A feature on Desert Island's owner Gabe Fowler resonated deeply this morning. We are both long time comic and zine buyers. We are collectors/hoarders of physical shiny things. I only download music if its free or comes with a vinyl record I've bought. I want the physicality of liner notes and the ritual of choosing and opening a case/sleeve.
The article writer, Matthew James-Wilson makes an astute observation that I know to be true about my experience of browsing and buying from comic book shops:
"I believe what the store truly specialises in is exposing people to the work that is waiting to leave an impact on them and giving them the confidence and platform to continue making art themselves" - Matthew James-Wilson
As makers ourselves and enablers of others creativity we rely upon the physical exploration of materials and how creating connects to our own personal experience and identity. Just as a book can leave a mark, jewellery can act as armour and an expression of who you are.
My favourite comic is a ltd, hand bound, sketch cover version of Jeffrey Brown's 'A.I.E.O.U' - he's a pretty big deal now after transitioning from writing and drawing about relationship anecdotes for indie publishers to observations on parenthood in the Star Wars universe stocked in your local supermarket. There is a reverence to handling and opening this precious book and the honesty and sincerity of those relationship moments that are universal hits home in their rawness. Just thinking about the first time I opened that book, upon its arrival gives me slight goosebumps and a sense of awe at that little book.
The article inevitably explores the impact the internet has on the demand for print media. I don't buy digital comics, even though I know I don't live in a house big enough for all of my stuff. Do we lose something if we only gorge on culture and art through a screen? How does the filter and distance that provide impact upon our experience with those images and words?
"I guess if I have a fear as someone who's basically getting older it's that a younger generation will be totally fine with coldness of the internet, and to me its all alienating about culture. I don't want culture to be cold. I want culture to be warm. I want it to be about human interaction." - Gabe Fowler
The tactile nature of opening a book, breaking a spine, handling your jewellery and putting it around your neck. Your decision to invest in these things and undertake the ritual of these acts creates a connection that each creative maker hopes for. Makers create firstly for themselves and then hope it can only find meaning and an aesthetic interest to strangers across the world.
Seeing you wear our jewellery and your feedback makes me feel a little less alone, a lot more purposeful, and a little bit like a sea of change could happen on that morning commute to make it a little less frustrating and a bit kinder.