photo via imdb
Last night was our school reunion. It had been 20 years since I left at 13 and being in those halls again was a pretty strange feeling. I joined the school at eight, and swam in the stream of a thousand faces that would flood the corridors on the instigation of a regular hourly bell. It took only 60 seconds for my eyes to adjust to the lighting, (by that I mean hairstyles) and I can predictably report that no one has changed at all. In all of 98% of cases that is a good thing. The usual banter made it seem like we were all still in class with the teacher gone out of the room. That was the strangest part really, seeing the teachers for the kind and generous people they are rather than just the bringer of algebra and discipline. If they had all just gone for city jobs and the cash, we wouldn't be the people we are today.
That school set me up academically for life, I put my going as far as I did squarely at their door and I have kept in touch with that group of friends through the years. It's all strangely reassuring. We were gently informed with some pride that Henry's is now ranked as the second best school in the country (no not county) and this does and doesn't surprise me. It was an extremely competitive and high achieving year group I was in as well, perhaps that is why I had to repeat myself a few times before the nature of my career change was understood as "not-stand up" but the people who know me were genuinely pleased. I was naturally outnumbered by doctors, lawyers and financiers but there were one or two actors and web design consultants too.
I am proud that I went to Henry's it was and is a beautiful place, and a unique learning environment that means no aspiration was left beyond our grasp. The school's ancient corridors made the corridors of power that little bit less intimidating, so when I was regularly in the Foreign Office in Whitehall with my old job, I thought - yeah this just feels like school. I have to say though for all its history it is doing an impressive job of staying in touch with the future, just check THIS out for radical awesomeness.
Well I don't know how often you come here but if it's often and for a while, you might remember last summer I said I was working on a project that I would share soon...
'Soon' became 12 months so I have gone back in the last week to finish working on it (mainly to practice lettering) and as I couldn't post it before, here it is: ALONE.
The idea was given to me (along with a few other scripts and ideas) in the form of a short story by GM Jordan. I've taken his dialogue and used that, pretty much verbatim, to go with the panels. This was the first comic I drew where the story was written by someone else. It was a process of understanding the story's nuances and the writers intent and then visualising it to make it something that would work as a comic. I was interested in learning to break it down into key moments in order to convey the action. It was probably a hard one to start with but I liked the challenge and it also has some interesting social comment.
Take a look and see what you think.
Everett's many worlds theory considers that at a quantum level and consequently at every turn, given we constitute quantum sized bundles of stuff that constantly fluctuates, the splitting of pathways between this outcome or that, does not mean one doesn't happen whilst the other does, it considers that both or all happen but in different worlds, forever separated by a turn in the road. I always think, where are all these worlds, how are they arranged? Are they like skins in an onion? How amazing would it be to see them all happening at once like looking into an ants' nest except every ant is a different pathway any one ant could have taken in one instant.
So when you think 'what will happen in five years?', you can safely say 'a lot' will happen in five years. And if you think that in a period of seven years your entire cellular structure over that period has renewed itself or been replaced, if that is more your tone, that actually you are not the same person you were seven years ago in any sense, then you might worry less about who you were then or what you might become and therefore what is happening just now.
Imagine if you could see an army of you's wading through time in a line that spreads across all possibilities at every passing instant in the virtual zoopraxiscope of you's separating constantly into strangers from one another a sort of stop motion clone wars parody. It's a crowed vision. I am only thinking in terms of individuals but it would be going on everywhere all the time with everything. What a mess. Whether I got that guy's nose right in my latest drawing seems rather less important suddenly.
But I digress.
Five years ago, almost to the day I took this photo. I take a lot of photos of strangers. But when you are out there what difference does it make whether you think you know someone or not. This woman and her five year old son - I am guessing, seemed pretty dudey to me.
I often think how strange it is that we're all living now but living such separate lives, worlds apart from other cultures tied by the flow of money, resources and the weather and yet in fact we all have the same needs. Everyone worries about the same things at different points, feels the same reactions to the same stimuli but still we can't predict each other's thoughts or actions. Care about the next man.
Any of the paths at any point lead to a different you, a different world.
I am not convinced Mr Everett. A lot of what this suggests is chaos, causality is weak, choices become meaningless.
I wonder if its based on a very narrow, linear interpretation of time, the neat progression of one thing to the next, eliminating the opposite charge, the reverse spin, the occurrence or disappearance of one packet of information orr another, on a myriad paths; What about nature and the tightly logical and organised patterns we see everywhere around us, day after day it all works, keeps working with or without our acknowledgement, acceptance or awareness. Where are the parameters that keep it all so regular and beautiful in this world he imagines? Why aren't there four armed monsters driving buses with pigeon eyes and toadstools for feet?