I had a dream just now from which I awoke.
It wasn't a scary dream, nor was it a sweet dream; it was a realistic dream about what very well might happen in the days or months to come.
On Monday, I sent out over a dozen review copies of Blink: So Far to various blogger-writer-types. Some of these writers I know (and they like/are familiar with my work) and some others I don't have a clue whether or not they'll be hip to what I'm doing with Blink.
The dream that caused me to wake from my slumber was this: a reviewer (whom I don't know) wrote that my art and storytelling were fine and that s/he liked that aspect of the book. But what the reviewer didn't enjoy and felt I "should change" in future editions was the lack of "drama" and "conflict" in my stories.
First of all, this non-existant (dreamed-up) reviewer obviously didn't read the book deeply enough. If s/he had read the book and saw beneath the surface of the words and pictures, they would see the pain and sorrow and conflict that I poured into my characters' thoughts and actions.
Second of all, I agree with the non-existant reviewer (as of yet)-- there are definitely stories in So Far which have no conflict in them (Space to Breath being a good example). But must every story conform to the three (or five) act structure with all the problems /complications /conflicts/ tensions/ climaxes/ resolutions/ etc? I'm well aware that there are plenty of avant-garde plays and films that stray away from that structure. But I doubt that anyone reading Blink would classify it as an avant-garde comic book.
Then it hit me.
I don't write comic book stories. I write comic book songs. (Or, at least, that's my dream.)
When I listen to a musician, I don't expect every song that they compose and perform to conform to a set of expectations in how it's played. Sometimes they make rocking, thunderous and exciting songs (Conflict! Drama!) and other times they create songs that are gentle and peaceful. Here are two examples from (once again) my favorite band, Yes:
...the quiet song...
...the rocking song...
If I could write songs or play an instrument or if I could sing then I'd probably be on stage living the dream of a rock & roll star. (Or at least trying to make a go at it.) But I can't. And I'm very grateful for what I can do. I've been creating comics since I was 10 years old and when I was 12 years old I didn't want to do anything else but create comics. And almost 30 years later, that's exactly what I'm doing.
I'm living my dream.