By Beau Smith
Creativity. It’s a blessing. It’s a curse. It all depends on how ya use it and if ya have a healthy outlet for it. By healthy I mean that if you’re an accountant you shouldn’t be too creative. It might land your butt in jail. (Insert your own terrible cell-mate with a man crush joke here?)
If you’re the creative type then you’ve no doubt known it for most of your life. When you were a kid, more than likely ya didn’t know what it was. Ya probably just chalked it up to havin’ weird thoughts that nobody else understood. I’m sure you found yourself drawn to things that screamed creativity. Things like movies, TV, books, music, art, video games and comic books. Young people today can add the internet and computers to that list.
Beau, The Young Writer
As a young kid I was always drawn to almost all the above. At least the ones that were invented at the time. I can remember watchin’ TV shows and rememberin’ who the producers and directors were from the credits. Sometimes I’d see their names pop up on other shows and I would watch em’ figurin’ that it would be as good as the other show I liked. That had to be a pretty weird thing for a kid in grade school.
When me and my buddies would play “Army” or “Cowboys & Indians” I would find myself always addin’ back story to everything. I wasn’t satisfied with just runnin’ and shootin’. There had to be reasons. That made it all the more pleasin’ when ya finally had the shoot out with the bad guys. Anybody could play killin’. I had to have a bigger pay off.
My two brothers and I are all pretty close in age. But there was a difference in how we played with our toys soldiers, G.I. Joes and monster toys. They were happy to just make some noises and mash the two figures together. I gave em’ wide scope stories to go with the action. I gave em’ dialogue that fit. Sometimes they were more interested in just listenin’ to me tell em’ about it than even playin’ with the figures. Sometimes late at night when we’d all be in our beds they’d talk me into makin’ up new stories. It was something I enjoyed doing. I didn’t realize it so much then, but I loved havin’ an audience.
Horrible Hamilton Invaders-True Beau Toys!
G.I. Joe, Beau Style!
I can remember in 6th grade I did a weekly comic strip for the class that the teacher would post up for the whole school to see. Everybody seemed to like it. That was when my Stan Lee side kicked in. I figured if I put my classmates and teachers in the strip they would want to read it even more. I was right. Every week they would gather as soon as it went up to see if they were in it. I also drew the strip. It wasn’t until about 9th grade that I realized that my art wasn’t progressin’ as far as I wanted. Bein’ the grade school Stan Lee made me think of other ways to market my comic strip. I would have contests where the winner would win the original art from the strip they were in. I also used part of my own money to give away a bag of candy as a prize to readers that could answer trivia questions from the strip. Candy was cheap back then. My readers were cheaper.
I probably would have gotten into school plays and stuff if it didn’t infringe on my trouble makin’ time. About 7th grade I also discovered I liked doin’ things young boys shouldn’t do like vandalizin’ stuff, hittin’ people, cussin’ and this was on top of regular stuff like sports, girls and just bein’ mean and ornery.
Beau, The Teenage Writer
Without exposin’ myself as a really bad role model I also discovered beer at that early age. We’ll go into the “Dark Beau” stories another day.
One thing I’ve always done in my life is write. It started in first grade and has never stopped. I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s always been like a treat for me. It’s still so hard to describe, but there is always a real rush of excitement that comes with puttin’ words together and makin’ em’ tell a story.
I’ve always had trouble sleepin’. From the time I was little to today. I can be dog-ass tired, but as soon As the lights go out and I lay my head on the pillow I start thinkin’ of stuff, ideas, stories, daydreams, night dreams, whatever you wanna call em’. When workin’ on a book I try not to write late at night. That will almost always be a refusal for the Sandman to haul me off to sleep. The more I write, the more juiced I get.
I’ve got some buddies that don’t write everyday or even every week. They only write now when they get a check in return. I have no idea how they can turn it off like that. I can’t do it. I write something every day. It might be a full script, one scene, a line or two of dialogue that hits me or just jottin’ down ideas. I’m always writin’. It’s sweeter when I get paid to do it, but I also know that I’d do it just the same.
That’s pretty much the blessing part of creativity. The curse part is when you let it consume your life. Like any addictive thing you have to learn to control it. It can keep ya from havin’ a full and well-rounded life. It can stunt ya emotionally. If all you do is ride the surge of creativity you can get left behind as well as lose your lunch money. You don’t want to be so addicted to pop culture and your creativity that you end up dressed up as some third rate character from a Star Wars movie and able to recite the Klingon dictionary. Ya gotta have control.
Yeah, of course it’s great to meet other people that share your love of creative things, but don’t let it become a cult thing. Ya don’t wanna be the goofball that drinks the Kool-Aid or waits for the spaceship to come take you to a much better place.
Besides? ya wanna get laid don’t ya?
Being creative does make ya different. Just like being a good athlete makes ya different. Just like makin’ straight A’s makes ya different. All these things are great, but there’s one thing ya gotta be above and beyond to make your life complete and correct.
That’s bein’ a good person and not a pecker-head.
Embrace your creativity no matter what field it’s in. It’s a gift. It really is. Not everybody receives this kinda thing. Be glad you did. (But try and be manly about it?ok?)
Obey Beau?or fork over your lunch money.
Buy The Book
Art by Enrique Villagran
I guess I don’t really have to tell ya to buy this book. From the look of sales ya already are. So figure this to be your manly reminder. Check out The New Avengers.
It’s one of those comics that isn’t slanted to younger readers. I don’t mean it’s filled with cussin’ and sex. I mean it is written and produced for the majority of readers that are left in comics. Males ages 20 to 50. Guys that have grown up with these mainstream super heroes and wanna see em’ on a stage that’s a little more dark and serious than the super-hero comics of the 80s.
The New Avengers
This is one of those books that Marvel and DC are fightin’ each other with. DC has their Identity Crisis stuff and Marvel has this type of book. I enjoy both. Then again I fall into the demographic that they are shootin’ for. I’m a man. (No doubt there.) I fall in their age group as well. (OK, so I’m in the upper numbers?so what?)
My buddy Brian Bendis does his thing. Tight writing and moves the story at a nice clip. He is also the guy that keeps letterers workin’. Nice guy, David Finch has cranked it into over drive as far as art. He has come a long way since his Image/Top Cow days when everybody there was made to be Silvestri and Turner clones. My long time amigo, Danny Miki shows why he is one of the best inkers in the business. Incredible stuff. This book is like one of those Jerry Bruckheimer movies where ya eat popcorn and look for explosions. This ain’t the girl ya wanna marry, but she sure is fun for a night on the town.
My only real complaint is that like a lot of other Marvel comics the coloring is way too dark. It gets muddy and hides the really nice art and lines. Moody lighting is great, but life don’t take place in the dark twenty-four hours a day.
Check the book out and see a new take on some of your old super heroes.
Fit To Print
The offer I made for the free B&W Wynonna Earp print has been a huge success. Over 400 prints have been sent out so far. Loads of “Knuckleheads” have written in and requested their free Wynonna Earp print. I have filled all requests and am willing to fill a few more. Just email me here at the ranch firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send ya out a package. I will also pay for the postage as promised. Requests have come in from all over the world. I’ve got Knuckleheads everywhere! The best part of this is that most all the readers have said that they have or are gonna order The Complete Wynonna Earp Collection trade paperback. That’ll help insure that I get to do another new Wynonna Earp mini-series soon.
For those of you that have gotten you print, I hope you enjoy it. For those of you yet to request yours? OBEY BEAU AND DO IT!
Major Manly Announcement
I just finished the script for my latest comic book project. Let the sissy writers do their perverted sex crime serial killer stuff. This project puts the MAN back in manly when it comes to fightin’ organized crime and terrorists without all the clichés you’ve been forced to suffer through from arm-chair tough guys.
I can’t say any more about it right now, but will real soon. It’ll be coming out from IDW Publishing. It’s as close to a movie put to print as it gets. The only thing missin’ will your shoe stickin’ to the floor.
Call In The Dogs
I got asked this week what books I’m readin’ right now by a few of the regular Knuckleheads. I thought I’d use this space to post em’ up. These are what are on the manly nightstand this week:
- Under and Alone:The True Story Of The Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America’s Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang by William Queen
- Monster by Frank Peretti
- Hard As Nails by Dan Simmons
There ya go. Some fun stuff and some reference.
Gonna be a busy week here at the ranch. More pitches to hone for publishers. More favors to call in from those that owe me their lives and careers. More junk to go through from the storage unit. More lies to turn into legends.
I’ll leave ya with this shot of one of my dogs, Blue. He’s out front waitin’ to bite any writers lookin’ to take work away from me. Don’t be one of em’.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!