The Crushing Weight of Expectations…

 I did indeed see Gravity this weekend, after hearing nothing but glowing praise for it. And while I did love the experience of watching it (despite what Gravity says in yesterday’s strip, it is the farthest thing from being “boring”), I had some minor complaints about some of the plot and dialogue. After talking about it with some other people, I had to come to the conclusion that it had  just been too hyped up to me before seeing the movie. That’s kind of the problem living in this day and age, that even if you try to go dark on something, it’s thrust in your face. Previews at movies; headlines on blogs; twitter; facebook. Hell, even my podcast list was full of almost nothing but Gravity talk. And it’s rare to experience something without expecting it to be something that it’s not.

Disappointment is a hell of a thing. In a larger, “life” sense of the word, disappointment can be crushing. It can break your heart. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis, trying to understand what it is I expect from life; and being faced with the reality of what life is at any current time. Especially for creative people like me and Chris, the expectation of what you want your art to be, and the reality of what others perceive and accept it as are often never align. When you make art your life, or at the very least your career, it’s tough to accept that it may not succeed like you thought it did. It’s tough to live with the idea that something you poured a lot of your time and energy into, something you believed in, didn’t amount to what you thought it deserved. And yet, it’s so easy for us to simultaneously judge the work of others because we simply thought it was something else. Or even worse, we thought it should have been something else. Because others may have misled us into thinking that, or maybe we fooled ourselves.

I was talking to my friend Brian (writer of the great comic Atomic Robo) about this kind of artistic self-immolation, and he said something I thought was pretty interesting. He was talking about how fandom is fickle, because well, everyone is fickle. He said that those who may not be engaged with your art, or are necessarily listening to the self-signal boost you’re pushing out there on a daily basis, they may have left it because they were in a bad mood one day when you said something off-color, or something struck them the wrong way. Maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe they were busy. And even though they may not be engaged at the moment, they’d be back. They’d come around when it mattered. That’s what fandom is nowadays. Nothing is sacrosanct, everything moves by at the speed of light, and one day you’re here, the next you’re somewhere else. Things move fast. And attention shifts in an instant. It was a weird way to think of fandom and retention, things that people like me and Chris, admittedly have to think about a lot.

Anyway, the point of all this is that Gravity was amazing. It’s as close to a can’t-miss movie that I’ve seen in a long time. And though I had some problems with it, though I might not have loved it to the degree that the majority of the world does, doesn’t really mean anything about what you should think. And the utter irony, is that me telling you any of this will inevitably mean something. What? That’s up to you, and sometimes, I think you just gotta go and figure it out for yourself.

Or you can just watch this gif:


  1. Chris

    Great article. Even better gif.


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