Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Professor O | It's the Comic/Anime/Manga Odyssey and Adventures!

Excelsior, intrepid explorers of the graphic storytelling sort!

Snikt! Snikt!

My name is Professor O and I humbly ask to be your guide on a tour of the varied and eclectic comic books/Anime/Manga your local library has to offer in its collection. I propose to read and watch as many of these tales and offer my knowledge, accumulated through eons of space and time travel, to educate and entertain. Quite possibly, creating new converts along the way. The adventure begins, fellow adventurer! We will read of tales of adventure, of heroics, of universe altering events, and stories to reinforce our humanity. All this and more await on the library's shelves, lets take a peek...

As this is our first step together, I wish to begin our trip with a little history lesson. We must have a context to base all of our subsequent findings, do we not? We need to know the history of Superheroes and what their place in our world is. Professor O believes in the merits of being a well informed fanboy; I do not know about you. Anyway, the first submission for our blog will not be of a comic book, anime film, or manga, but it will be of a book. A history book to be exact. Supergods by Grant Morrison (Arkham Asylum, All-star Superman) is a great book that gives a quick history of superheroes, starting with that alien orphan we love so much, Superman, and that other human orphan whose parents were murdered one fateful night: Batman. Morrison, who is a personal fav comic book writer of Professor O's, takes the journey of the flying men in tights all the way up to the modern craze of profitable (sometimes terrible) Hollywood movies. An overall theme of the book is the connection of heroes being conduits of the ideas, feelings, and norms of a particular time. Our heroes reflect us more than we think, or want to imagine.
Reading about the hero's various incarnations through the decades is hilarious, sometimes mildly disturbing. For example, in the 50s and 60s our heroes did everything but fight crime. Superman was constantly fighting off a ferocious and resolute Lois Lane and her constant marriage proposals/nags. In one story, the Man of Steel promised to finally marry her if she met him at a chapel at a set time. He then proceeds to weld the doors of the car shut, with her in it, to prevent her from making the agreed upon date! Professor O is shocked at such blatant misuse of a powerful weapon! The Man of Steel should be wasting his heat vision on space monsters, not chickening out of marriage!

This book will be a good start. Next installment, we begin our journey...

Professor O also recommends these other works by Grant Morrison, located at your local library: