Comic Angst

This week, I have communicated only in Comic Sans font. Both in written and verbal form.

At last, the Creatives Issue of Esperanto! I must say, the theme alone got me giddy for this one – I love creative arts, creative problem-solving, creative approaches to life’s mundanity, creative ways to collapse in on myself like a dying star (NB: try flipping inside-out like a dog’s ear). I’m surely artsy, and you’d better believe I am fartsy.

Right now, I’m sitting in a room with collages for walls, embroidering an image of my favourite drag queen, Karen From Finance. Some people load their breakfast smoothies with creatine to bulk up their biceps, but I mix creativity into my disco-ball cocktail receptacle to develop my daydreams.

So here I am! Tackling creativity in its craw – in the form of… a Comic Sans challenge!

This week, I have communicated only in Comic Sans font. Both in written and verbal form. Don’t even ask me how to speak in Comic Sans – I fear it will only ever hurt you and your prospects. Actually, if you ever find yourself wanting to get out of a relationship with little effort, maybe it’s a skill worth having. In that case, shoot me an email – Comic Sans only.

This brings me to my week-long journey, and all that I gained and lost in this experience.

I sent otherwise professional emails within my job using this utterly ridiculous font. The thing that hurt me the most is that it didn’t strike anyone as odd. What kind of person does that make me? Not only does it look like a child’s homework vomited in my sent folder, but I am rarely a sans serif kind of gal, on the best of occasions.

I write crywank poetry (ha – told you I’m creative!), and I believe the serifs help somehow. They remind me of my typewriter (…creative and single, ladies!) or the books my grandfather used to own that were so old they smelled like hickory-smoked meats. And yet, no one said boo when I relinquished my professional reputation to the mercy of the Microsoft gods – remember that smug, omniscient paperclip helper?

Perhaps I shouldn’t feel too bad about how low expectations are of me in my workplace font choices. I have, after all, previously attempted to jazz up official documents with Jokerman, Chiller and Curlz MT – depending on the mood, of course. Besides, work wasn’t the only opportunity I had to be shamed – and I was determined to fulfil this challenge to at least a vague level of humiliation.

Success!  I submitted a job application—some of my finest work, actually—and hoped that my font choice would be forgiven. The rejection email came through about nine minutes after the confirmation of receipt email. Thanks, Comic Sans!

I also submitted an assignment, even though the formatting requirements specified otherwise. Does that make me self-destructive? Or does it just prove my commitment to this worthy cause?

Why not both?

Surprisingly, the most interesting part of this challenge was not how others responded to my font choice – as people often do, they let me down a little there. It was how I felt about my own writing. It took away some of the seriousness of wanting to write well.

Or wanting to write something meaningful and sincere. I was more willing to be clumsy with my words. I felt like a true Jokerman (even though my witch-heart screams for Chiller), as if I was in fourth grade again and people’s favourite colour was lime green and mental illnesses were still a couple of years away.

Is Arial really so much better than my font of the week? Do people respond with nearly as much awe to boring, default Calibri? Maybe it’s better to be Comic Sans – infamous, funny and controversial, than being sans comic value altogether. And really – who do I think I am, using Times New Roman and Century all these years as if I have a penny to my name or a cufflink to my wrist?

At what point did I lose touch with Wingdings? It’s basically modern-day hieroglyphics, but worse. What’s better than that (other than actual hieroglyphics, the click-clack noise dog’s feet make when they walk on a hardwood floor, or chemtrails)?

Not much, surely.

Words by Alexandra Creece

IG – @roguedyke

Art by Esperanto Magazine

IG – @

 

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