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Books–Making Comics (III) October 18, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Books, Cartooning, Other.

I’m going to respond to the comments of David B Dale in this post, rather than just leaving him in the comments thing to be unearthed by only the very curious.  Let me first say that you must have a great deal of discipline to write 299-word short stories every single day (I didn’t count, but that seems to be the idea).  Your blog is very interesting, a sort of one-man McSweeney‘s, and once my tribulations at work stabilize I plan on taking a closer look at some of the stories. 

In response to your thoughtful post, I’m not sure how much I have to say.  My own was hastily constructed (and riddled with typos, I notice upon actually reading it.  It occurs to me that McCloud elaborates later on in the same chapter (I think that was where) on adult facial expressions, which he claims are predominantly formed by efforts to mask the emotions they actually feel.  Mea culpa, I guess. 

I saw, back when my son was intensively focussed upon dinosaurs, the series Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, which ends with a close examination of the development of humans.  There is in that video a whole sequence on the evolutionary aspects of facial expressions that had me thinking at the time that most of our expressions evolved out of flight, fight, or knuckle-under reflexes.  Not a lot of call, from the perspective of evolutionary biology at least, for smiles and other types of “positive” expressions.  That’s a pretty anthropocentric view of this, I suppose.



1. davidbdale - October 18, 2006

Gosh, caveblogem, I’m honored to be the subject of your post. What you’ve added here is even more intriguing. A traffic cop snarled at me yesterday in a way that left no room for doubt in my mind about her feelings toward me. My reply was much more nuanced, out of self-preservation. So, in a tiny way, we re-enacted a primal scene and drew a truce that confimred the social order and let us go our separate ways unharmed. There wasn’t much joy in the exchange, but I think we both took secret satisfaction in the way we finessed the scene. I guess a smaller dinosaur, or my dog, would have rolled onto its back to signal what I said and how I said it. Even so, I was able to HOLLER my explanation by pretending to shout over the traffic noise: the adult way to mask my childish desire to throttle her.

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