Page 45 Review by Stephen
"The sound of rain
"On rooftop and windowpane
"Is the universe applauding
"Your decision to remain in bed."
Even rainclouds have silver linings.
There'll be more weather warnings in the form of metaphorical meteorological conditions as Grant Snider forecasts which elements are most conducive to creativity in the ever-unpredictable ongoing trawl for ideas through stormy seas.
Gale force winds would necessitate lowering your search-sails, I'd have thought, and battening down your hatches until you reach more clement climes, but Snider is never so obvious and the final panel there, with its absolute excess, had me howling.
You'll find 'Brainstorm' under 'Perspiration', one of ten categories the cartoonist has chosen to explore creativity under, each taken from his first page called 'Genius Is...'
13% Daily Frustration
0.1% Pure Elation
You'll get there in the end!
Ideas come in all sorts of curious shapes and surprises. It's worth fishing about for them, because they won't simply appear out of nowhere if you don't go looking for them
There's a lot of witty wordplay - though not necessarily as physical as that - throughout this collection of success and failure, hurdles and highlights, extreme pain before gain.
'Types of Motivation' will be instantly recognisable to anyone regularly dealing with deadlines with all their attendant pressures and pick-me-ups, and I'm astonished that Snider managed to find six different words ending in "-ernal" which worked so well together, each annotated with an illuminating internal monologue with variations of the end-goal to "finish"!
There's also a certain degree of poetry as when Grant explores the ramifications of asking different sorts and sizes of questions, concluding with a flourish:
"When you come across an unusual question
"There's not much to do
"But to stick with the question
"And see where it takes you."
Not all the strips are o'er-brimming with optimism - disaster can often loom large - but there's usually and usefully some similar sort of consolation.
Sometimes the pay-off can be outstanding reward rather than mere consolation. In 'Theories of Disappointment' Snider provides two contrasting pages in order to catalyse you into reconsidering your entire outlook on life. On the left he presents a conservative, pre-emptive approach to avoiding disappointment by setting your sights low or eliminating them completely. But inaction gets you nowhere and it couldn't end much more bleakly. On the right, however, the risk taker's option reaps much larger rewards, ending on a note of abandon and consequent euphoria.
Grant's here to invigorate or re-invigorate you, for example with a mental Spring Clean or fresh perspectives. 'Imitation' is bursting with novel ways of looking at traditional forms, colours and even art movements. 'Draw Like You've Never Been Taught' comes with that one unexpected beat extra, each time, for maximum mirth.
He has secrets to impart ("pay attention" is pretty good advice!) and encouragement aplenty to brighten your day and cheer you on that uphill, shale-strewn road to artistic success.
Openness to opportunity will prove key, but opportunity doesn't half knock at inopportune moments. Still, dive in! Hanging about will only give you arm ache.
This should please fans of Tom Gauld's short comics and cartoons like YOU'RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK enormously.