A couple of YT channels I follow covered the recent death of manga artist Kentaro Miura, the creator and writer of long-running series BERSERK. Here’s YBZ’s video:
And here’s one from Clownfish TV:
Both channels brought some unique perspectives that touched on things I hadn’t put into words, but had felt pretty deeply for a while.
Ya Boi Zack is a retired soldier and Marine who isn’t far from turning 50 years old. He’s had a long and turbulent life, bouncing in and out of the armed forces, being married and divorced multiple times, and fathering a few kids. His experiences mirror mine in very few ways, and contrast with them in many more. I usually find his perspectives insightful and informative.
Given the amount of death he saw up close in the Middle East as a soldier, his views on the amount of life we all deserve are tempered by the fact that anyone can die at any time, and all the time we have is the all the time we get. This is an old idea in the Western world that I first recall studying from Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor. Applied properly, it would prompt us to be judicious with the time we have, and the efforts we expend in mortality.
As for Clownfish TV, their video was more about the work required to create great art, and how you have to build your entire life around it, and if you’re successful at it there’s some monetary success, but so much time goes into it that it’s hard to have any left for yourself. I kind of learned that lesson when I illustrated the Engines novels, because the art took way longer than the writing did (and a lot of it hasn’t aged well.)
Everyone wants that success but not everyone wants to work for it the way that Miura did. And who can blame them? He was only in his mid-50s and he was working on Berserk for more than three decades. I guess the point is you have to love your work first, love it enough to do it even if it doesn’t make you a million dollars, and use the time you have in your life for that which you deem most important.
For me, if I ever fail in my duties as a husband and father, it won’t ever matter how successful I am as an artist. I hope I never lose sight of that.