On Creativity, Comic Books, and TR

I have been feeling creative of late. More creative than I’ve felt recently.

A number of projects that were running in background processes and had begun to come up “Not Responding” on the mental Task Manager have started running again.

And I’ve realized I’ve not put together the “Yankees Suck” sign yet; I need to do that. I want to have a second message in Elvish, though. Maybe something about A-Fraud? Or “Jeter Blows” maybe?

So, how old is Peter Parker supposed to be, anyway?

A discussion elsewhere on the ‘net has made me wonder.

My guess is thirty, plus or minus two.

Figuring out the age of comic book characters is always tricky. Batman and Superman are near-contemporaries, right? According to Man of Steel, they debuted in the same year, and later stories have confirmed that.

Except, Bruce Wayne is between forty-five and fifty, and I’d favor the higher end. You have to factor in Dick’s long service as Robin (over a decade), plus Jason’s term as Robin, plus Tim’s time as Robin. Then you have to factor in Damian’s life. Bruce Wayne has been fighting crime as Batman for over two decades.

But is Superman (and, by extension Lois Lane) also pushing fifty? It seems unlikely. It seems very unlikely. I can see them as thirty-five-ish, max. So there’s a fifteen year chronological discrepancy between Batman and Superman.

DC won’t do it, but they should decouple the debuts of Batman and Superman.

I want to see Teddy Roosevelt punch John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Eric Cantor in the freakin’ mouth.

He’d do it, too.

I’m presently reading Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States, edited by Daniel Ruddy.

Roosevelt was many things in his life, an amateur historian among them. This book takes selections from his extensive writings (books, letters, and more) and forms from them a coherent narrative of American history, beginning with Roosevelt expounding upon the historical method, and then an overview starting with the American Revolution.

I’ve read Roosevelt’s The Naval War of 1812 (his history of the War of 1812, with especial emphasis on the naval conflict, but the land campaigns, the causes, and the resolution are covered as well), and this book could easily sit beside them. It’s opinionated and it’s muscular, and Roosevelt isn’t afraid to take aim at some of the sacred cows of American history.

He has little patience for Thomas Paine (he calls Paine a “filthy atheist”), he fixes blame for the Civil War on Thomas Jefferson (due to Jefferson’s assertion of nullification over the Alien and Sedition Acts). He considers Washington a great American, but not a genius. Lincoln, however, is a genius, one of the few true geniuses that the American experiment has produced.

Roosevelt has harsh words for the South and their deplorable record on civil rights. (There is an interesting idea that is floated — Representative apportionment based not on total population but on voting population. If someone either chooses not to vote or is not allowed to vote, they don’t count toward the population used to apportion the House of Representatives.)

One thing that’s clear is that Roosevelt would punch today’s Republicans in the mouth; they have perverted his party and repudiated everything he believed in. Efforts to nullify health care reform, the yawning chasm between rich and poor and the economic policies that have fostered this, the anti-government rhetoric the Republicans have promulgated — Roosevelt would be appalled by these. He would also be shocked that the Democratic Party, a political party he considered nigh-treasonous and destructive to the American experiment — is more in line today with his own political philosophy than the Republican Party he was a long and loyal member of.

A fascinating read.

And, yes, I would love to see TR pop Boehner in the mouth. One man is rugged, the other uses spray-on tan. I know who I would pick in that fight…

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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