Thursday, May 29, 2008

Superman is as American as…

There's a cliché in the [comics] industry that American comic book writers watch film and read comics, whereas Scottish, British, [and] European writers read books.

From an article on DC Comics (titles such as Superman) being written and drawn by just a couple Scots under as many as 14 different pseudonyms. 

Reportedly, part of the appeal of Scottish writers and artists for the US industry is their "quirkiness and a weird sense of humor". 

This leads one to ponder the relationship between what one knows (and derives inspiration) and their eventual output when it is time to create "from new" and what it means to be "creative". 

It is also pointed out that most of the Scottish writers had worked outside comics - from garage mechanics to bus conductors to ferry stewards. 

Interestingly, "irrelevant" backgrounds are stereotypically shunned in conventional thinking when searching for work candidates who are most suitable and highly trained. Reminds me of when a great design speaker mentioned architects can become some of the best interaction/user experience designers.

By the way, are these guys and Steve Jobs right? He claims 40% of Americans read one book or less last year. I wonder what kind of book that "≤1 book" is likely to be? Do Americans really not read anymore?

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