Stop it or you'll go blind!

Dan Shane danshane at
Mon Mar 31 16:28:51 CEST 2008


> Don's vision has been suffering for many years, and the level of 
> detail he puts into his long stories most certainly contributed to it.  
> I have watched him hovering closely over his work and was often 
> reminded of the character played by Donald Pleasence in THE GREAT 
> ESCAPE.  He portrayed an excellent forger who also lost his vision 
> when the constant hours of highly detailed paperwork aggravated his 
> myopia to the point of blindness.

No, fortunately this is not true. I've explained the causes of the retinal


This is the second post where someone has "refuted" what appeared to be a
claim on my part that Don's retinal problem was caused by close work.  While
I admit my comparison of Don's method of drawing to a fictional character's
similar physical attitude may have made it seem I was drawing the conclusion
that constant eye strain led to his current condition that was not really my
intent.  I was simply sharing the mind picture I get when I watch Don
focusing so closely on the tiny and seemingly infinite details he squeezes
into every panel.

However, according to some eye experts the jury is still out over whether
constant eye strain aggravates already weak vision.  I'm certainly no
ophthalmologist, but it's too early to say that focusing too closely over
long periods of time contributing at least in part to myopia is just an
urban legend or old wives' tale. (See

So while it has been known for decades that it the shape of your eye has
much more to do with how well you see now and in the future than how often
or long you have to strain to see what you're doing there is still support
for adequate lighting and avoiding prolonged close work helping to postpone
serious vision problems.

Therefore, when Giorgios kindly helps us understand what leads to retinal
detachment he is 100% correct and we benefit from that knowledge.  But when
I compare a real-life situation to dramatic storytelling I need to make sure
everyone knows that I can distinguish fact from fancy, and I don't want to
keep ancient myths alive.

Sorry if I caused that confusion.

  -- Dan --

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