Comic book artists need long periods of time in solitude when they aren’t interrupted to create. And in those periods of isolation, their lived experiences and the way they see the world takes form in pencil, then colour. They draw characters and give them form and personality visually giving a shape to loneliness that neatly fits into a square frame and speaks directly to their audience of one.
What was once a too-huge world has become smaller these days, and offices can be anywhere, and nowhere at the same time. The Beat generation as written about in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is long settled and gone. But in their place, a new generation of nomads-digital ones-emerged.
From the telescope to the ostrich pillow, Playboy centrefolds and interactive posters that kiss you back, these are our picks for some of the loneliest inventions.
Fairy tales are stories that matter to those alone and those wanting an escape. Because they are all about isolation–the hero or the heroine are often cast out on their own. They seek refuge in forests that seem dark and threatening. But in those scary, unwelcoming places, they find the unexpected and the occasional magic.
In the most populous country in the world, it’s still a lonely place when you are just one.
Hermit crabs are self-contained, self-possessed. They are animals that survive on their own, but even hermit crabs need others in order to have more room to grow.
Reading is a refuge for the lonely and those seeking to be alone. In books, a social life emerges from words on a page. We befriend fictional characters, get entwined in plots. Crack open a book. We can read our way out of loneliness.
Smell can tell us so much about our place in the world and the world around us.Our memories are linked to smells and scent can increase our loneliness when we are missing people and places and feeling alone.
These are our picks for the loneliest characters of all time, played by comedians Charlie Chaplin, Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Tom Hanks. They make moviegoers recognize how lonely it is to be someone who makes others laugh.
Sports fans have a connection to athletes–we watch them struggle to come back from injury and defeat and we feel like we are part, even as spectators, when they accomplish their goals and stand on top of the field as champions. On the outside, athletes are in top physical shape, but inside, mentally, it’s a lonely place for them.