Recently I’ve been expanding into a new nerd arena. Specifically, I have begun to collect comic books.
A few years ago DC Comics did a big reset of all of their comic titles with an event called the New 52. Every character was set back to square one. Most of the familiar elements, relationships, and villains have been retained, but you can start at issue #1 and know what’s going on, rather than buying issue #438 and feeling like you’re coming aboard in the middle of a story.
So that’s great for me, since I was looking for a “jumping-on point”. It meant that I had a little bit of backlog to catch up with, but not so much that it would be too overwhelming (or expensive).
I picked two titles to start with, The Flash (my favourite superhero) and Batman (because he’s Batman). I’m collecting them as the trade paperbacks come out, because it’s cheaper than getting them one issue at a time, and they’re easier to store on a shelf. So far I have the first three volumes of The Flash and the first two volumes of Batman.
I’m considering branching out into a third title, but I’m not sure what to choose. The options I’m considering are:
Justice League (big team-ups are exciting),
Action Comics (Superman is another favourite of mine), or
Aquaman (well reviewed, a character I’m less familiar with).
I’m leaning towards Action Comics, because I read the first issue and liked it, but we’ll see.
At a recent garage sale I also grabbed half a dozen younger-audience Batman comics to share with Calvin and Victor as they grow up, so that could be fun!
This week I am launching Special People, which is a fiction project about people with special powers and abilities. The stories are action-oriented, humourous, and, hopefully, unique!
The concept behind Special People lies somewhere in between a serialized novel, a text-only comic book series, and a long-form world-building exercise. The goal is to post weekly updates that tell interconnecting stories within a common setting. So far the site is seeded with two short standalone, or “single,” chapters, as well as the six chapters of a longer story called Hands-On that you may have already read if you bought Feel-Good.
The main thing I have to hammer out at this point is my update schedule. Right now I’m planning to post new chapters every Wednesday, and occasionally on Mondays or Fridays, as well.
I hope you enjoy what’s there, and check back on Wednesday for the first chapter from a new story arc called King of the Dark.
While working on my thesis earlier this week, it occurred to me that the name of one of the sociologists whose work I was citing was really pretty cool. That sociologist’s name is Donatella della Porta. I think that’s an awesome name. I said so on Twitter, and received this reply:
In the interest of testing the theory that my wedding ring has granted me the ability to find and identify awesome names, I did a search for “awesome names” and found this baby name page. On that page there are a bunch of names that are supposed to be “awesome,” but I can’t say I agree with a lot of the choices. Maybe I’m in the minority; the choices were supposedly based on popularity ratings, after all. So that’s a strike against the theory.
To explore a variation on the theory, I looked up an old 50-word story I wrote called Proceedings of the Juvenile Court, in which I invented several names. The names I created for that story were, and still are, completely awesome (I especially like Fkaisl Ipsidav), but I invented them before I was married, so that can’t have been an ability granted to me by my ring. Strike two.
As my last attempt, I went to the Wikipedia page that lists sociologists, to see if my ability might just be tied to finding cool names among sociologists. This tactic showed some promise. A quick glance-through allowed me to identify Stanley Aronowitz, Enzo Faletto, Rick Fantasia, Tariq Modood, and Slavoj Žižek. You are obligated to agree that all of these sociologists have awesome names. Especially Mr. Žižek (some of whose work I have actually already been exposed to through various classes).
I still can’t be entirely sure that the awesomeness of sociologists’ names isn’t something that existed before I got married, but there may be something here to keep an eye on.