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.)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

T-shirt #31: Happy Anniversary Superman

T-shirt #31: The Death of Superman: Bleeding Superman Logo

Superman turned 75 years old on Thursday April 18, the date of the 1938 publication of Action Comics #1. It has taken me a few days to commemorate this event with a T-shirt. I may be a few days late, but still, happy anniversary Superman (or would we consider this a "birthday"?).

The arrival of the 75th anniversary makes me feel old because not only do I remember the 50th anniversary vividly, but I own the commemorative book.

Once again, I am going to plug Charles Skaggs'  excellent blog-- Damn Good Coffee...and HOT!--and his post on The Man of Steel: 75 Years of Superman. Charles did a great job writing about the history and significance of Superman, including the Death and Return of Superman stories, various movies including the upcoming Man of Steel film due in June, and TV shows like Smallville and Superman: The Animated Series among others. You can read his blog if you're interested. It's worth your time because I am not going to repeat the same material here.

I don't own very many Superman shirts. In fact, digging through my closet, I first laid hands on just this one, the bleeding logo from Death of Superman story in 1992. I think I may own a traditional logo shirt (blue shirt with the red and yellow logo) somewhere, but it's not a shirt I wear often.

I am not a huge Superman fan unless I am talking to someone who is not a huge Superman fan. Faced with someone dumping on Superman, I become a huge Superman fan and his advocate.  Many comic book fans love to malign Superman: "he's a boy scout"; "he's boring"; "he's too powerful"; "all the stories have been told, and there's nothing new"; "He's the first that doesn't make him the best"; and so forth. I react strongly to these criticisms, even though I am not a huge Superman fan when left to my own devices.

It has been a long time since Superman comics graced the top of my stack of comics for the week. I feel this statement deserves explanation, so you know what I mean. Each week, when I bring the new comics home from the comic shop, I put the new comics into the stack of comics that I am currently reading. There are ALWAYS comics already in the stack. I have never cleared out the stack from the previous week, though I do make substantial progress on days when I take time off to relax and read a couple of dozen comics in one lounging. I prioritize comics I want to read IMMEDIATELY first, and these go to the top of the stack. Current faves that go straight to the top of the stack are (in no meaningful order) The Walking Dead, The All New X-Men, The Age of Ultron, Daredevil, Aquaman, Justice League, Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Hawkeye, and several more that probably do not leap to mind right now. See? No Superman.

1986 was different. John Byrne's issues graced the top of my stack every week. Not long ago, I enjoyed the run of All-Star Superman. I liked Jim Lee on Superman. I like JMS's run on Superman. And as I have already written in my FreakAngels post #22, I was a big fan of the Team Superman Group-think concept of interlocking issues creating one continuing story of weekly installments despite how many diehard comics fans detested those years (1991-2000ish). Though I do not count Superman even in my top ten of favorite all time heroes, unlike Bill Artis who sells me comics at Fanfare Sports and Entertainment (who is the single biggest Superman fan I know), I do have some Superman love in my deeper past.

My first issue of a Superman comic was the February 1967 issue of Superman #194: "The Death of Lois Lane." ASIDE: Damn, I love the DC comics Wikia.) This excellent What If story was a great one to start my Superman reading as a child of five years of age. But most of my fond memories of childhood love of Superman are for Superboy and his adventures with the Legion of Superheroes, a future superhero club that I thought was a really cool concept. I also was very influenced by Alan Moore's Superman stories, especially the one from Superman Annual #11 featuring the classic "For the Man Who Has Everything" story.

This shirt in today's blog entry displays the main image from the Death of Superman storyline in 1992. This story seemed like more of a novelty at the time. These days it seems like crossovers and big events are continuous and overlapping with many running at the same time. Back in 1992, big events seemed less frequent, maybe just once a year, and did not seem redundant. I do not recall the comic companies trying a big death of a main hero event before the Death of Superman. Granted, DC Comics killed the Flash in 1985, but this was hardly a main event. Without doing any research, I do not recall any major superhero death event before the huge (and I do mean HUGE) Superman death event in 1992. The story was so pivotal it inspired me to buy the shirt featured here because to that point I did not own a Superman shirt, not even as a kid (unless my parents will tell me differenly).

I must admit that I am one of the few people on the planet who actually liked the 2006 Bryan Singer film, Superman Returns, with the exception of yet what I consider another failed depiction of Lex Luthor despite the acting talents of Kevin Spacey. I am looking forward to the new film by Zack Snyder. I have liked the way DC has tried to make Superman more gritty, though the stories have failed to intrigue me enough to reach the top of the weekly stack; though do not get me wrong, I am reading both Action Comics and Superman each month or eventually when several issues clog up my stack. Maybe, if DC really wants to re-vitalize the character, the company should consider killing him and leaving him dead for 24 years. It worked for the Flash.

- chris tower - 1304.21 - 11:21