Monday, October 03, 2005

Is that a fairie your writing about?

In an interview with Wired News, renowned artist Dave McKean (of I draw every Neil Gamon comic fame) had an interesting comment on genre storytelling.

"Films about fairies and hobbits mean absolutely nothing to me. I'll never meet a hobbit. It will never be an issue in my life. But a film about someone who needs to believe in fairies can be fascinating. What drives that person, what's the problem, what's happened in their brain to make them believe? That stuff is fascinating and wonderful. But a film about fairies couldn't be more uninteresting to me." (Complete interview)

As someone who spends a good amount of time consuming genre stories about fairies I was initially a bit taken-a-back by this comment. But really, the best thing about good genre stories are that they can deal with important real-world issues in unique ways because they escape the baggage of our experiences and pre-impressions of those same issues.

So, if the story really is just about Fairies I would be inclined to agree with Mr. McKean. Thankfully there are a lot of good genre stories out there that really aren't about the fairies.


Wow! I thought I was miserable in my job...this loser gets paid a boatload to sit around and draw all day and he can do nothing but complain! It is hard to see with such talents his only other career alternative would likely include the phrase, "Do you want fries with that?"

Comment by Armchair quarterback (12/15/2006 15:54)


My cat's breath smells like cat food.

Comment by steve (12/15/2006 15:54)


Maybe he'd be interested in a film called "Pouring Molten Lead Down Dave McKean's Throat."

Comment by cosmo (12/15/2006 15:54)


Perhaps the context would illuminate a bit more. WN is Wired News of course.

If you read the article he does more "we live in exciting times" then complaining. He does respond to a question about crappy fantasy movies.

WN: When you set out to make a fantasy film, I'd guess you must have talked about what you didn't want to do. Like make a crappy fantasy film.

McKean: There is a lot of bad stuff out there. That's true for most genres -- horror or sci-fi films or fantasy films. They have a kind of built-in audience, people who will always go to a horror movie no matter what it is. So there is a lazy attitude to writing and a lot of clichés.

What I wanted from MirrorMask is to connect the fantasy to real human life.

It sounds to me like McKean is saying the same thing as Doug, Fairies aren't inherently interesting, it is only as they connect to real human life that they become facinating.

Comment by Todd Kusterer (12/15/2006 15:54)

Add comment



Your name

Your email address (if any)

Your personal page (if any)