"There is no judgment other than your community, the era you live, your conscience. When you're gone, you're gone. If you leave something behind to help others, then good, but if you're never able to get it together, then that's how it goes. It will all be forgotten or reinterpreted anyway. So be happy. The only limit to pleasure is in the amount of joy you can let yourself feel, that you can share with others. There is no perfection. Nothing has any inherent or permanent value. Every day, every life, every action, EVERY THING is its own reward." -- Paul Madonna
I just came across this exquisite passage in an iPad app, of all places. The app was created to promote Madonna's book, "Everything is its Own Reward", and I found it via The Chimerist, a new tumblr dedicated to all things literary and interactive. If you have an iPad, you should go download the app right now, because it is free and it is beautiful, and because it gave me a new appreciation for a medium I didn't think I particularly cared for -- graphic fiction.
It's funny, because I've been thinking for a long time about how it bothers me that I couldn't appreciate it. A lot of writers and artists I admire love comic strips and graphic novels, but they've always left me cold. I remember a big NYT magazine story ten or so years ago about Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine that got me really excited about their work, but I found it just didn't resonate in me that way I wanted it to. More recently, I've occasionally breezed through Madonna's work on The Rumpus, or The League of Ordinary Ladies on The Hairpin, and have had the same experience. (I was actually just discussing the latter with a friend, saying how I couldn't get into it, and it made me feel curmudgeonly and lame.)
Anyway, this app really grabbed me, and has me thinking about the possibilities for experiencing other graphic fiction that I've missed. I think it was due to the pacing, the way the illustrations are spaced out and the text comes in at a time the artist can control, as opposed to when your eye rushes into it. That makes a huge difference to me, because I'm such a fast reader. (Not an especially good thing, in my opinion - I miss a lot of beauty that way.) So if there are any graphic novelists reading this, get to work animating your old stuff for iPad! I'll buy your apps.
Oh and yeah, what a lovely sentiment he expressed up there. I'm on board 100%.