The super-duper Dan Berry asked me what getting an idea feels like & I spent a long time thinking about it.
NINE THINGS GETTING AN IDEA FEELS LIKE (to me)
1) Groping around in a dark room and feeling something that’s a weird shape and just touching it everywhere and trying to figure out what it is. Then you try to draw a picture of the shape, whatever it is, in the dark. It comes out all wrong, but you kind of like it anyway.
2) Being in a really messy room filled with piles of broken shit and then finding a small but powerful magic electromagnet and turning it on. All the broken shit sort of hovers up into the air & the pieces sort of go whoom-whoom-whoom & stick to the elecromagnet until they make an object & the room is clean (I think I’ve seen an anime where this happens).
3) You are in a dark cave. There’s a deep hole that opens out into a dark underground sea filled with stuff. You are fishing creatures and things up through the hole with a really thin piece of string. Sometimes you get pretty scared you’re going to fall into the hole
4) Your mind is a stinky room filled with hundreds of feral cats and cat shit. Sometimes you open a window in your mind & it’s light & clean & there are interesting things & people outside the window. Why don’t you always keep the windows open? Who let all these cats in? Why don’t you get out of there once in a while?
5) There is low-level screaming in your mind at all times. Sometimes the screaming gets so loud inside your mind that you start screaming in real life also. You could go to a therapist, or you could draw a comic about it. Therapists are very expensive.
6) There are irritating flies in your mind that are always biting you. You shoo them away & try to kill them. They just fly around and lay eggs and die and eat the shit in your mind like flies do. But then every so often you look closely at one of the flies. It’s actually a beautiful fairy princess with diamond-rainbow wings! She wants you to draw her picture! Wow!
7) You are sick and need to vomit & so you do & then you feel better. Then you let people look at the vomit. They like it! They think you’re so cool because of your vomit! They want to make out with you!
8) You’re just hanging out in your mind & then you find something in there very small, very tiny, but when you look at it closely it’s the shield of Achilles in that scene in The Iliad with the earth & sun & sky & cities & weddings & fields being plowed & wars being fought & grape pickers & a bull being attacked by lions & sheep & men & women dancing & the ocean.
9) There is a funny story you tell at parties & then one day you realize that if you just tweak a couple things and change everyones’ name it would make a decent comic. Bang! Done.