Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Poignant Recollection

Mr. Jamie Allen, one of the editors of the quarterly "Duck & Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide," chimes in with Chapter 14 of our series on childhood superhero freakouts and their effect on modern literature. It may be remarked upon with some interest that the autumnal gloom and mystery of Mr. Allen's tale is rivaled only by that of another editor, Mr. Eli Horowitz. What is up with editors? Only time will tell. For now, we turn to the words of Mr. Allen: "There was one [comic book] that stands out in my mind for two reasons. It was a large one, given to me when I was sick, with this magificent cover showing Superman and Shazam facing off - in a fight to the death! The drawing was colorful and the muscles were ripped and I just couldn't understand how Superman and Shazam could fight each other, let alone to the death. This is one reason it stands out; I really liked Superman and could never see him losing any sort of fight, of course, but I also really liked Shazam because he didn't get the respect he deserved in the shadow of Superman, I felt. And so I immediately had a lot at stake in the fight between Superman and Shazam. I think I was using my storytelling brain for one of the first times, because I had all kinds of scenarios worked up before I even opened the thing. And then I opened the thing and it was, you know, the ol' comic book trick where the pictures are not color or even as well drawn. And the storyline just didn't live up to the hype inside my head. This is the second reason I remember this so well. I remember I would allow myself to be fooled by it again and again - I'd see the awesome cover of the comic book, and I'd think, Maybe I missed something? Maybe I wasn't as advanced in my reading the first time I read it? And I would open it again and the same thing - anti-climax." POSTSCRIPT FROM THE "BLOGMASTER": Mr. Allen may be forgiven, considering the rather traumatic circumstances, for forgetting that the character's name is Captain Marvel and "Shazam" merely the magic word he uses to achieve his transformation.