This is my oldest comic book themed long-sleeve shirt. It was a promotional shirt for the Robinson and Harris Starman comic published by DC Comics from 1994 to 2001. As you can see, I also own a matching watch, and sometimes I am known to wear them together. I already blogged about Starman in T-shirt #138, in which I mentioned that I would return with more Starman content. I am not going to deliver a lot of Starman content today despite my promise from T-shirt #138. I will give a snapshot and a small cover gallery. But mainly, I wanted to share today about gaming, as seen in the older pictures of me playing Magic the Gathering with friends, and last night we watched Cloud Atlas as a family, and I really liked it, so I want to make some comments about it. This theme of various subjects mirrors the T-shirt #138 entry, in which I wrote about many things in addition to Starman: Valiant comics, Optic Nerve, Lazarus, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gun Machine and Dead Pig Collector, and off-hand mention of Gilligan's Island. I also briefly explored DESIGN FICTION. Actually, my original plan contained more subjects for today, but I cut it down. Comic book reviews that I was going to do today, I will do tomorrow.
So here we go.
Jack Knight is the son of the original Starman, Ted Knight.
Jack Knight Wiki
Jack Knight on ComicVine
In my reading, I came across an interesting article on why superheroes disappear.
Top 10 Reasons that Superheroes Disappear
I like Tony Harris' art. I really liked the art deco look of all the Starman covers during this period. Harris' run on Ex Machina, written by Brian K. Vaughan, was also a comic I enjoyed immensely. Based on the strength of Robinson's writing for Starman, I was ready to anoint him as one of my favorite writers, but I have not liked his work lately. I very much enjoyed his Golden Age comic for DC. He wrote the Justice Society comic for years, and I liked that work. But his recent work on Justice League of America and more recently Earth-Two left me cold. Now, he is set to take over The Fantastic Four next year; see article here: WORD OF THE NERD. I am trying to keep an open mind, as I have liked much of his work in the past, but I am a bit worried. Still, Robinson wrote some Fantastic Four in 1997 with art by Mike Wieringo, in a forgettable crossover with WildStorm.
BACK TO JACK.
Jack Knight has been off the canvas for sometime at DC after retiring at the end of the series known as Starman Volume Two. James Robinson wrote an issue of Starman in 2010 during DC's Blackest Night crossover, in which dead comic book titles were revived for one month. Jack Knight did not appear in the issue.
Part of the allure of Starman Volume Two is that Jack Knight is a bit of an anti-hero, he has tattoos, he smokes, he's reluctant to wield the Cosmic Rod and be a hero, he has father issues, and both with his own father and in being a father. Jack reluctantly takes over the identity of Starman after the death of his brother, David, who appears in the series as a ghost. Jack's dad Ted also appears frequently, heroically sacrificing himself to save their home Opal City in the ultimate story arc of the comic.
Robinson wrote several compelling story arcs with deep roots, such as the long running storyline named for Alfred Bester's important Science Fiction novel The Stars, My Destination as Jack searches in outer space for the last Starman, Will Payton, who turns out is the brother of his girlfriend, Sadie. Jack encounters many of the space-faring characters of the DC universe, including one of my favorites, Adam Strange, who is DC's SF update on John Carter of Mars (see covers #52 and #53 below).
ASIDE: I even included a Christmas themed cover because of the time of the year.
The Robinson/Harris Starman saga remains one of the best DC superhero comics of the later period (since the 1990s). I love the and watch logo because it is such a great icon, mirroring the zodiac, in a smart, art-deco-ish design.
I started playing Magic the Gathering in 1995. Just two years after it came out. I remember buying a box of ICE AGE cards in the summer of 1995.
By 1996, I was hardcore addicted to this game. My addiction for this game and computer games coupled with my propensity for depression ruined my relationship in which I was involved at that time. The loss of that relationship eventually prompted me to stop both frequent game play of Magic and of computer games. By 1998, I was no longer playing Magic every week. By 2002, I had quit computer video games completely because I could not even play a little without risking becoming addicted again.
This issue of my addiction has been discussed in my marriage as I cannot play XBox or computer games with Ivan without the risk of becoming addicted again. Plus, the learning curve to work the controller fro XBox is so steep that I would require so many hours of constant play that I am not sure I can even find the time to play to get functional let alone good.
As for Magic the Gathering, I stopped making decks in 1997-98 and just bought pre-constructed decks for the sets as they came out in the hopes of being able to find an occasional game: List of sets. Eventually, I could not keep up with buying the sets and play even more infrequently these days.
There was a period of time (2001- 2007) in which I played no Magic at all, and I missed it.
I had the good fortune to make some very good friends at WMU while teaching and eventually found someone, Stevie Pitts, pictured here, with whom I could play magic. His then girlfriend, Jenni Griesbeck (now Corwin) is also seen in the photos. The photos were taken by sometimes player Miranda Rosenberg (now Wolfe) in 2007 at one of our few (far too few) Magic gaming sessions.
Many of these good friends were at my wedding, though I wish all of them could have been. I remember well Stevie Pitts taking me aside at my wedding and telling me that I am responsible (he gives me too much credit) for changing the course of his life. He had been a student in my Technical Writing course, and I encouraged him (and convinced him) to take my women's studies media criticism course. Because of my course in media, he switched his major to psychology and the rest is history. He now has a good job, a Master's Degree (?), and is in a band TAKING OUR OWN.
I cherish his kind words.
We're overdue for a game of Magic.
See? I started with Magic the Gathering and came around to dear friends and a sweet memory.
I am due to play more Magic this holiday season.
I liked this movie quite a lot. I found its intersecting and nested stories to be fascinating. I may read the book. But mostly, I loved the theme: EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.
Other people can express thoughts and opinions about Cloud Atlas much better than I. And I am trimming back my content for the day. I hope you also know, dear reader, especially the regular and faithful, that I often put these links here so I can find them again and read them in more depth. My method, often, when sharing links is to share links that I find when searching for images. This method of searching often bears better results than the more engineered searches with straight up text/keyword.
This Geekyrant link below has a couple of good promo videos for the movie and a breakdown of the stories in the NOVEL by David Mitchell. The Wiki (linked to the word NOVEL in the former) also breaks down the six nested stories. The Wiki about the film also broke down the nesting stories. Apparently, critical reception to the movie was "polarized," but generally positive.
I also found to great blogs about the movie. I like these a lot more than the top choices in searching for reviews. The Belbin includes some of the music.
WE BIRTH OUR FUTURE - PatriseArts
It's a long movie, nearly three hours, but its stories, images, and themes will worm their way deeply into your consciousness. Elements could have been handled better or focused better, but I would not have wanted too much overtly explained as it would have detracted from the way the viewer must construct the story in his or her mind.
In any case, some featuring of Cloud Atlas seems fitting and fits with today's shirt subject of Robinson and Harris' Starman. There are parallels.
COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 89 shirts remaining
- chris tower - 1312.22 - 15:34