It's just the first week at present and I wrote this by way of an introduction..
Hi everyone. I grew up reading comics on a very regular basis and in particular DC Comics and those involving Superman. My most active period as a comic fan was during the mid to late eighties after DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths and I was a regular purchaser of the various Superman titles. Superman was always exciting to me as he was the embodiment of the idea that “the good” can be strong and in a rather dangerous world that thought was both comforting and empowering.
This intense period of being a comic fan lessened around the time that Superman died in the comics but I still buy the odd one now and then and am always taking an interest in what is going on in the various comic universes.
I enrolled in the course as linking the history of comic books with the history of American culture seemed very intriguing. I have a little knowledge already as a long time fan and am looking forward to deepening this knowledge.
As you might have guessed, my favourite hero is Superman. In terms of the themes of this course, it seems possible to me that Superman might be so popular because he is a combination of the West’s Christian heritage due to his commitment to goodness or the good as you might phrase it with the powers and abilities of the Gods from Ancient Greece and Rome (and possibly also the Norse or other northern European Gods), all made larger than life by the medium of the comic books. In retrospect, a winning combination given the culture we live in!
My other favourite hero is Batman. Superman is a dream or myth of the highest type, whilst Batman speak to us of human ambition and of what we might achieve were we dedicated enough and had the right resources, but also of human tragedy and the darkness of life.
Whilst I love and appreciate the Marvel universes and their heroes, I do consider myself a DC Comics fan. I love the broad interaction of the Marvel universe but to me DC has always had an edge that I find difficult to define. Perhaps it simply comes down to growing up reading their comics. Also, DC had in those days a slightly more marked presence in other media than Marvel, a situation which is arguably reversed today!
My favourite artists and writers are all about my most intense phases as a fan. Curt Swan, Cary Bates, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams. The classics. During the eighties I liked John Byrne, Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway – essentially the post Crisis Superman team you might say.
I do occasionally chat to other comic fans using Facebook but that is about the limit of my engaged with other fans. As a fan film maker, I have previously planned a Doctor Who fan film in which the Doctor lands on a world similar in some respects to the world of George Orwell’s “1984” but instead of Big Brother, the world is ruled by Overman, an authoritarian version of Superman. Could be fun!
I'm now getting stuck into the reading list and as part of it I've decided I really need to read more Marvel as so much of my previous reading has been DC Comics. So, I popped into Room 237 in Southsea, Portsmouth today and with their help purchased a copy of the classic X-Men Days of Future Past. Looking forward to more superhero studies soon!