|Posted on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 03:07 pm: |
I am sorry you do not share my fidelity to comic books. Because I must acknowledge that Spiderman, Superman, etc. are at the very foundation of my education. I honestly feel the only reason I am alive now to chat with you is because while most of my (sadly departed) childhood chums were boosting freight trains, smoking joints and molesting girls, I was inside with a few friends poring over the latest issues of the Avengers.
It's funny. Perhaps I exalt the benefits of comic because all of the brothahs I personally know who are educated, graduated college, productive, were comic book and Greek/Roman mythology fiends. If we are unique in that regard, please let me know. I have always said were I ever to publish a book, I would dedicated it to GOD, my mother and legendary comic book impresarios Stan Lee & the late/great Jack Kirby.
The first time I ever thought to look up the definition of a "ton" is when the word was being used in relation to how much the Hulk could lift. Prior to reading comics, I NEVER had that level of regard/concern for what I read. Because before I starting reading comics, I did not read much of anything, certainly not for recreation, to begin with.
Still, I find it interesting that you two are reformed comic book readers. Tell me then, me my brothers, had you not read comics, would (or did) you have read anything else at all? I certainly would not have.
And what's wrong with boys indulging some fantasies of vigilantism if it helps to also foster notions about honor, morality and heroism. I have never heard of ANY sane comic book consumers who took some passage from Superman as justification for committing any crime. Actually, most of the guys I know who regularly read heroic comic books were MUCH less likely to break the law than those who did not.
I'll bet there are 100's black scientists whose quests of knowledge were buoyed by genius of the Fantastic Four's leader Reed Richards (AKA "Mr. Fantastic"). I'll bet there are scores black engineers who were inspired by the technological talents of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) And I personally know a curator at a science museum who's interests in the stars was inspired by travels of Norrin Radd (AKA "The Silver Surfer"). Heck, Oscar-winning movie star Nicholas Ford Coppola adopted the stage name Nick Cage in honor of his favorite comic character Marvel's soulbrotha hero Luke Cage (AKA "Powerman")
Tell the truth fellas: I'll bet the first time you ever heard of terms like "light speed", "gamma radiation", "red sun", "black hole", "Nova", "cybernetic", "android", "miscreant", "vanquish", "galaxy", "parsec", "multi-dimensional", "sub-atomic", "quasar", "gravitation pull", "teleportation", "mutant", "daredevil", "black widow", "krytonite", "juggernaut", invulnerable, "invisible", "galaxy", "eon", "millennium" and thousands of other exciting multi-syllabic terms were from comic books. Heck, I got to the point where I read my comics once to get the story and a second time to look up all of the words I did not understand.
I know this is site dedicated to AA books, and some might find my comic book spiel to be a seemingly irrelevant indulgence. But I brought this up because I think we too often get mired in minutia and not on what should be our core, primary objectives. We should focus on getting the boys to read first & foremost. If Mules & Men will accomplish that, great. But if comic books can better facilitate the building and development of effecting reading/vocabulary, so be it, I don't care if the heroes are short of "crotches" (& why were you concerned about Supes n-sack anyway?). If we get them hook on reading SOMETHING, they are much more likely to get around to the more real and serious subject covered in AA literature.
PS: A friend of mine produces TV/radio commercials. He said he once witnessed a very lengthy argument between 2 wealthy advertising executives about who would win in a fight, Superman (DC) or Thor (Marvel).