Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mr. Beat Sez...

I've always been a fan of comic books. I grew up reading them, thanks to the large cardboard box of comics that my father would pull out of the attic every summer for us kids to read. I'm also a fan of the Beat Generation and beatnik culture. So when I stumbled upon an independent comic for sale at the Mile High Comics website, which followed the adventures of an archetypal beatnik, I figured it was the best of both worlds.

The Complete Mr. Beat volumes 1 & 2 arrived in the mail shortly thereafter. Despite the fact that both volumes were so cheaply made that the glue on the binding gave out half-way through reading them (which was quickly made better by the very kind Mr. Beat creator Chris Yambar, I should add), and despite the sometimes-pretentious hipper-than-thou stories, and despite the fact that this supposedly "king of the indie comics" character was actually born as a marketing gimmick to sell coffee mugs at Peaberry's Coffee, the comics were for the most part enjoyable, and on a few occasions a bit of genius happened to shine through the haze.

One such occurrence shows Mr. Beat giving a bit of advice, obstensibly to a young girl crossing over from another indie-comic (Forty Winks), but in reality to we the readers. Any aspiring artist, no matter what your medium, would do well to take notice.

From the mouth of Mr. Beat himself, the Rules of Art:

Rule One: Create what you love and love what you create.

Rule Two: Every artist is an exhibitionist! There are no part timers--only full time professionals. It's like being pregnant. You are or you're not! Don't be shy about your creation. Put it out there for everyone to see.

Rule Three: Develop a signature style that no longer depends on an actual signature to identify it.

Rule Four: Good art is good worship. Make it personal and draw from sources beyond what you are.

Rule Five: Don't quit your day job. If your art isn't supporting you, then you must support your art. If you won't support it, maybe it's not worth supporting at all.

Rule Six: Never listen to the critics. Their criticism or their praise. Never create to please them. They are not your friends. The only things they do is kiss and bite.

Rule Seven: Never stop making art. Make a lot of it. Think like a machine. Make creation something you just do--beyond feeling or muse. Develop a blue-collar work ethic.

Rule Eight: When all else fails, insanity is a virtue! Tune in! Turn on! Go nuts!

You heard the man. Go nuts.


  1. while were on comics, they are still teasing at the next Spidey villain, but said he / she / it will have a big tie in with New York city, but what does it all mean..

  2. Nice list — I completely agree with it. Becoming an artist of any sort is a completely impractical career choice so there is little point to trying tailor one's work to what one thinks others might enjoy. One's best shot at success is to practice and train furiously and to follow one's own vision relentlessly.


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