Friday, May 16, 2014

The Point

     L’lorne put her fork and knife down and straightened up, looking Deborah right in the eye. “Alright, you want to know how powerful I really am, I'll tell you. Take every hero and villain you know of, from reality and fiction. Every warrior and wizard, man and monster, angel and demon, devil and god. Take all their power, talent and knowledge and pour it into a single person and give that person the ability to use all of it. You got that in your mind?” Deborah nodded slightly. “If I fought that person, I would kick that persons ass without breaking a sweat.” L’lorne leaned back, rather pleased with herself. “The truth is my dear, you and everything else in this universe are less than ants compared to me. In reality, I don't have any reason to acknowledge you as anything more than that. I could tear this planet apart as easily as you comb your hair, and more. So killing 30 or 40 people in a few days is nothing to me.”

Why do people start any creative work?  Comics, paintings, poetry, prose, sculpture, performance art, any of it.  What is the point?  Many people spend years trying figure out the point of a piece, using a lot of words and things like "man's inhumanity to man" to try to grasp them.

I don't do that with webcomics.  The reason is I don't know all those fancy words and frankly just enjoy them for what they are.  Still, every once in a while I do wonder at the point of every comic, what is the artist trying to do with their work?  I bet most of them don't even know, or perhaps never knew.  After all, was there any real deeper meaning to the creation of Sluggy Freelance beyond "I want to make a comic on the internet?"  Maybe there was, maybe there wasn't.

At the very least the point of Sluggy now is likely not the same as it was back then.  The point of a piece can change as the creator moves forward.  Gunnerkrigg Court, I'm fairly certain, started as a different take on Harry Potter, but I doubt it's just that any more.  Sunstone (NSFW) actually started as a bunch of bondage pinups, and is now a romance story (featuring bondage).

Changing the point of the piece is what happens as it ages and as the creator grows.  Sometimes it changes so much that the comic is neigh unrecognizable.  The World Explodes (sadly dead and gone) did that, where the original comic was basically a less sophisticated version of Cyanide and Happiness (yes, it's possible) and it grew into something far better than it had any right to be.

The thing is, most creators will not tell you the point, often because they can't put into words.  That's where all the "man's inhumanity to man" BS comes from, as the creator attempts to describe why they made the thing they did.  Still there are a few who do know, then sit back and let the observers/readers/whatever do the work.

I'm not that mean.  That quote at the top of the page is from Dreams of Stars, the story I've been posting every Wednesday for a while now.  That quote was the original point of the story.  The whole reason this story exists at all is this quote.

The point was to establish a baseline for the concept of extreme levels of power, and build stories and characters that explore it.  Is that still the point of the story?  Kind of, but there is a bigger reason which I won't get into until the story is over.  Of course, in trying to create stories and characters based on this idea, this point, I've run into some serious issues, many of which are expressed in this story.

Dreams of Stars is basically in it's last act now, and next week the climax begins in earnest.  Meanwhile, I'll have something for the Friday update, I hope.  Until then kiddies.

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