Apologies to my avid readers. All three of you. I’ve spent the past week either showing my cousin around the city or editing writing excerpts for an important application. Well, my application is in and my cousin has left so, hopefully, I’m now free to get back into blogging routine.
As a reward for your patience, I’d like to introduce a new category to this blog: The Library.
Basically this category will contain references to books, movies and music which I have found either stimulate Creativity, or help us to learn more about the creative process.
Our first candidate for The Library is a little unexpected. I know I didn’t expect it to be the first.
It is: The Complete Far Side.
My brother and I bought a copy of these whopper volumes for my parents’ wedding anniversary, and all four of us have been addicted to them ever since. But then I’m always addicted to a Far Side book from the very first panel.
These volumes are even better than your everyday Far Side book, mainly because of the short essays by Gary Larson. He writes on a number of topics: his childhood, the quirks of a comedian’s life, the unwritten rules of bedtime monsters, and the strong influence of Tarzan comics on his work.
The introduction by Jake Morrissey (Larson’s editor) provides insights into working with an extremely creative person. He mentions how he was struck by Larson’s willingness to be guided by his creativity. Flicking through these volumes you can see what he means.
If you can get your hands on these books, it’s well worth it. Touring the works and mind of a comedic and creative master provides insights, inspiration, and that wonderful realisation that he’s just a normal guy who wasn’t afraid to listen to his creativity, even when the ideas were strangely ridiculous. Isn’t that why we love his work so much?
Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art.
January 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm
Would you believe – I just bought my son a Far Side collection for his birthday? And I’ve been wondering if one – who is not naturally a comic – can develop some small level of comedic chops? Hmmmm, might have to see if B&N has The Complete Far Side.
January 29, 2010 at 9:50 am
IMHO, I think at least some level of comedy skill can be picked up by ‘osmosis.’ By exposing yourself to good comedy, your brain learns the basic principles and timing. And if exposed to that kind of stimulus for long enough, it begins making comedic connections of its own. After that, I think it comes down to practice in an environment where it’s okay for a joke to flop.
By the way, if you do happen to get a copy of the Complete Far Side, read through the essay at the beginning of 1984. I’m not sure how old your son is. You might want to tape that one up before you give it to him. 🙂
June 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm
WHERE did you get this supremely droolworthy picture of a library??? I’ll be packing my things and moving in. So will my husband. He will not require any form of persuasion. My Creativities will live here happily . . . one will require picture books, and another will require regular excursions to the illustrious city’s (whichever city this is in, must be illustrious) nightlife, etc. etc. . . . but we will all live here happily (or at least we will if my third Creative can find a garage band to join).
June 19, 2010 at 9:04 am
The keywords on the image say Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
I’m sure they have garage bands in Ireland. 😉
June 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm
My husband informs me (with my complete agreement), that, in future, we will be spending a couple of centuries in Ireland.
June 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm
That should give you enough time to make full use of the library. 😉