I don’t have too many regrets in my life, which is possibly a sign that I’m an awfully boring person and I need to live and screw up more.
One regret I just had tonight, as I took a volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series down off my shelf. I was flipping through it, and I thought about meeting this series one issue at a time. once a month, I would have bought a new Sandman issue, admired a Dave McKean cover, and read a story unlike the last story, and unlike anything else.
I sort of regret that by the time I came to Sandman, it was well over. Likewise, Stephen King. He’s still writing, and busy, and thoroughly alive, but still, there are more books written than to-be-written, I think is a fair thing to say. I love Stephen King. Imagine discovering him at, say, Salem’s Lot and following him through good-and-bad books?
There’s nothing more exciting than art-in-progress. Whether in serial form, or career form. I am excited by Joe Hill, because I discovered him when he had some short stories out and a single book, Heart-Shaped Box. Now I’ve got three volumes of his comics, and Horns, and waiting for more comics, another novel, and so on. In a way, I came to him at the beginning, and I’ll follow him up-and-down through the years.
I was thrilled when My Chemical Romance put out The Black Parade. It was a sharp, dark album, and it was different from their previous (and now, different from their follow-up). I try to explain to some people that My Chemical Romance, and their frontman Gerard Way, are the equivalent of Alice Cooper. They always scoff “they don’t look or sound anything like Alice Cooper!”
And of course not. They are the equivalent band NOW of what Alice Cooper was THEN. Perhaps not as shocking, but artistically and musically. I can see that if MCR dissolved, Gerard Way would roll on making albums. You can see him having the sort of career that leads to albums which are the modern equivalent of “Welcome to my Nightmare” or “Bullets & Lace” or “DaDa” or “Poison.” That’s exciting to me.
I’m sure you have examples of both artists you regret coming in at the end of (to have experienced Miyazaki in his beginning and watched in jaw-dropping awe as each new film came out!) and artists you’re excited to be following. To feel like you’re going “this is someone cool, and we’re just getting started.”
Like I said. It’s seriously exciting. It’s one of the things I love about being a READER.
Time to go write.
Love & water