Super Heroes, Spenser and other thoughts
Super Heroes, Spenser and other thoughts
There are alot of pieces of my childhood that I still
indulge myself in;Coke floats with vanilla ice cream and a
couple of heaping spoons of Nestles quick mixed in (how's
my blood sugar), the Boston Red Sox, and Star Wars...to
name only a few.
The name of this diary is a definite indication that I'm a
gigantic comic book fan, particularly Batman, Spiderman and
Superman. I love the ying-yang that is the Batman Superman
relationship. The Big Blue boyscout and the gritty,
brooding guy with a chip on his shoulder. Then you have
Spidey...the everyman with a conscience and a heart of
gold. I love everything about comics. The art is amazing,
the writing is so vastly underrated, and the combination of
social commentary and pure escapism is tough to beat (no
wonder Hollywood is cranking out comic based projects left
and right). Have I justified this nerdy obsession enough
yet...I don't think so...read on!
For anyone who hasn't seen Unbreakable....see it. It's a
slightly cheesy movie that takes an interesting look at the
notion of Super Heroes. I for one firmly believe in the
existence of Superheroes not in that "look up in the
sky,it's a bird it's a plane" kinda way but I believe
none the less. I spent roughly 10 years working for Human
Service agencies in and around Boston. I witnessed super
human acts on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. In
retrospect , I'm proud to say I was part of some of them. I
think it is a super heroic act to pour the nastiest shards
of ones life out to a relative stranger with some
confidence that they will help you help yourself. I think
it is equally heroic to be the respectful, non judgmental,
thankful recipient of that information who acts in good
faith to help in whatever way possible.
Each and every position I held during that period of time
dealt with the darkest issues that people face, abuse of
every kind imaginable, illness and injury... physical ,
mental and emotional. It was incredibly difficult and
incredibly rewarding. For anyone who ever thanked me for
efforts on their behalf, I reaped far more from the
experience...and I am ever grateful Amid all that darkness,
there were glimmers. From the outside they were nothing
more than glimmers, but up close they bore the full
intensity of the sun on the eyes of solitary confinement.
It was these small victories, and the support of others
that made those jobs doable.
My coworkers and I would usually go out for drinks after
work, rehash the events of the day, laugh , cry..drink some
more. You get the picture. I wonder if the members of the
Justice League of America (aka The Superfriends) ever sat
around in their moonbased fortress playing quarters and
commiserating about the latest brush with the Joker. All
the while hoping that Wonder Woman might fall out of that
breastplate, and jealous as hell that Superman could see
right through it...lucky bastard. Comic books definitely
provided me refuge inspiration and giddy enjoyment..
"I made a promise on the grave of my parents to rid
this city of the evil that took their lives. By day I am
Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night,
criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot call me Batman.'
"With great power comes great responsibility."
Ben Parker, uncle to Peter Parker, aka Spiderman.
Come on now, how can't you love that stuff
It was also during this time that I began reading Robert B.
Parker. He has written the series of books that the old
private eye show Spenser For Hire was based on. These books
are great for a day on the beach, easy to read, witty ,
brilliant economy of words and wonderfully constructed
characters. Spenser's introspective nature, hard boiled
shell, and courageous convictions all contributed to my
ever evolving value system. (That sounded corny...but it's
true, I swear). If you haven't read any Spenser novels run
out to your local library and pick one up...any one
(Catskill Eagle is my favorite). Parker has a relatively
new protagonist, Sunny Randal, female P.I.. Great stuff and
great descriptions of Boston in all his writing.
All of these litterary sources (yes I'm including comics
under the heading of literary sources...stop laughing) have
fueled my belief that anything is possible and the
Underdog (love that cartoon) is a pretty good thing to be.
So here is the recommended reading list for the Batcave.
Batman, the new run beginning with # 608 should be great.
Great writing and art for $2.25. Nightwing (used to be
Robin) is an unbelievably well done book under Chuck Dixon
and Scott McDaniel.Nightwing, A Knight in Bludhaven, is a
collection of the first 8 issues of Nightwing and is big ,
big fun. The Amazing Spiderman, the current run is being
written by J Michael Strazinski who wrote the TV series
Babylon 5. He has a great hold on Peter Parker...he
definitely gets it! Any comics written by Kevin Smith (film
maker...Dogma, Clerks, Chasing Amy) are just fucking
brilliant. He's on a run with "Spiderman and Black
Cat" and will be taking over "Amazing Spiderman" some time
If you can lay your hands on his run on Daredevil I highly
recommend it. It's available as a paperback book, probably
won't run ya more than $10-$12...It's so worth it.The
Loeb&McGuinness run on Superman is really great stuff as
well. The artwork has been influenced by Japanese animation
ion. and it's a fun look @ Superman and co. The Robert
Parker, as mentioned before is fun and easy, but it'll
provoke a thought or two as well.
Ok that's it for now...I love feedback so if you're out
there lemme know. I think I'll go make myself a coke float
with some vanilla ice cream and Quick....yippee