I admire sad stories. Stories that make you cry. Stories that seem absolutely hopeless and yet have an intrinsic, I'll-give-up-on-it/you/me-when-I'm-dead-and-cold-and-buried brand of optimism. Stories that recount epic battles, the labyrinthine complications of politics, the class of foreign cultures trying to unite against a common evil. Stories that make you feel noble and strong and silent just by reading them.
Then I go and try to write one of these. And then I cry, because....
Well, the best example would be Eddie the Combat Worm.
Eddie the Combat Worm was (is?) a comic I wrote/drew a year ago on a personal challenge. Eddie began as a dark, drinking, glowering character, someone who was angry over the end of the war. He had a pet silverfish named Murphy, who ate newspapers. I think Eddie was a seargent in the war who led new recruits across the front lines and watched inept officers get them all killed, but I never knew, because a 24 hour deadline on this story and my inability to take dark seriously hijacked the story. Eddie turned out to be speed-happy, trigger-happy, war-happy, cynical, sarcastic, and daring-only-in-that-he-did-things-no-sane-person-would-ever-dream-of. I also had a French centipede (munitions expert and illegal immigrant), a female worm (Lola Spie, because she was a government agent and I'm very imaginative when I'm under deadline), a hayseed dragonfly veteran (pilot) and the infilitration and destruction of a beehive. The first five, six pages were classic twenties detective novel imitation. The rest was a farce. A badly drawn farce.
That, admittedly, I enjoyed very much. But I still admire darkness. I just can't write it.
It's very sad.