Friday, June 22, 2012

Flashback Friday: Comic Book Geek

The thing I love about running is that it makes me feel like a kid again. Running through the woods, across town or around the block, all because I can.

Sometimes, when I'm darting around trees, I think back to all those games of four-man football we played in the side yard of my best friend's house. Many times, before the school bus came, we'd be running the two-option offense: Throw it high so my friend could use his height to catch the ball over his defender; or wait for the seven-second rush and take off running for the end zone. Those trees become tacklers, their roots sometimes doing a fine job of the shoestring takedown.

Running wasn't my sport until age 26, so those mental drifts never feature a track or cross-country course. To run was for some other means, for some other sport: shagging fly balls in little league or getting in shape for hockey.

Sometimes, though, I imagine being a superhero, chasing down some criminal from West Akron who's been terrorizing the otherwise tranquil neighborhood. Running becomes a means to save the day.

Maybe it was seeing The Avengers, the best comic book movie I've ever seen; or maybe it's the anticipation of wanting to see Dark Knight Rises, perhaps the only movie that may surpass The Avengers in awesomeness; or maybe it's The Amazing Spider-Man, another comic-to-film endeavor being released this summer and one that reminds me of the first comic book I ever bought.

Back in the early 1990s, comic books were in a sort of renaissance. Marvel and DC were pumping out must-have story arcs. Superman was dying. Batman was getting his back broken. Spider-man met Venom. The Infinity War. Et cetera, etc. Collectors were going ape.

I was going ape. But then came along a quirky book called The Maxx, which MTV turned into a cartoon, and I became obsessed with creator Sam Kieth.

At some point in high school, I stopped reading comics. Most of my comics are gone now, sold off to collectors and stores. Of the few I kept, most are part of my incomplete Sam Kieth collection.

Over the last year or so, I discovered his blog, and I've been following his art, learning about stories I missed over the years and keeping track of his current exploits.

The day after my birthday, my resurgent interest in reading comic books again finally boiled to the surface. I stopped by JC Comics and Cards and bought a few books and ordered a few other titles online.

The thing I love about reading these illustrated stories is that it makes me feel like a kid again.

Back Talk
Wherein we consider commitment

MissZippy thinks my dedication needs more than 10 days to steep: "I say if you put your mind to it, and want it, you can accomplish it. Let me guilt you -- I have two kids, a husband, pets, freelance writing deadlines, etc., and I can still pull it off. How's that?"

Answer: "Busy" is a relative term. Yes, I'm sure others have more on their plate than I do, but it comes down to that crucial point you made about whether I "want it."

Happy Hour is nearly upon us teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!


Nitmos said...

Dark Knight was still better than Avengers. But I'm not a comic book geek so I'll bow to your authority here.

B. Kramer said...

Hell, let's get an open thread going today!

Dark Knight was indeed excellent.
Maybe I liked the Avengers a bit more because of how much was filmed in Cleveland.

My wife and I realized that one of the places we took photos of at the wedding was likely extra clean because of that movie had just finished shooting there the week before.

Stuttgart in the movie was Public Square in Cleveland.

And the Hulk was great.

Nitmos said...

Don't get me wrong, Avengers is right up there. And the Hulk was terrific (just can't carry a movie on his own.) But I prefer the moody anti-hero Dark Knight. Of course, Anne Hathaway is in Rises so that'll probably ruin that franchise... /geekdom

B. Kramer said...

Don't get me wrong. I was never a fan of the Avengers in comic form, and I haven't seen any of the standalone movies with these characters.

I much prefer the Batman world. I'm hoping Rises isn't ruined by trying to fit in too many villains.

I think we've officially scared off any other commentator. Well done.

Nitmos said...

Well, they're missing out on how many comments we can start with "Don't get me wrong."

You would be referring to Spiderman 3 Disease.

C said...

The last time I saw a film in the theater was the beginning of 2010. So I'm definitely not qualified to comment on this topic.

Also, you're both giant geeks. Well done.

B. Kramer said...

Don't get me wrong. I'm open to other geeky topics, about which I'm sure you could comment.

C said...

More nerdery than geeky. I won't torture you guys though.

B. Jarosz said...

I'm also in the Dark Knight camp on this one. Avengers was good, but is not a movie that I'm likely to watch over and over again... Batman, on the other hand, is replayed regularly in my home. (And while I'm not an opening-day movie-goer, I'd seriously consider waiting in line for Rises.)

PS - I have never imagined running to chase down evil villains, but I might have to try that...