I think this solves the ‘Extra’ Dilemma I had been having quite nicely: I’m beginning to run out of people to illustrate for the purpose of doing these breather episodes in-between blocks in the arc. While Elf Blood Extra allows me to expand the Elf Blood universe and share the larger construct with you guys, I thought it would be nice to create something that allows you to see the Elf Blood characters in their more everyday lives. Today’s is SKO; I love the idea that in her downtime, she likes to go biking, that the danger of such exposed travel at high speed gave her a thrill that betrays the daredevil, fun-lover underneath her often chilly exterior. I was actually going to do an Elf Blood Casual featuring Millie Bach, but then I realised that the last Extra was, itself, one about Millie.

Anyway, to my main point this week: I’ve been thinking a lot about art, and the significance it plays in our lives. Sparked off by a comment a friend made last week, referring to arts degrees and similar as ‘Mickey-Mouse Degrees’. Although I myself possess a Masters in Engineering, a course I embarked upon in order to help people, I feel that such statements belittle the concept of art: Certainly, the industry in which I am involved is a vital part of everyday life, and produces a valuable commodity required by everybody in the country.

It is seemingly harder to justify art in a similar manner, however: One could easily argue that the human race could survive without the arts much more easily than it could survive without power engineering. Can you imagine, though, a world without art? No music. No stories. No paintings, sculptures. Just us, and industry.

Art allows us to do so many damn things. It is a conduit for ideas to pass through, a means by which we communicate our opinions, beliefs, hopes and dreams. Without the passion invoked by art, imagine how much more sterile our politics worlds’ would be. Imagine how dull your day would be. Imagine a world with… No imagination.

It is not in human nature to live without imagination and creative thought. It is, of course, what sets us apart from the other primates and certainly much of the animal kingdom. The arts essentially provide a way to flex those creative muscles, exercising a vital component of our species’ psyche. Whether creating art, to put our ideas down into physical, tangible format, or appreciating art, working to interpret, to enjoy, to escape, we all reap the benefits of art even if it comes in a distinctly indirect form.

So I hope what you’ve taken away from this is that art is incredibly important: Without art, we would be dull and lifeless. And while yes, there are certainly industries out there that are more immediately important to the survival and comfort of the human race, to remove the arts completely runs the risk of excising our very souls.

Anyway, I’m beginning to nod off now, so clearly it’s time for bed! But I did uphold my promise to give you a more sensibly sized post today! Enjoy today’s comic!