Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lafferty in the Green Room

R.A. Lafferty, In the Greenroom

This illustration, at some point, had text on the wall behind the character that read "Dare to Know Your Heroes." It was to be an exclamatory charge into battle against preconceived expectations, and my answer to the old adage to the opposite.

"Never meet your heroes" is a good warning for avoiding disappointment. But it recommends we hide in our sunny, honeysuckle worlds and that our heroes be larger than life. It is not a path to acceptance or any other real understanding of an individual. We are human, through and through, and even the best of us are good, at best, in spite of ourselves.

Just as I finished the illustration a discussion spilled into the Lafferty Facebook group with some expressing concern that Ray's drunken exploits at conventions would stain, overshadow, or otherwise take away from his literary works.

I understand their concern, but disagree. In fact, with convention tales as eccentric as any of his short stories, I think it only makes reading Lafferty more interesting, endearing, and complex.

Nevertheless, I struck the text from the illustration. Partly because I was still introducing myself to the group. But mostly because the lettering itself started to feel too heavy handed.

That said, please do dare to know your heroes.

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