Thursday, October 13, 2005

Generation X

In the late 80's, before Doug Coupland became world-famous for writing the book "Generation X" and a series of subsequent novels, he was a staff writer at a startup publication here in Toronto called Vista Magazine. It never found an audience and died after a few years of struggle, but it served as a springboard for Doug to test his ideas out: he first wrote an article for the magazine about "Gen X", and then I was hired to join him in creating a series of short comics for the back of the magazine. In these comics he further explored and tested his ideas which soon after he was to include in his books. This is one of the first ones, a one-pager...we crammed a lot in because that's all the space we had.


Blogger bustedacres said...

that's cool. i read "generation X" long ago and liked it; i wonder how it holds up now, post-"reality bites" and so forth? it seems the national media so embraced it and its ideas as some sort of rosetta stone to understanding this new american culture that many of the ideas may now be passe (though still relevant and accurate).

i remember coupland's idea of the "mcjob", one which seems very applicable (even to my own job, that of an apartment manager). and certainly the addiction to trivia and the comfort that comes from referencing one's youth is true as ever, as bars seem increasingly devoted to trivia nights.

it's interesting how this trivia addiction feeds the internet addiction we all seem to have developed and how it also influences the development of the comic book industry, eh?

wow, i got a little heavy with that reply, didn't i?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Paul Rivoche said...

I guess we live in an increasingly trivial culture in many ways...

Internet addiction, very true. Immediately I thought of a story in read as a teenager, an old story by E.M. Forster called "The Machine Stops", which describes a society in which everyone retreats into coccoon-like electronic isolation...very scary and not unrelated to nowadays and our use of the internet, I thought.

So, ironically enough USING the internet, I searched Google on "the machine stops forster" and got a bunch of links including this one, turns out someone out there in the electronic hinterland had exactly the same thought:

Chilling indeed, I'll have to re-read it; that story and ones such as "The Country of the Blind" made a huge impression on me, years ago.

7:07 PM  
Blogger bustedacres said...

I'll track that down and read it; it sounds very interesting and totally apropos. You see this topic being addressed occasionally in some of Chris Ware's stuff, too.

I work alone at home and tend to rely on the Internet as a means of feeling "in touch" throughout the day, checking email and livejournal, etc. It's almost the equivalent of office gossip.

How do you handle the isolation that working alone creates? That's an issue that I don't see addressed often in interviews with artists--how to self-motivate and stick to a schedule, how to handle the solitude. . .

I'm particularly curious about the schedule issue, as I'm just now trying to bind myself to a schedule in the production of something I'm working on.

9:17 PM  

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