August 9 - I have them all the time...
Grand Ideas That Will Never Happen
1) Twelve Mundts In A Year - Thanks to the deadly combination of Google and my ego, I have learned that there are several creative, artistic Mundts out there. Phil Mundt the Raku potter, Todd Mundt the NPR personality, John Mundt the poet, Martin Mundt the modern horror writer, etc., etc.. And me, I suppose. Wouldn't it be interesting to see, perhaps in a big coffee-table book, what kind of work twelve different artists with the same last name produced in a calendar year? Yes, that would be neat...but it will never happen.
2) Mamet, Stage Left - Man, I really thought that this was going to happen. The brilliant playwright, David Mamet, once wrote a short radio drama called Prairie du Chien, which, of course, is the name of the city in which I live! Shouldn't a play called Prairie du Chien, written by one of the greatest writers of our times, be performed at least once in Prairie du Chien? And it's such a fantastic, unconventional play, full of genuine drama, creepiness, and surprise. So, I began making plans to produce it...but, mostly because of what I will call the play's "mature content," it will never happen. And that really sucks.
3) W.O.O.M.P. - Hey, if the Wizard of Oz characters are in public domain, why can't I cross them over with the World of Monkey? Even an eight-pager would be fun. Monkey befriends Dorothy. Scarecrow matches wits with Stretch. Dan rides the Cowardly Lion. I can already see an early comment about not all flying monkeys being bad. It'll never happen.
4) In An Infinite Series - I talk about this all the time. Many, many times I have begun, with all earnest intention, to produce a series of works based on some crazy idea or another. Most recently, it's been my Re-Covered Memories Series (an intended series of five or six illustrations to replace the missing front covers of my most beloved childhood comics...for which I produced just one piece) and the Denizens of Lost Worlds Series (a series, of undetermined number, that would pay homage to characters that have been "erased" from current continuities...for which I produced two pieces). But I never finish them. There doesn't ever seem to be a need, so it never happens.
5) Are you there Mr. Eisner? It's me, John - Even when I am actually face to face with one of my artistic heroes, I can't bring myself to talk to them, even though I'm dying to do so. I feel like I should at least write to them to say "thanks" or something, but I just chicken out. Several years ago, I was wandering Artists' Alley at WizardWorld Chicago, when I came across a young guy (maybe early twenties) who was discussing his self-published comic with a couple of potential buyers. It was an interesting book, which seemed to be about a group of restless teens and demonic possession. Not "A" material, I suppose, but solidly in the "not crap" category. One of the people shuffling through the comic's pages suddenly yelped "Holy crud! How did you get a cover quote from Will Eisner?!" Shocked, I must admit that I looked the artist up and down, trying to see any Eisner family resemblance. Nope. It turns out that all he did was write a letter to Mr. Eisner that included preview copies of the restless teens comic. In return, Mr. Eisner sent him a glowing, supportive reply. In a fit that was equal parts jealousy and curiosity, I bought the comic. Later, as I examined it over and over and over again, like a safecracker trying to decode its secret combination, I came to the completely startling, surely egotistical, and yet undeniably true conclusion that my T.A.O.M. comics were actually better! Had I ever gotten up the nerve that this young guy had, I would have been the one with the encouraging, and marketable, words from a comics god. But I wasn't. Will Eisner has passed, as has my chance for any such support, from anyone, to have made any difference. As for trying that again today? Never happen.
6) WisCon - Why am I just standing on the sidelines, complaining about the dearth of Wisconsin comics conventions in spite of the high number of comic book creators who live here? Why don't I try to do something about it? I'll tell you why...because that will never happen.
7) The Great American (Graphic) Novel - Why even describe it? It will never happen.
8) ...And The Rest - Of course, we all have such grand ideas, don't we? Maybe it's a globe-trotting vacation, or taking some night classes, or utilizing spare time to volunteer for a charity. Whatever the plans, sometimes they just won't ever happen. Then again, who knows? I've already accomplished lots of stuff that I thought would never happen. I'm sure that something from that list above is still in the realm of possibility...someday. My money's on the graphic novel. Well, here's your latest Mystery Theme Comic Book Character of The Day - Nightwing!