The Raftman’s Razor
I spent so many of my adolescent years reading and admiring comic books. I delighted in my weekly trips to the comic book store and I devoured the latest books with an unrivaled enthusiasm. I often wondered if anyone else cared about the art, the characters and the stories like I did. In fact, a well-drawn tale would sometimes take on such personal significance I could hardly believe that anyone could care as much as I did.
Maybe it was because I was a visual person and never much of a reader, or maybe it was because like most adolescents I was in search of meaning in a world that all too often felt like it had little, but I genuinely felt that I had uncovered something profound in these comic books and graphic novels which others dismissed.
It was interesting to revisit this part of my adolescence in the existentialist short The Raftman’s Razor (2005) created by Keith Bearden and Joel Haskard with illustration by Tim Lane. Somehow a very confusing part of my life was made a bit clearer.
Adrift in the sea of adolescence in search of meaning, it is often all too easy to project significance, meaning, and purpose on to anything: even to find meaning in meaninglessness. Some might argue that this is a fruitless exercise, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Is life a series of meaningless poses? Will I ever know anything? Every thinking person must resolve an existential crisis of sorts at some point in their lives and the truth is that nothing and nobody matters as much as we think it does. As the great existential thinker Kierkegaard once said, “the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.”
I still read comic books. I still find meaning in them and the point really is that I have used them as a tool to find meaning for myself both in my art and in my life.