Alaska Robotics

Haiku Trap

Monday, September 1st 2008 by Pat

I’m still on the road in Seattle so putting together this comic was a different process than usual.  I left my laptop at home and thought I would just put together a pen and ink strip this week.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any pens or ink so I just went heavy on the pencil and used my point-and-shoot digital camera to “scan” the results onto Sarah’s laptop.

I liked the scraggly lines and paper texture the camera captured so I just did some minor touchups and painted in the colors on an underlayer.

I bought a really bad hip hop CD on Friday.  It had decent production value but it was obvious crap despite being so close to success.  I kept trying to figure out why it sucked and the theory I came up with is that is fell into the uncanny valley of music.

The uncanny valley is generally used to describe humanoids that look and act so close to actual humans that they become eerily creepy and repulsive.  I think the uncanny valley exists outside our perception of humanity or perhaps our perception of humanity includes those things that feel human rather than just look human.  It’s a movie that could or should have made a real human connection.  It’s so close to greatness that you spend the rest of the night obsessed about the few out of place details instead of the all the clever successes.  I’ve seen it in books and music and I think most of poetry falls into a vast pit of near greatness.

I’m not sure how an artist can hop over the uncanny valley on the way to greatness or avoid the far greater void of mediocrity further from the top but I’m sure there are little tricks… like practice.

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