Getting Back On Task & Tom King’s Rorschach

I was talking with my wife the other day about homework. Neither one of us have been in school for quite some time but the subject came up and I couldn’t help but feel that I miss homework. Not in a crippling way. It’s not like the “one who got away” and I sit here pining for hours of studies to do after work, but more in a nostalgic way. Like “hey, remember when life was simple enough to just have homework? Those were the days.” I always enjoyed the structure of sitting down and working on things, after some mental breaks (*cough* cartoons *cough*) to shake off the day, that either made me feel smart or enhanced my knowledge. I’m saying this as if all homework was cake. It wasn’t and if anyone brings up a science class I might just collapse into the fetal position.

Why are we talking about homework? Well, I’m glad you asked trusty reader. Here’s the thing, I sometimes think of writing here at I Am Geek as a form of homework but in this particular scenario I’m the teacher, the student, and the assignment. There is no grade, I suppose one could argue readers could be counted as a grade, and there is no penalty if nothing is turned in. But it’s my after-work project. A lot of times it’s the thing I look forward to the most in the day. Five o’clock hits and it’s time to get ready to write. A large portion of my workdays are spent shaping up columns mentally, so I’m fully prepped to get typing once I get home. I’m not telling you anything I haven’t told you in the previous nine hundred sixty-something columns, but I digress.

Here’s the thing though, these last couple of weeks, I’ve been seriously slacking on my homework. And it’s made me feel icky inside. Not the same kind of icky one might feel inside when someone in the room is chewing with their mouth open but the type of icky where you feel like you’re letting yourself down. Everything you read on I Am Geek self-assigned and is written because I have a genuine interest in the subject. Also, on a more selfish note, writing makes me feel happy. Why haven’t I written more than three columns in fourteen days then?! Don’t I want to be happy?! 

The answer of course, is yes and just because I haven’t been here writing doesn’t mean I’ve been a miserable wretch sitting in my apartment wrapped in blanket rocking back and forth while mutter “I should be writing, I should be writing, I should be writing…” While I haven’t spent a lot of time putting words to paper so to speak, I have been taking some time for mental health. Don’t worry, I’m good but I was feeling a little burnt out. The pandemic has really affected my writing and the content, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a little hurt up on motivation as of late. Column ideas falling apart in my head before they even fully develop. Opening up a blank screen and finding I have nothing to say. It was growing frustrating and discouraging so I kind of stepped away for a minute just to get my head thoughts together. I don’t want to force content that I’m not happy with here. I feel that would slowly chip away at the joy this site brings me. I. Don’t. Want. That. At. All.

Hopefully, you guys understand. It’s been a weird year. And while we’re creeping closer to our 1000th column (!!!) and our views are at an all-time high (thank you), I want to make sure this site continues to deliver on levels that I’m proud of. Views and milestones are great fun but I want you guys coming back because you enjoy what you’re reading. So, that’s where I’ve been these last couple of weeks. Kind of battling my wanting to write with my motivation to actually accomplish said wanting.

Which brings us to today and this long-winded column that isn’t very geeky at all. Would it help in telling you that while writing this I’ve been wearing socks with Little Baby Yods on them? I had other clothes on too but the sock game is strong today and I felt the urge to brag a little. I’d hate to leave you guys without any geeky content so how bout this, a little reading suggestion.

If you know me then you know I’m a bit wary when it comes to spin-offs or sequels to Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons classic Watchmen. Some texts feel too scared to be touched but then something like HBO’s Watchmen series comes along and totally changes your perspective while introducing yourself to the idea that maybe this universe could be well served by the voice of others. Not everything is going to hit like you would hope, looking at you Doomsday Clock, but if HBO proved anything is that with the right story the Watchmen universe can be as socially relevant and important as the original text.

Which brings us to today. A Tuesday. The day DC now releases comic books much to my chagrin. Tom King, arguably my favorite comic book writer, and the perfectly noir art of Jorge Fornes have come together for yet another spin-off of the Watchmen IP with their limited series, Rorschach. 

This was a book that was announced back in July and I’ve been more or less counting down the days until it was in my hands. If there’s anyone I trust to write within this universe it’s King who tells such deeply layered narratives that bring with them a lot of important social commentary and what better platform for that type of storytelling than with Watchmen. From what I understand Rorschach will not be a direct sequel to Moore and Gibbons original work nor a sequel to Doomsday Clock or the HBO series. This will be something else entirely. But a story that’s willing to take on our current moment. A world divided, angry, confused, and scared. A world looking for change. A world on the brink. While this may hit a little close to home right now some of the best art addresses what’s in our face every day. This may not be the Rorschach we know at the heart of this story but like any good Rorschach test, we’re able to pull what we need from it. 

Rorschach is not a hero which is easy to forget in situations like Zack Snyder’s film where he clearly thought otherwise and celebrated the character’s violent behavior, but that shouldn’t negate the commentary that could come from this book. To those looking for a voice right now, Rorschach could be the comic that provides it. Especially over the course of these next twenty-something days. 

Plus, this is a Black Label book so there’ll be swearing! 

Now if you’ll excuse, I’ve got a comic book to read! Let me know if you’ve got Rorschach on your pull list and if you’re looking forward to jumping back into the Watchmen universe. You can leave your comments below or you can find me over on Twitter @iamgeek32. I’ll be there with my instant reactions to the book! Let’s talk this thing out. 

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