T-shirt #43: DEADMAN
This T-shirt wanted to be today's T-shirt.
I just returned from my basement, where I was searching for a toy to use when posing with the T-shirt I had chosen for today, but instead of finding that toy, I spotted the "M.I.B." DEADMAN toy (M.I.B. = Mint in Box).
Knowing I also own the hardcover, slipcase, collected edition of Deadman, I decided to open a box. I have not unpacked my graphic novels and collected edition hardbacks since moving them to my house in January. I slit the tape on the first box on top of the first stack, and guess what? There was The DEADMAN Collected Edition right on top. I would take that as a sign, wouldn't you?
I abandoned my plans to blog about one of my other favorite heroes and chose Deadman instead.
You know, how this Deadman came to be today's feature mirrors Deadman's power. In the DC Comics, Deadman is the stage name of the circus trapeze artist Boston Brand who is murdered and becomes a ghost with the power to possess other people's bodies.
(SIDENOTE #1: Those who like to geek it up in comics will know that the circus trapeze artist connection is the clue to the hero that I was going to feature today.)
Deadman first appeared in Strange Adventures #205 in 1967 with an issue well known as the first comic book that the Comics Code Authority allowed to depict anything to do with narcotics.
The story was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino.
Regular readers of my blog will recognize that I have mentioned Mr. Infantino already in the entries for T-shirt #20 and T-shirt #28. I suspect he will be mentioned yet again given his influence on the comic book business.
Though many artists and writers have tackled the Deadman character over the years, he is best associated with the art of Neal Adams.
In my entry on Iron Fist (T-shirt #27), I listed my top five favorite all time comic book artists as Gil Kane, George Perez, Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, and John Romita. Well, this was a hasty decision as I quite forgot about NEAL ADAMS. Terrible oversight. Probably, to be fair, I should organize artists by era. And in my formative years, Alex Ross was not yet drawing. On the other hand, Neal Adams was drawing then and in his heyday.
(SIDENOTE #2: When I lived in New York for a time in 1985, I met Neal Adams when I visited his Continuity Comics offices after randomly meeting one of his employees in a restaurant after the guy (whose name I think was Arlen) spotted my reading a comic book).
I have always loved Deadman, so when this shirt was solicited last Fall, I was compelled to order one. I also bought one for my father, who loves red shirts but also loves the Deadman stories and the art of Neal Adams as much as I do.
Deadman is just cool. Stone cold cool.
The idea of possessing bodies has all sorts of intriguing possibilities.
He teamed up many times with Batman in The Brave and the Bold and with the Phantom Stranger (another favorite character) in his title.
Deadman was also featured in both the Blackest Night and Brightest Day series' by DC Comics and in the special story Kingdom Come, for which the company produced a very cool toy (which I also own somewhere) pictured here.
But Deadman's tragedy as the victim of murder as well as his mission as a ghost dedicated to redemption was a compelling story for a young boy reading comics in the 1970s. Also, with a fictional Hindu goddess, Rama Kushna (a "safe" comic book variation of Rama-Krishna), granting Deadman his powers, these stories serve as another example of how I first learned of things, many things, like Hinduism, via comic books.
The full story of Deadman's life in comics is featured in the Wikipedia entry, which is both extensive and accurate. There is also a great tumblr dedicated to Deadman: Deadman Comics, Issue by Issue and of course Deadman can be found in a search using the Grand Comic Database.
Supposedly, Guillermo Del Toro is either working on a solo film just about Deadman or using Deadman in a film about the new Justice League Dark, a title in DC's latest iteration known as The New 52.
Chris Tower did not choose today's blog entry subject.
I am not Chris Tower typing this entry; I am Boston Brand; I am Deadman.
We're done now, but I am not done with Chris Tower, who knows when I will let him have his body back.
- Boston Brand, aka Deadman, inhabiting the body of chris tower
1305.03 - 12:31
One of these photos courtesy of Liesel MK Tower
365 T-shirts - the reasoning
This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.
I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.
I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.
When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.
The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.
I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.
Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)