Monday, June 24, 2019

024 - #blogjune - Now your see me... now you don't

"Have a vision. It is the ability to see the invisible.
If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible."
- Shiv Khera

Song of the day:
"I'm in your room
And I'm in your bed
And I'm in your life
And I'm in your head"

Queen - The Invisible Man

When people find out you are a cartoonist, or they just know you own a lot of comic books, they often ask: "Oh, what super-power would YOU like to have". Even though, in all honesty, I don't have a lot of superhero comics, nor do I draw any characters with extraordinary powers myself. I do indulge them and answer with: The power of invisibility.
I recently read a 2016 UK survey online, that clearly shows I am not alone in wanting this particular power. What would yours be?

Top 10 most-wanted superpowers:
  1. Invisibility (15.15%)
  2. Healing (14.5%)
  3. Time travel (13.8%)
  4. Flying (11.9%)
  5. Immortality (8.55%)
  6. Teleportation (6.55%)
  7. Communicating with animals (6.2%)
  8. Mind control (5.15%)
  9. Telepathy (2.45%)
  10. Superhuman strength (2%)

As a kid I did always dreamed of being invisible. The possibility to get away with things and nobody knowing what has happened. Hmm... That sounds a bit like government cover-up. But, yeah... just the simple pleasure of being able to walk into a cinema and watch a movie for free. Something that apparently was important to me at an early age. Later on as a teenager, the power would be more desired due to the opportunity of listening in to conversations. Not so much to find out any secrets, but more to find out what people really said about me when I wasn't around. Sometimes as a teenager it would be nice to just be unseen in the wacky world around me.

Invisibility as a power goes back as far as to the ancient Greeks. Good old Plato mentioned the "ring of Gyges" in one of his books. A ring that gave the wearer the power to become invisible. This story then became a big influence for H.G. Wells inspiring him to create his well-known novel "The Invisible Man". It has even been speculated to have given Tolkien the idea for "his ring" with similar powers. We all know about that one. Invisibility in TV shows and movies has often been a difficult thing to show (or rather, not to show). The main character will conveniently  be wrapped in bandages and wearing sunglasses. So the audience isn't just watching a background. Chevy Chase did his weird version of the character back in 1992; in "Memoirs of an Invisible Man"
(directed by John Carpenter!). I need to re-watch that one of these days, even just to see Sam Neill as the crazy CIA agent. Another classic version was Hollow Man (2000), by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. It had Kevin "Footloose" Bacon, as the titular transparent character. This version was more of a horror movie, but has remained just as unseen to a larger audience. Other forms of invisibility in movies were, the cloak in Harry Potter, the crazy Aston Martin Vanquish from "Die Another Day (2002)" and The Invisible Woman from "Fantastic Four (2005)".

Which brings us to comics...
In comics you just draw the characters as if they are completely transparent (ghost-like) or dotted lines are used to outline the character. The reader CAN clearly see them, but we are reminded by these methods that the comic world around them can't. The invisible WOMAN (it used to be GIRL) is probably the most well known. But even "The Martian Manhunter" and "Doctor Strange" have been known to make themselves "unseen".  I guess, when Antman makes himself really small, he is also kinda invisible to the naked eye. We can't forget the invisible plane that Wonder Woman traveled around in for a while. I always wondered how she knew where she actually parked it. 
Sometimes even I have trouble finding my car in a supermarket car park and I have a personalised plate.

In traffic I DO often wonder if our car is in fact invisible, the amount of times people just rushed out of side streets right in front of us... Hmm, maybe my childhood wish of invisibility did come true and it manifests itself mainly when in traffic AND on social media. It does feel at times that my posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. remain invisible to the world. Or may just the comment section is. My shortest blog actually had the most views... 64 and counting. Maybe I should keep these blogs smaller from now on. Maybe it has become transparent that people are telling me to stop the waffle-sessions. I did get some positive responses to my snow comic strip. So I will end with another one of my realistically drawn version that shows the Invisible man and the Invisible woman, fighting on Hyams Beach in New South Wales.

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