Agreeing to disagree.
One of the many reasons I like doing conventions is that I get to hang out with Garth in person. We live in different states, so we do most of our communication over texts, emails, video calls, and so on. But on convention weekends we get to see one another and chat face-to-face. I always look forward to my Garth time for two reasons: we get along really well and we always find something to disagree on.
I’ve spoken before about how Garth and I hold differing opinions on many subjects from art to entertainment to politics, and how our disagreements never lead to bickering. Our disagreements always force me to defend and reinforce my convictions, or spend time rethinking a position I once thought I passionately held. It’s a challenge in the best sense of the word; not a burden to deal with, but an exercise to make you stronger.
This past weekend, our most recent disagreement came over THE INCAL by Jodorowsky and Moebius. I brought the graphic novel for him to read, thinking he would be floored by Moebius’s incredible artwork and at least amused by Jodorowsky’s unconventional storytelling. It did not affect him in the same way that it spoke to me. To his credit, he read the whole thing despite more than one moment of looking at me and saying, “What the hell am I reading?” In the end, where I saw visionary storytelling and a fiercely unique graphic novel, he saw “nonsense and bullshit.”
It was fair. In my praise of THE INCAL I had imagined that not everyone was going to get Jodorowsky, and for Garth there was nothing to “get” at all. He had no issue with Moebius’s skill as an artist and was genuinely impressed by the level of detail in each and every panel, but his was not a style that spoke to him. But since this was a graphic novel that clearly affected me in a profound way, we spent some time discussing our differences in opinion. Neither of us changed the other’s mind about the work, but we learned something about one another in how we view that kind of storytelling.
I always look forward to our discussions and debates in person. The next time I see Garth will be March. With luck I’ll find another borderline-insane graphic novel to devour and force him to read.