Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This was part of a panel on mythology at the American Folklore Society meeting. There's some talk of turning the papers from the panel (three or four, depending on what we decide) into an issue of a journal, sort of like a collection of articles. There's a journal interested. We'll see. It was a good panel, and Boise was pretty cool.
About ten days from now, I'm going to deliver another conference paper. This time, it's about the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, and the dedication of Jerry Siegel's old house in Cleveland. This will be part of the Hoosier Folklore Conference, in Nashville, Indiana. The paper's called "When Imaginary Places Become Real."
I'm working on revisions of an article to submit to the journal Western Folklore, whose editor has been more than helpful. And I spent half an hour talking to a book publisher on Friday of last week.
But there's still a long way to go. I've got a good sense of the entire book, and an outline, and a lot of research....still, I figure it'll be a year before I've got a manuscript done and ready to show to anyone. That seems sooooo far away.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This variability is one quality that makes a story mythic. I'm not talking about the variability of a single film adaptation of a movie, or even two or three. I'm talking about the fact that there is no fixed text. People can point to an official Moby Dick or Lord of the Rings. They can't point to an official Superman. Would it be this current Secret Origin? Yeah, if you read the comics and adhere to the continuity. For the next five years or so, until they do it all over again because of a universe-shattering battle. But it's not THE Superman if you're only a fan of Smallville, or of George Reeves, or Christopher Reeve, or the Silver Age, or don't read the movies or watch the shows or read the comics but still know about Superman because everybody does. (Seriously, everybody does. Even people with no real access to American media.)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
While Superman is, well, super, he was always too perfect, and rather one-dimensional.
There's Henry Jenkins, from a while ago.
And, because we're still trying to figure out how to make Supermen...Science!
Another review of Secret Origin 1, by Rokk. The discussion is interesing, particularly for this line:
it isn't like DC's continuity or present-day comics for that matter warrant religious following; you pick and choose what you like, sadly
This list is an intersesting one. Not so much for the content--it's really just a list of Superman comics that the writer likes. It's how it's framed that I find worth noting. 10 Essential Superman comics to help you forget Smalliville. As with any sacred narrative worth caring about, there has to be dissention among the ranks. I think this is worth exploring.
I'm going to have to find this one. What if Superman were raised by apes?
I have to post this. In Italy, a Man Dressed like Superman is arrested for stalking Burlesconi.
Monday, October 12, 2009
There's evidently yet another documentary about Superman, called Last Son. This one delves into the truth behind the creation of the character. If I'm reading correctly, it's more about the death of Siegel's father than anything else. Looks interesting. Not quite sure how to get my hands on it, though.
Marc Tyler Nobleman, creator of Boys of Steel (a comic book biography about Siegel and Shuster) wrote this little post about the current popularity of Superman's creators. The Last Son guy throws his two cents in.
In an unrelated link, there's this essay on the impact of John Byrne's 1986 variation of the Superman story at newsarama, by tomothy Callahan. He says the legacy of Byrne's changes is the humanization of Superman, and the cumulative stories--continuity, in other words, and character issues instead of just fights.
Here's a lesson plan on how to teach heroism and mythology to middle-schoolers.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Superman is a work in progress.