“You’re not special.”

– another way of saying, “You’re not alone.”

Over the years, I’ve grown increasingly of the opinion that originality is overrated. For one, in a world of over 7 billion people (and multitudes of billions more throughout history), nobody’s ever actually had a wholly original thought in the first place. For two, if the goal of art is to leave an impact on some segment of humanity, then some level of familiarity will be needed in order to even register in their minds. More often than not, that “familiarity” will take the form of cliches, overdone tropes, and redundant rhetoric. Mainstream audiences love that shit (what a bunch of simpletons, am I right? [just kidding, please don’t leave]).

Granted, some artists might not even care to leave an impact on any number of people – their art exists simply for self-expression and nothing more. I have no issue with them, I just so happen to be one of those egotistical artists who do seek to have a large number of people positively influenced by his work – even to the point of providing him with some monetary compensation, perhaps?

So I’ve often found myself concerned with the sort of material I cover in my comics – “Is this idea too weird? Am I the only one who thinks this way?” or the opposite: “Hasn’t everybody already done this idea? Am I just rehashing a tired old joke?” To which I need to reassert to myself the philosophy expressed in today’s comic. “You’re not that special. Of course there will be people who can relate.” or “Yeah, lots of people probably had this same idea before. That’s why it’ll resonate with them.”

– James