It's probably a combination of the visuals, the pacing, camera angles/styles, and character development. Notable examples include: Marvel and DC superhero films, Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldHellboy (I and II), and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Each is unique in its tone, yet very much a "comic book movie".

I'm excited to continue to explore different art forms, especially where they intersect with each other.


The Artist

Art is a lifestyle. Therefore, an Artist is more than simply a person who does the act of creating art. An Artist is a special type of person. I often think of "artsy" simply as a sort of person who draws or crafts, but the Artist is both scientific and artistic. The Artist knows their craft and medium (scientist) and uses it well (artist).

Personally, I know many Artists. One in particular is my friend Nathan. I highly respect Nathan's life and art. Despite financial and logistical boundaries, he continues to create great art. As he is continuing to hone his craft, he is picking more and more knowledge. He knows more about cameras and lenses then I'll ever know. I am always stunned by his attention to detail when I think it looks or sounds "good enough".

I have been blessed to be a part of his recent production, Flipped Justice: Until Vengeance, the second in a trilogy of short films. Let me tell you, behind the scenes Nathan has put in many hundreds of hours into creating details I didn't notice until he pointed them out. This has been a film over a year in the making.

More than his filmmaking, Nathan is a brilliant guy. The very way he interacts with people and cares shows how he is an Artist. Come to think of it, that is a great definition: the Artist is someone who cares. Nathan cares about people, cares about creating beautiful things, and cares about serving his God. That is why I am proud to call Nathan my friend.

Go ahead and enjoy his art. May it inspire you to become an Artist yourself.


Add that to my growing list of life experiences.

Looking back, I could have made different decisions. If I could have seen back then what is now, I might have. It's almost humorous how much I poured into it, now with no hope of any return.


I Have a Dream...

I tend to avoid both optimism and pessimism and instead strive for realism. Often, that realism can be interpreted as pessimism when the reality seems negative. And yet.

And yet, like C.S. Lewis' character Puddleglum, I must believe there is Hope.
“Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things--trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."
Even if the sun and Aslan are just figments of my imagination, I must believe they are real, or else, without that Hope, what is the purpose of life? I must believe that my life is continually going uphill: each month is better than the last, each year better than the past. I live in the Hope that life is getting better, that there is something better than this.

I am in a season of life where I have the excitement of exploring new experiences, being in love, and dreaming what I want to do. Life seems so wide open in front of me, like anything is possible. I feel like it is all up to me, who I want to be. And yet.

And yet I live in a world that is collapsing more and more the farther from the Fall we get. The older I get, the more I realise the Brokenness in the world, in my own life. I hear the voice of older, wiser people telling me:
"Soon, it won't be all new and exciting. Soon, you'll "settle in" to a humdrum life. Soon, you'll realise life happens to you instead of the other way around and you'll accept your fate. Just wait until the honeymoon wears off. Just wait until the reality of life sets in. Just wait until you get married and it's not at all what you expected. Just wait until you have kids and they're running around throwing up on the furniture. Just wait until you turn 30 and that decade seems harder than your 20s. Just wait until the car breaks down at just when the money isn't in the checking account. Just wait until you lose your job and nothing seems to work. Just wait until your wife, co-workers, and friends all seem to be fed up with you. Just wait until your Christian life goes from easy to hard to impossible. Then your dreams will be disillusioned. You'll be forced to choose to rest in God or rely on yourself."

I've faced enough of the Brokenness of life already to see that it all forces me to God, and that's all good. But should I therefore live my life until then expecting the worst to happen and setting my expectations so low I'm not disillusioned? I argue that even if life will "get real" someday, where I'm at today is exactly where I need to be. Even if I will feel more pain later, that must not hold me back from living and dreaming now. Even if I will soon face that reality of life, this reality of joy is no less real.

In fact, our generation must keep dreaming today, or else who will see the dreams? I may someday see how much of life happens outside of my control, but for now, I'll live in my own agency. I may never reach my dreams, but I will get a whole lot closer if I dream them than if I just let life take me. <insert cheesy quote:>
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.- Norman Vincent Peale