Many, many hands are wrung all the time about the dearth of original ideas in the world, and how to create something new. Sometimes the answer lies in simply combining elements from existing genres – supernatural detectives, alien spies, pop witches. And while the results of these mashups can be a lot of fun and, yes, original, sometimes a better route is to take an existing genre and subtract things from it.
I was never much of a metalhead. I mean sure, in high school I listened to the same antisocial noise as every other disaffected youth in those days – NIN, Godsmack, Kittie, etc. – but I never had any goddamn taste about it, and I certainly never got into the, shall we say, scene. And given the fact that, in hindsight, that particular scene is pretty hostile to women and people of color, I was always glad I dodged that particular bullet.
A common piece of advice creative types hear is “work every day.” That’s not always possible for everyone for various reasons, but generally pushing yourself to practice your craft as much as possible is indeed good advice, and some artists who take that philosophy to heart manage to be incredibly prolific. What the people giving that advice don’t always tell you is that most of that “work” is actually going to be garbage not fit to see the light of day, and that some of the things you work on won’t (and shouldn’t) ever be finished. And that’s okay.
If you’re like me, reading superhero comics brings up a lot of questions. Like, is fighting crime really the best use for superpowers? Why do so few supervillains have realistic or even internally consistent motivations? Isn’t this all just an excuse to see huge pointless battles between people more or less disconnected from the lives of regular people? Don’t superpowered people get tired of fighting all the time and never changing anything?