Monday, August 15, 2011

What I've been wasting my time on (part 1)

At HeroesCon, I attended an unusual panel. It was unusual in that everyone involved with the panel agreed up front that the panel was an inherently foolish idea. The panel was on humor.

You can probably guess where this is going. Trying to analyze humor can produce some interesting ideas and rarely produces anything remotely funny. There's a quote about killing frogs that sums up the idea, one alternately attributed to E. B. White and Mark Twain and if you haven't heard it yet I'm sure a little considered Googling will turn it up. My point is no one wants to talk about comedy, which is fine. It had Evan Dorkin and Roger Langridge talking about comics which was enough to put my ass in the seat.

Mostly it was just entertaining. But there was one bit of practical advice tossed out there that I came away with very grateful for. Dorkin (speaking obviously from experience) spoke of how a freeform humor anthology was a great format, because you could pull out any random idea you had sitting around and use it. And if it worked, great, if it didn't, it was only a page or two.

That advice was spot on, especially for someone like me who often writes in the short form and has a lot of very bad ideas. I mean, terrible ideas. Look at that Meatloaf comic. Seriously. But now it's out of my head and I can move on. And that feeling is so, so freeing.

It's working for me so far. I'd recommend it to anyone who had an interest.