Thursday, September 28, 2006

Writers and their Comic Books, Pt. 1

Thanks to the popular demand in my head, I thought I'd fill you in on the comic book characters treasured by our nation's greatest scribes. One of my favorite novelists, James Whorton, Jr., claims to recall with fondness a fellow called The Phantom Hitchhiker, star of a horror comic, the exact title of which Whorton has since forgotten. Tom Bissell, author of the riveting, thrill-a-minute, but starkly serious (well, sometimes hilarious) travel book CHASING THE SEA and the harrowing, sometimes hilarious book of short stories GOD LIVES IN ST. PETERSBURG, professes a boyhood fascination with Nightcrawler, Aquaman and Iron Fist. He also cops to an - if I may characterize it thus - unsavory relationship with Dream Girl of the Legion of Superheroes. Another daredevilish, globetrotting writer named Tom (this one Junod, of ESQUIRE) cites Cyclops, because he wore glasses that kept him from blowing up the world... a perfect hero for a nerd, Junod says, casting his younger self in that role, but I don't believe it. I'm just saying, he's a handsome man. My friend Jeff McNeil claims that he found the comic book Spider-Man "too slow" and preferred the animated TV show... which is his way of admitting, I think, that this is more his speed. And if you've ever read the tough-as-nails short stories of Pia Z. Ehrhardt, you'll be flabbergasted at the identity of her favorite character. Wow, this entry seemed like a great idea when I started it. I wanted to practice linking to things. Now I'm just weary. It seems like a fine way to avoid writing a novel, though. In conclusion, I do have to thank Phil Oppenheim, a Senior VP (or something) at TNT, who took time from his "busy" day to teach me how to put pictures (see below) and links on my blog. He gasped with glee and delight, I feel comfortable telling you, when he saw that one of my recent posts was about THE GILMORE GIRLS. It turns out that Phil has been the subject of much ridicule from his underlings in the once-mighty Turner Empire, because they have cozened out his devotion to that long-running comedy-drama. You have to know what a mean, mean man Phil is to appreciate the contrast. His favorite comic book character, by the way, was Mr. Nick Fury. And with that, I give up blogging forever.