‘Angel! Warren!’ calls out Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin to his friend. ‘I shouted to Archangel, but he didn’t hear me’ Colossus remarks, turning to Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy a.k.a. the Beast, and Forge. “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed time is loosed and everywhere, the ceremony of innocence is drowned. The best lack conviction, while the worse…are full of passionate intensity” the Beast quotes, while picking up a photograph of Xavier that somehow survived the explosion. For Moira, love Charles scribbled on the photo.
Colossus remarks ‘That’s by Mikhail Lermontov’, to which Hank replies ‘William Yeats, actually. “The Second Coming”’ he reveals. ‘Oh. It sounded Russian’ Piotr remarks..."
- X-Factor #70 (Vol. 1)
I wanted to sit down for this blog and write about the man that I feel is Chris Claremont's spiritual successor on Uncanny X-Men: Matt Fraction. I intended to trace my path from hate to love for that man's writing, but decided that I wanted to sit down and re-read his run thus far to truly encapsulate my thoughts.
Soooooooooo, instead I decided to just write down whatever the hell random shit crossed my minds relating to comic books. Currently I am watching "Talking with Gods", the documentary about Grant Morrison (go buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Grant-Morrison-Talking-Gods/dp/B003VADSNW/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292371273&sr=1-1) and reading "Zero Game" by Brad Meltzer (here: http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Game-Brad-Meltzer/dp/0446612111/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292371577&sr=8-1), and it dawns on me that I would never have made my way to either of these projects if it wasn't for comic books.
Grant Morrison is, by far, my favorite comic book writer at this time...possibly of all time...so it's only natural that I eventually find my way to his documentary. But it's in this watching that I find myself wanting to explore the non-comic related material that influenced him: Alistair Crowley and Phillip K. Dick for example.
I had never heard of Brad Meltzer until he took over "Green Arrow" after Kevin Smith, and it wasn't until I read "Identity Crisis" that I discovered he had a career as a novelist. The enjoyment I got from his comic book material led me first to "Book of Fate" and now to "Zero Hour", and I just learned he has a TV series that I want to check out called "Decoded".
This got me thinking as to what else have comic books turned me on to, and I think most of the roads lead to literature. Chris Claremont, thru The Beast, got me interested in the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, William Butler Yeats, Shakespeare, and various other philosophers/poets that he would have Hank McCoy quote. My first exposure to anything from Dante was thru the medium of comic books. My dad's love for Thor got me interested in Norse mythology which led to Greek mythology. We shall see if Grant's "18 Days", which I should be picking up this week, gets me into Hindu mythology.
That's not to say that it's a one-way street either because other forms of media have certainly gotten my into comics. My interest in Babylon 5 is what drew me to JMS' "Rising Stars" book, my interest in Buffy is what caused me to read "Astonishing X-Men" because I certainly had no interest in reading yet ANOTHER X-Men book, and movie adaptations have certainly caused me to book up a number of books (Scott Pilgrim and Red most recently).
I guess the various forms of media (comic books included) have kind of become integrated. Comic book writers become novelists while novelists write comic books, the same goes for screenwriters, for musicians, for actors, and it all becomes a part of the same pop culture pool. The music influences the comics influences the movies influences the novels influences the art influences the people...it's all tied together. Everyone finds their inspiration in different locations, like for me music plays a big part in setting the mood for what I end up writing.
And the influence of what I have been exposed to either directly, or indirectly, by comics has certainly shaped a great deal of my interests in life. I doubt I'm the only one that has experienced this sort of learning because of something that is frequently dubbed "kid's stuff", or that I'm the only reader who has had their life shaped in many ways by the "funny books". It's no different than music, art, literature, or any other form of media...they are all married in some fashion, and we all benefit from it.
Thanks for listening....reading...sharing...whatever.