Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why My Asperger's Helps Me Understand Laurel & Hardy

I've been working on a new project lately called Comedian Heaven, which is really more or less a webcomic about dead comedians working out the problems they had during life in their afterlives. As anyone who knows me knows, comedy - especially its history - is one of my special interests, and themes related to it can be found in both Londinium and The Historians, my two main creative projects. It also can be found all over my Tumblr - it has a tag there, and it encompasses both a lot of my stupid fanart (and Comedian Heaven sketches) and just comedy stuff in general.

You'll mostly find Peter Cook and Dudley Moore there, as they're my all-time favorites and the main inspiration for the current incarnations of Basil and Dustin in Londinium. Lately, though, there's another double act in my life that's swiftly running a close second to those two, one that really couldn't be more different in style.

I'm talking about these two.

Watching Stan and Ollie's characters trying to navigate the world is something I realized I understand a lot more than I thought I would. Their characters are children in the world of adults, and it's essentially how I feel about myself - the rules of the adult world are strange and foreign, and they don't always make sense to me. I'm turning 24 in April and I'm quite content to enjoy the same things that made me happy as a little kid - going to the toy store, building model kits, setting up toy train layouts, and, of course, reading. I never grew out of cartoons - I even started drawing them (and occasionally am even paid to do so). And I just find it really hard to understand why people can be so mean and not enjoy life.

Watching me move any somewhat large object also resembles The Music Box, but that's beside the point here.

It's a world view I understand - it's so easy to get lost in a world of adults when you see things so simply and without malice or ulterior motives, and you have to wonder a lot of the time if people are going to try to take advantage of you because you're gentle and child-like. On the flip side, you become a friend to all children, someone who bridges the gap between their world and that adult world that they'll someday enter, and your own existence and survival there - no matter how accident-prone you may be - gives them hope and reassures them that they'll be able to make it someday too.

Lately I've been watching these two quite a bit. There's something about them that just makes me feel really happy inside. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I can identify with them in a way. The world's confusing for people like us, but we survive due to our kindness towards other people.

Thanks for giving me that hope again, you two.