Archive for October, 2015

Sadly I applied to Marvel Comics for an internship multiple times, and I never was quite let in.  I constantly debated including my Psychology degree on my resume.  Little did I know the person who created Wonder Woman, was, in fact, a psychologist, and psychology plays a huge role in comic books and how we relate to them.  I was never quite let in to Marvel’s writing areas of the internship (or like, five other areas)… which sucked greatly, since I live in New York City and busted my fucking bum to get it in early.  But, now I can safely say I will include it if I ever apply again (sidenote: I don’t know.)

Holy Sigmund Freud, Batman.

A little story for you first, as I always did:  Psychologically analyzing people is fun.  It’s slightly addictive for the psychology nerds of the world, in my humble opinion.  Psychologically analyzing fictional people is probably even more fun. 

But in all seriousness, there is now a legitimate psychologically therapy called comic book therapy.  I am not lying.  Go to Wikipedia, type it in, and read it.  There are mounds of books published on this.  Literally everyone takes these things seriously.

Now, I’m sorry, S type fans (Superman type), I’m focusing on B-type heroes (which, if you don’t know what that is, it’s heroes without a super-power).  S-types are very much defined by their ability, not what they’ve been through.  Yes, what they’ve been through can be shaped by their circumstances, but I mean purely being affected by something that might have happened to them without a power inducing that situation.

Firstly, and this is pretty cool: They make us comfortable with uncomfortable topics.  They talk about all the taboo shit society avoids.  Death, mass killings, murders, sexual assault, disability (as a technically disabled person I can say society hates talking about it).  And it’s cool, because comic books/comic movies shove it in your face and you’re cool with it.  They shove so much uncomfortable shit at you.  Everything from discrimination to death to disability is in a comic book.  But it makes you wonder why we’re cool with, like, seeing Barbara Gordon be disabled by the Joker and not an actual physically disabled person.  I wouldn’t call it empowering, but I’d say once it seeps into a comic book it’s a step in the right direction.  It’s a way of talking about things we don’t want to talk about, and it’s a way of simply opening up dialogue about things we don’t want to talk about.  Hell, this is so true, that it can be used in therapy sessions to portray something that happened to someone.  If someone doesn’t want to talk about a particular traumatic event, according to Wikipedia, “Comic book therapy is a form of art therapy in which those undergoing rehabilitation express their experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format that enables them to process their memories and emotions.”  It’s still a form of communication, and it’s still a form of talking about things.  According to another article (cited below), a psychologist used superheroes as a means of therapy for kids who had gone through traumatic events.  It got them to talk about things they didn’t want to talk about.  They are literally used to analyze their deepest fears and traumas – and I can’t help but get the feeling every time you watch a movie or pick up a book you are doing the same to yourself for free because that is what these things feature.  We face fears without talking about it.

Only furthering this, I see a lot of people who were relentlessly bullied who take to the haven of comic books. They usually feature a classic underdog story.  It’s like everyone and their mother has been in some situation that they can relate to because of these things.  Like, some guy’s parents did actually die and that’s why Batman is their go-to.  I always find people explaining why a superhero is their favorite is a major league, deeply personal question.  I’m not asking for your social security number, I’m asking why Superman is your man.  It’s almost as if they become woven into the cores of us much like they become woven into the core of pop culture (and as such, that’s why comic con is so fucking crowded).  And maybe our parents didn’t die in an alley because of a guy named Joe Chill, but, maybe they were absent for things.  Maybe they missed your graduation, shit, I don’t know.  We can relate to the psychology of superheroes.  We can relate to their psyche… and maybe that’s why we all have our personal favorites.  We’re emotionally similar to them.  I find The Flash annoying because he’s hyperactive – which I am not.

Now the really morbid part comes.

You know, almost all of them have some kind of thing they want to fix or escape.  And if you tell me you have no regrets in your life, tell me your secrets.

Oh, please.

We all regret something.  And most of the time, a superhero is working off of a regret, an event, or something they wish they could’ve changed.  Isn’t that like, half of the population’s motivation?  Make something better?  Improve something?  Like, people pick certain careers because they want to be better than their experience sometimes.  Sometimes they like what they see and want to make it better.  And we can feel an undying pain of guilt for things we might regret.  They’re super, sure, but they have regrets just like the rest of us.  And we want to run from them, but we’re not a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.  Maybe we want to fix something that happened to us.  And you know what?  You’re completely fucking powerless to fix it most the time.  The guy who sexually harassed you is somewhere in the world, the dying 6 year old is still dying, you still suck at math (I needed to lighten this mood).  Sometimes you can fix it, but sometimes you can’t.  Things stay with us – and things stay with them.  It’s okay to be a little fucked up (coming from someone who is, decidedly, fucked up a little bit).  It’s taboo to admit these things, but in this world?  It’s all good.

And wouldn’t we all like to live in a world where fixing the wrongs of the world was as simple as putting on a suit and knocking out a few teeth.

Citation:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/17/the-rise-of-superhero-therapy-comic-books-as-psychological-treatment.html

This sort of just panned out this way.  I come back the same time I attend NYCC for the first time ever.  First, really, I want to say thanks.  My hell that is college is almost over (not the college part, the hell part).  I needed to take a semester or two away from this, which was depressing as anything.  I missed writing even as I’m taking enough writing classes to successfully make me sick of writing.  The upside to taking writing classes, though, is prepping for MR writing.  I get to practice as much as I possibly can before I embark on this.  I have a few storylines in mind, and although I draw I will need an artist because I barely have time to eat dinner nowadays.   (sidenote: if you’re unaware I have a character I want to write a comic book for).

I want to say something:  This blog is a hobby and a job.  In other words, I’d love to see it turn into a job.  But if it doesn’t, I will always come back to it.  I enjoy it too much to fully ever let it go, and I’ll probably do some form of professional writing whether it be a comic book, a novel, poetry, fictional/non-fiction essays, or anthology of short stories.  And you will know about it.  But mostly, I want people to just read it and have a good time with it as much as I do.

So where did I go besides comic con?  I’m a double major, first off, so naturally I’m double the strapped and stressed as you if you’re a liberal arts.  I’m half (sort of) science.  This doesn’t apply if you’re a biology/psychics/math/STEM related major: my apologies, but you shouldn’t be reading my blog and trying to eat, sleep, or shower.  I also was hiding out to avoid reviewing the new Shitastic Four movie so I didn’t need to attend anger management classes.

But onward to Comic Con.

First let me say I am lucky to live in the land of the second largest comic con in the United States.  At the same time, a New York Minute is no joke, and most days of my life lunch doesn’t exist.

My land, right here.

My land, right here.

Living here is part of why writing is so difficult.  My life never stops, its a never ending merry go round of shit to do. I’ve wanted to get back to this, I’ve wanted to write again both for myself and for Comic Frontline.  I’m going to strike a balance.  I’m considering some combination of movies and comic book arcs (I don’t do that cliffhanger stuff) and one post that is solely more like my Christine post perhaps once a week each.  Regardless, I went to Comic Con Saturday and Sunday.  I wanted to go on Friday, but that horrible queue system made it hard to do and slowly getting the tickets became The Hunger Games and the scalpers were Mr. Snow.

imageI still went despite the slightly traumatizing experience of getting the tickets.  I did not go to any panels, but I wish I went to writing panels.  Apparently there was information regarding publishing your own comic book, and that could’ve been useful.  I went for myself and for my blog.  I mean, honestly, it’s all kind of a blur to me.  I mostly went to booths and bought way too much shit and figured out who everyone was cosplaying as.  I did do a cosplay on Sunday, but not Saturday.  It was Jurassic Park related (duh).  Unfortunately nobody guessed what I was (or cared very much at all about what I was), but if you saw somebody in a pink shirt with a JP cap it was yours truly, you creeper.

My first thoughts upon going was, well, it’s just fucking crowded.  Really crowded.  I kind of wish they’d do something about that, but I don’t imagine what they could possibly do.  It just seems like a bit of a hazard to have hoards of people who are barely moving their feet.  The booths were rather interactive, and if nothing else, really interesting.

I'm set. I can leave NYCC now.

I’m set. I can leave NYCC now.  It’s coming with me, though.

While at NYCC, I honestly realized how poor I was.  I saw posters signed by celebrities (Ahem, Hayley Atwell) and Sideshow statues that I wish I had 400 bucks lying around to buy.  They featured Batman statues and an amazing Joker statue so amazing that the price was TBD.  It was that gorgeous that they couldn’t even decide on a price yet.  I went into NYCC with the mindset I wanted one thing related to a small group of people:  Batman, The Joker, Batgirl, Nightwing, Captain America/The Avengers, Peggy, and Catwoman.  I found Batman, Joker, Avengers, and Batgirl fairly easily.  Nightwing wasn’t too tough but it required some searching, same with Peggy.  Guess who’s still the only character I can find nothing for?

That's right.

That’s right.

Yep.  Catwoman.  I could find next to nothing Catwoman.  I found one mediocre t-shirt, this statue, and a few other things, but that’s basically it.  While the statue is a great mention, it’s not economically practical.  I mean, I blew over 100 bucks in this place.  I can’t just drop 400 bucks on a statue.  It was frustrating.  There were some amazing cosplayers, but I was undercover.  I wanted to take a photo of them and put them on here (like a top ten cosplayers type thing), but I was with people who I don’t want to see this blog because I’m intensely private that way.  Next year I will be doing that.  The ones that come to mind are the Hulk Buster, Ghost Busters, and the woman dressed as Claire from JW (or at least a JW scientist).

Speaking of JW.. how disappointing.

They’ve already announced another movie, and had a corner dedicated to the movie, but that’s it.  Now mind you, I liked Jurassic Park before it was cool.  I waited for JW for 14 years.  I scoured the floor for more JW related things, but nothing.  It was all superheroes and anime, and a bit of Pokemon but even that was lacking a bit.

imageThis was the extent of JW-related things.  I wish it wasn’t, but it was.  All the booths had impressive displays, don’t get me wrong – but if you want to keep the hype going for a movie (a JW sequel) that everyone is collectively like “what now?” at, I don’t know, any more merch would help out.  Buy something.  Limited edition something.  A bunch of guys in costumes is nice, but ship out some shit to sell.  I LOVED the amount of Civil War, Deadpool, and Avengers stuff around.  It was utterly everywhere.  And even Peggy got her share of time:

image

Like some other people we know.

800 bucks.. that hurts.

Regardless, I was happy with my prints and my lithographs.  The booths, while expensive, were wonderful eye candy.  The murals might not have come home with me, but they were immersive nonetheless.  You really knew where you were.  You really felt the excitement for future movies and comics and games and whatever else.  It was very superhero heavy, and actually a good bit Star Wars heavy.  It being superhero heavy is why I lost as much money as I did. There were also exclusive Harry Potter statues and The Hunger Games – unfortunately I am not reporting on anime because I have no clue who anyone is.  Pokemon was lacking a bit, but I feel we’re in the age of superheroes – and with references to Civil War, Bat v Supes, and Deadpool utterly everywhere, NYCC didn’t disappoint.  For the JP nerds – they had old school JP toys from The Lost World and the original Jurassic Park in the box.  For sale.  There.  I wish.

Overall, I feel there could be more emphasis on female characters.  Tap into that reserve.  More Batgirl, Peggy, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy could prove useful.  You might even make a buck (or a couple hundred thousand).  It felt male character centric, with some extra emphasis on Wonder Woman.  I just want to see that happen.  Maybe Wonder Woman will help change it.

No Fantastic Four, though, of course.