“Quentin Tarantino is interested in watching someone’s ear getting cut off; David Lynch is interested in the ear.” It’s a damn good line. It’s funny and it’s succinct, and it would be pretty insightful if it weren’t for the fact that it’s flat-out wrong.
In comics, nothing stays dead. Characters whose deaths clog the news over and over and over one year are assured of their resurrection the next. Series are constantly cancelled then revived. And it’s not just characters or their series; the last few years have proved that even comics publishing formats don’t stay dead.
The tragic/extraordinary archetype helps us understand the many creative, charismatic, talented people who have battled chronic depression, manic-depression, schizophrenia, or some other condition we label as mental illness. And yet, each of these people is oddly dehumanized when recalled as some inevitable force of nature, at once regarded as Superhuman Phenomenon and Uncontrollable Catastrophe.