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Brian Michael Bendis And André Lima Araújo On Expanding Minds With Phenomena

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I love the emphasis on the importance of narrative and story. What is your take on the role of story and narrative in this world? 

Bendis: That’s a real world theme that I wanted to apply here. I’m not going to shock anybody with the philosophy that society works better when we’re all listening to each other, and all experiencing each other’s joy and pain. … I have lived through times where everyone was reaching towards each other, and I’ve lived through times where people were pushing each other away, and it always seemed to be, “Boy, if you really listen to each other’s stories, I bet you’d hug each other at the end.” 

In a moment I thought, “What’s the further version of that?” It’s that, “Your story is your value.”  … And in a world of more fantastical things [that] are happening every time you turn your head, wouldn’t the truth of your story be the juiciest part? 

Wouldn’t that be the thing people wanted the most from you? Wouldn’t it be interesting if somehow you could sustain yourself in the world based on your good actions? … It’s interesting how many people talk to me and André about that part of the story. I was interested what the response would be to it and it’s been consistent. It’s really interesting.

Araújo: Everyone speaks about it.

Bendis: Yeah, everyone.

Araújo: … It’s one of my favorite bits of the story because it is where the value is, like Brian was saying. Back in the day, a few generations ago and all the way through history … [there are stories of] the stranger that would come into town, and will tell stories and people feed him, for example. That’s portrayed in our book as well, things like that. You exchange your story for a roof over your head for one night, and a bit of food, and that stuff is precious, and is very human I feel. 

Our trade is storytelling. It’s almost a meta bit that we got in our book, where we sell you a story where people are selling stories. That’s a good connection, an all around thing that ties everything together.

Bendis: … Another theme that has been in my work over the years in different places is how a legend can follow you. It’s almost the same thing as Eliot Ness. [He] came to Cleveland and he was famous for something he didn’t do. It never happened. That’s not what the public thought. I was always fascinated by that idea that a legend can follow you and be twisted and come out of your hands a little bit.



I love the emphasis on the importance of narrative and story. What is your take on the role of story and narrative in this world? 

Bendis: That’s a real world theme that I wanted to apply here. I’m not going to shock anybody with the philosophy that society works better when we’re all listening to each other, and all experiencing each other’s joy and pain. … I have lived through times where everyone was reaching towards each other, and I’ve lived through times where people were pushing each other away, and it always seemed to be, “Boy, if you really listen to each other’s stories, I bet you’d hug each other at the end.” 

In a moment I thought, “What’s the further version of that?” It’s that, “Your story is your value.”  … And in a world of more fantastical things [that] are happening every time you turn your head, wouldn’t the truth of your story be the juiciest part? 

Wouldn’t that be the thing people wanted the most from you? Wouldn’t it be interesting if somehow you could sustain yourself in the world based on your good actions? … It’s interesting how many people talk to me and André about that part of the story. I was interested what the response would be to it and it’s been consistent. It’s really interesting.

Araújo: Everyone speaks about it.

Bendis: Yeah, everyone.

Araújo: … It’s one of my favorite bits of the story because it is where the value is, like Brian was saying. Back in the day, a few generations ago and all the way through history … [there are stories of] the stranger that would come into town, and will tell stories and people feed him, for example. That’s portrayed in our book as well, things like that. You exchange your story for a roof over your head for one night, and a bit of food, and that stuff is precious, and is very human I feel. 

Our trade is storytelling. It’s almost a meta bit that we got in our book, where we sell you a story where people are selling stories. That’s a good connection, an all around thing that ties everything together.

Bendis: … Another theme that has been in my work over the years in different places is how a legend can follow you. It’s almost the same thing as Eliot Ness. [He] came to Cleveland and he was famous for something he didn’t do. It never happened. That’s not what the public thought. I was always fascinated by that idea that a legend can follow you and be twisted and come out of your hands a little bit.

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