Existentialism, In A Comic

Philosophy is difficult. It’s a subject that I vaguely understand, that I studied in school, but constantly feel like a child about. It’s big, airy, so open that it’s almost impossible to pin down.

Still, I often feel the pull of existentialism, the philosophical brand that seeks to grasp human existence. It’s all about existence preceding essence, to modify Jean-Paul Sarte’s line of thinking, our being as a fact of something more. It’s a mindfuck. I barely get it but I know it’s something I have a subscription service to.

I had this feeling of “Damn. Existence.” recently with a comic by Chinese artist Woshibai. The artist is known for creating simple scenes that express major subjects. One that recently stumbled on my Tumblr dash is called “Sweep” and is an exploration of existentialism provided in a near wordless comic. (And, all the words that are present, I cannot understand because I don’t speak Chinese.) It reminds of Men In Black but also of how many worlds exist within our worlds, of the private moments we have and how those, in a way, are universes. The things within our things. Glances between two people. A pause.

It’s quite profound and offers a philosophy lesson in eighteen panels. I’m still processing it and, perhaps, sharing it is a means to open the discussion of it to a wider audience than my brain. Enjoy it below.


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