Welcome back analogue, I’ve missed you
It was one of those strange waterfall of events, one of those where one decision leads to another and another and before you know it, you are somewhere else entirely. For me it was a decision to shut shop on what I had been doing for almost 20 years and go back to doing what it was before I did that; all so I could scratch an itch I have had for, well forever. Sounds complicated.
I am one of those people that has always looked up to the sky and thought of other places, not on this particular rock we all live but somewhere else entirely. Other worlds, times, whatever, I’d look up at the clouds and if the time of day, or the light was just right, I’d find myself thinking of places that don’t exist. Of course as you get older, such musings are best kept to one’s self otherwise people think you are a hopeless dreamer, or worse, a ‘childish adult’. So on with life doing adult-ish things and before I knew it, time was flying out the window.
Almost two years ago an idea that I have not been able to shake for almost two decades (I know, I know) came back to me. Idea is probably the wrong word, more like ‘itch’. Either way, all these other places and times that have continuously swirled around in my head have been wanting an outlet in some form or another and after several failed tries over the years, it was time to finally do something with them. As the ‘waterfall’ had already begun when I started the countdown on shutting shop, by the time this itch came I was ready to hop in the barrel and go over the top.
And I did.
It’s been a strange process over the past two years, rejigging life and work to not only pick up where I left off almost two decades earlier but to finally try and do something with what I have lived with in my head since childhood. In one way it’s like taking that giant leak you’ve been holding on to all day – an enormous, very satisfying, relief. On the other, it’s akin to stepping off into the void of uncertain blackness with nothing more than a candle to light the way. What has been most revealing though is the rediscovery of all the things that floated my boat once upon a time and realising just how good they still are.
The original Alien Legion by Epic. Dating back to 1983, it’s still a solid read today
As I rebuild what is effectively an analogue reference collection for my ‘itch’, I am finding the books, comics, games, whatever, from the past surprisingly have no ‘use by date’. Just because they became lost and forgotten in the depths of time, it does not mean they have lost any of their inherent value; just don’t tell the the older lad the (digital) issue of 2000AD he’s reading is almost 40 years old!
I asked a friend the question not so long ago ‘just where did we let go of all the things we thought were cool?’. The answer that came back was not really all that convincing. I still have no idea why I let go of stuff I loved but it seems the products of an analogue world continue to have a currency and ‘honesty’ that I am finding refreshing in today’s digital ocean. The fact that a younger generation is finding the same is a little more than intriguing.
The reasons as to why are probably for another conversation but at its heart I think it simply comes down to analogue demands a simpler focus with far less room for bells and whistles, so when its good, it’s ageless. Comics that are black and white. TV shows that have more story than FX and games that require face to face interaction with other people. Analogue requires manual input and as anyone who’s driven one knows, a stick shift is far more fun to drive than an auto.
Welcome back analogue, I’ve missed you.