Saturday, November 03, 2007

From the Amazon Blog

Spandex Forever!
9:36 PM PDT, November 2, 2007
Welcome back to the Our Gods Wear Spandex blog. I'd like to thank everyone who's picked up the book! As I've said this is just the beginning of what I hope to become a long cultural conversation, and I intend to use this blog to turn readers on to books and other cultural artifacts that I think will augment the experience of those of you interested in these topics. Now for all of you old school Marvel maniacs, I am going to present the news in a manner you may find strangely familiar...

ITEM!- I will be on Jason Croft's excellent weekly radio program Sidetracks on November 3rd, 5pm central time. The show streams live on WILL-AM 580's site and will be archived in a week or so. Jason is a true believer of the first order and our conversation will give the curious an excellent introduction to the premise of the book. I've done some other interviews that will be on-air or online soon and I will notify all and sundry as to dates, times and locales. You can check out Jason's show at

ITEM!- As promised, I've posted a recommended reading list. Check it out here. I may have a few more lists in store- scratch that, I will have a few more lists in store for readers of this blog that will give you guys a better idea of some of the issues I'm working through in Spandex.ITEM!- I do have a very hearty recommendation on tap tonight- the surprisingly great new Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme DVD. Be aware that I am highly biased (I mean, I even loved the cheeseball Doc Strange TV movie from the 70's) but this DVD is probably the best superhero animation since Batman: The Animated Series. The story is by no means canonical, but in many ways is a much more compelling version of the Doctor's origin (why exactly pre-accident Strange was so heartless is explored in-depth). The animation is top-rate, the voice acting is as well and there are some very cool new characters in the mix. The reworking of Dormammu may be jarring to some traditionalists, but the breathless pace of the third act will quiet any quibbling. Even if you aren't a Doctor Strange fan already, I think you'll really dig this new vision of the character. I'll be writing a full review of it soon and will repost it here.

ITEM!- Joe and I have worked up some exclusive content for Amazon that should be going up soon. Joe worked up a hilarious caricature of he and I and in a brand new essay, I explore the impact that new superhero revolution is having on the media at large. Which leads me to my next...

ITEM!- People have been asking me what I think of the new season of Heroes. I know ratings are down dramatically, and the planned Heroes:Origins mini-series has been put on hold. I don't think there's much of a mystery here- there are too many characters onscreen and too many storylines in play. To me, it's definitely a case of too much of a good thing. I would recommend that some of these new characters (heck, some of the old ones, too) are put on the back burner or dispensed with altogether. I think the writers are trying to avoid the problems with pacing that Lost was having, but I think they've gone too far in the other direction. It's one thing to have seven simultaneous storylines when you have a daily soap, but with a weekly show it becomes enervating. The good news is that I think what is wrong with Heroes is very easily fixed- simply trim the fat and focus on the interplay between the characters featured in the first season. We like those characters and we like those relationships- that's why we made the show a hit.

ITEM!- Fans of Heroes would do well to also check out The 4400, which in many ways is the unacknowledged inspiration for NBC's hit. The 4400 may not have the budget or the sex appeal of Heroes, but it has very compelling characters and a much more coherent approach to juggling their storylines. The 4400 just finished its fourth season and it was a bit of a mixed bag- the season started and ended strongly, but sagged a bit in the middle. Part of the problem is that it tried stealing back a bit of Heroes' thunder by emphasizing more explicit superpowers. There was also a troubling cheapness to the show's look, perhaps the result of budget cuts. But all's well that ends well and this season of The 4400 ended very well indeed. Anyone interested in comics and superheroes should be watching.

ITEM!- My comics recommendation this week is not superhero-oriented, but will very much appeal to fans of all stripes. It's Rick Veitch's Army@Love. This book is a scathing parody of our current military adventuring in the Middle East that is laugh-out-loud funny and sexy as hell. Think Chaykin's American Flagg transposed into our current reality (not much of a leap, actually). Veitch's imagineering is so endlessly inventive and frightfully credible he may find unwittingly himself drafted into service to re-remake the military for the 21st Century...

That's all for now, true believers. Please visit often for future updates. And oh yeah, buy my book! =)


  1. I think you made short mention on vyzygoth's show about a personality- type that is "un-trainable," as per normative, organizational parameters but still is quite creative, insightful, productive, etc.. I know tons of people like that. Where was that coment drawing from, if I may ask ? A book, a formal psych/character category, personal observation/experience ?

  2. Lonenutter:

    Mostly from personal experience. I've known some brilliant guys who never seem to be able to get their life in order.

  3. Love the way your slipping Jungian archetypal psych (and REAL HISTORY) into the mass-mind through pop culture iconic topics and characters. Not a new idea, of course, but thanks for revifying it with some new paint. Check this review of this British author's life. Amazing/hilarious. I also wanted to ask some more about the savant-like characters you've known. Like, what ,specifically, would you say constituted, in your *mind*, a sense of a more accelerated or integrated set of abilities/sensibilities in them ? And what was it that kept them form getting traction in a social/economic/emotional sense ?

  4. "Like, what ,specifically, would you say constituted, in your *mind*, a sense of a more accelerated or integrated set of abilities/sensibilities in them ? And what was it that kept them form getting traction in a social/economic/emotional sense ?"

    Wow, my friend, that's a whole book unto itself. I was really just making a general statement on people I've known- people too smart to punch a clock and not be bored silly by the end of their first day on the job. But I think there's a line of inquiry worth pursuing.

  5. Sometimes the most innocuous comments trigger you at the right *time*. I know lots of characters like that and I've never quite known what to do with them...There was a series based on the mutant genome type and their various victories and mis-adventures. Uber-menschkins (?)

  6. Hey Chris, I'm going through your archives and am loving it.

    I tracked back the recommended reading list to Amazon. But they're all comics or fiction. Nothing wrong with that of course, I'm reading Alan Moore's Promethea actually!

    Though I was wondering if you had a recommended reading list of where you learned the occult symbolism?

    I seem far behind on the Synchromystic bloggers and would love some pointers on which books to explore first :)