July 31, 2019 · 5:06 pm
I didn’t write about the last couple issues, not because they weren’t great (they were!), but because they didn’t include any quotes that I thought were worth looking at more closely. But this one certainly did.
Early in this issue, Shadow is entering the realm of the dead, after being sacrificed on the World Tree. He meets a cat woman, who seems to be some sort of spirit guide in the underworld. When Shadow inquires about her nature, her response is very intriguing.
Shadow: What are you? Who are you people?
Cat-woman: Think of us as symbols — we’re the dream humanity creates to make sense of the shadows on the cave wall.
This immediately made me think of Plato’s allegory of the cave from The Republic. Everything we perceive in this reality is but a shadow of a form that exists in another plane of existence. And we cannot comprehend the forms in their true essence, so we must approach them through the use of symbolism, which allows our subconscious mind fleeting glimpses of understanding, impressions of what thrives beyond our limited scope of awareness.
I know this is heavy stuff, and Gaiman’s work is very complex. But that said, he is a master storyteller, so he presents heady material within the structure of fun and imaginative tales.
That’s all I have to share for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as afterlife, allegory, American, analysis, art, artwork, awareness, blog, books, cave, comics, criticism, death, fantasy, forms, geek, gods, graphic novel, imagination, myth, mythology, Neil Gaiman, nerd, Plato, pop culture, reading, republic, review, shadow, subconscious, symbol, symbolism, tree, world, writing
August 9, 2016 · 2:18 pm
This issue concludes the “Last Days of Magic” arc, and just like the previous installments, the artwork, story, and symbolism is supreme.
I want to focus this post on pain and how the way we choose to deal with pain affects our physical and mental health. Within this tale, it comes to light that Doctor Strange has been hiding away his suffering, the result is the creation of a monster which is the physical manifestation of his repressed pain. I found this to be an accurate representation of what happens when an individual locks away personal anguish and trauma. That pain grows and festers within the individual until it becomes an internal monster, gnawing away at a person’s physical and mental well-being. For this reason, it is important to share your pain, because pain shared is pain lessened.
And this is what finally happens to Doctor Strange. People who the Doctor helped in the past now make themselves open to sharing and taking on a part of the Doctor’s suffering. When this happens, the monster which Strange created by hiding away his pain begins to weaken and lose its power.
Monster: I can feel them… sharing your suffering. All over the world. All of their own accord. How… how do you inspire such devotion?
When I was growing up, it was common for people to hide their feelings. To show emotion was to show weakness. Thankfully, more and more people these days recognize the importance of sharing your pain with others. It is very therapeutic and leads one to live a more happy and serene life.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artistic expression, artwork, books, comics, Doctor Strange, fantasy, geek, graphic novel, Marvel, mental health, nerd, pain, pop culture, reading, review, sorcerer supreme, symbol, symbolism, therapy, trauma, world, writing
July 2, 2016 · 1:16 pm
For me, magic has always been connected with the subconscious, imagination, creativity, inspiration, and a youthful wonder of the world around us. Magic is the means by which we open our minds to the part of our psyche that is the source of all artistic and spiritual expression. So what happens when magic dies? We discover that in the first page of this installment in the graphic series.
Jiao’s dreams kept her going, even when she wanted to die. She could go anywhere in her dreams, and she’d wake knowing with all her heart that her trips had been real. But Jiao hasn’t dreamed at all for over a week now, and she’s starting to wonder if a life without dreams is really worth living.
At night in the orphanage, little Konstantin loved talking to the thing under his bed. But the thing hasn’t spoken for days, and now there’s a weird smell coming from underneath the mattress. Konstantin is afraid to look into the darkness down there, because he knows what he’ll find.
Mamen is 119 years old, and after 99 years of marriage, her husband is dying. The grapes that grow in their secret arbor had always made them feel young again, but a week ago those vines began to rot. And now, so has Mamen’s husband. She doesn’t know why she’s come here. None of them do. Even though they’ve come from far and wide. They only know that something important has been lost from the world. And that they’re willing to do whatever they can to bring it back.
Right now, we are living in what feels like a very turbulent time. Strong forces are in opposition. There is tension between people who are ready to advance our collective society and people who seek to roll back the advances we have made, and both sides are understandably fearful. Change is scary, but change is inevitable. I just hope that the change we see in the very near future is one that embraces the magic of our true spiritual nature. For if we succumb to the negative forces, we will be thrust into a world void of creativity and spirituality, and that is a world I would rather not want to live in.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artistic expression, artwork, books, change, comics, creativity, Doctor Strange, dreams, fantasy, geek, graphic novel, history, ideas, imagination, inspiration, magic, Marvel, nerd, pop culture, power, reading, review, social change, society, sorcerer supreme, spirituality, subconscious, world, writing, youth
May 30, 2016 · 8:37 am
This issue is the third installment of the “Last Days of Magic” arc. While the story and the artwork are both great, it was this one panel, this one quote, that really connected with me.
“One book can change the world.” This is so true. In fact, one idea, one thought, or one action can change the world. This is why I read and promote reading to others. Major changes in history have resulted from a spark of inspiration, often from a book, poem, or other work of art. This is why the humanities are so important and should be supported by our educational system.
I really have nothing else to say; this quote sums it all up succinctly. Now, go read something and get inspired to change the world.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as art, artistic expression, artwork, books, change, comics, creativity, Doctor Strange, fantasy, geek, graphic novel, history, ideas, Marvel, nerd, pop culture, power, reading, review, sorcerer supreme, world, writing
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