Are you ready for a challenge?
I’ve often spoken about how much I enjoy working with Garth. From how our collaboration has creatively rejuvenated us to how he often surprises me with his visions of the script (the latest example being his interpretation of the natives of Gelvires). But another aspect of my enjoyment of working with Garth is that he’s so challenging. I don’t mean that he’s difficult to work with. I mean that he challenges me in ways I did not expect.
You may be surprised to learn that Garth and I are on opposite ends of various opinions, ranging from politics to religion. We agree on many core values like fair treatment, equality and justice for everyone, love and compassion, but the differences are in the details. I won’t get into it here on the internet because I abhor discussing such things online, but rest assured that Garth and I have had our fair share of disagreements outside the realm of Star Power. The difference is that we are still dear friends and excellent co-workers because we keep our discussions civil and, most importantly, face-to-face.
And I enjoy being challenged on my perspectives. I enjoy having to defend my beliefs when they are called into question (out of curiosity, not malice). It’s easy to preach to the choir, but it’s satisfying to help another person understand your point of view. And that’s one of the things that keeps our discussions civil; we’re not out to change the other’s mind, we’re out to help each other understand where we’re coming from. Understanding why someone believes what they do is an important step to building a bridge and reaching a compromise. We exercise this when we reach a disagreement in the comic (which is rare), and do so when we’re talking with one another at a convention table for three straight days, twelve hours at a time.
Don’t listen to everything the news reports, especially during this exhausting election season: people with opposing beliefs can be very good friends, excellent collaborators, and can have discussions that are not dirt-slinging insult-fests where one seeks to “absolutely destroy” the other with a sound byte. Garth and I, and our work, are living proof of that.