So I took a day trip this past weekend to a comic book convention in Anaheim, California. A nice 550 mile round-trip drive, with a few-hour stop in the middle to hang out with some writers and artists whose work I enjoy and admire. It was going to be a fairly small show as far as comic book creators go, with the emphasis being put on has-been celebrites demanding way too much money for a scribble on a bad picture of them in their heyday. The reason I go to these things is to actually meet the creative people, the artists and writers who come up with all of the things that the actors appear in later on. So my reasons for going to this show in Anaheim were artists Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Bernie Wrightson, and writer J. M. DeMatteis.
DeMatteis is a writer of terrific talent, who also happens to be quite the interesting person. A spiritual man, somewhere in his late teens he started down the path that he is currently on in life with his spirituality choice. I'm not exactly what one would classify as a spiritual person. However, having said that, the more I look around at the world that we live in, and I observe all of the emphasis that is placed on all of the wrong things, and the value and importance that the most trivial of things in life are given, particularly in this country and society, the more I feel that there really must be something else. Simply because if this is it, if this is the pinnacle of existence, you may as well just shoot me now.
What's true about DeMatteis is what's true about all good writers; he incorporates himself into his writing. Write what you know. He wrote a Spider-Man story that was published in 1987 about Kraven The Hunter finally beating Spidey, and then assuming his identity for 2 weeks. It's a powerful, disturbing story, and is a study of a couple of men who find themselves pushed and/or pushing themselves into places neither has been before in both a physical and psychological sense. How can one know this? DeMatteis has said in interviews that he was going thru a divorce at the time, and found himself reaching points he'd never been to before. It just translated onto the page into the forms of these characters, but still, you write what you know. It is a classic Spider-Man story...a classic STORY, period. It didn't hurt that it was beautifully illustrated by Mike Zeck, fresh off his character defining work on The Punisher series that was completely responsible for that character becoming as popular as it became, and inked wonderfully by Bob McLeod.
So, while not a spirtual person per se, I enjoy reading things on religious theories, because while I don't like religion (it's all about business and money and corruption and...oh, don't get me started...), the original ideas behind the religions do have some valid points. Basically they all boil down to the same thing (just be cool to everybody...), but it's nice to see some different perspectives on the points. So I hadn't been standing at DeMatteis' table at the show for 2 minutes before I asked him about his spirituality, and we must have talked for half and hour or so about that, life in general, and, oh yeah, comics.
I'm a follower of his blog, which is also here on blogspot so it was nice to be able to actually meet the man after commenting on his blog numerous times. And enjoying much of his work for something like 25 years now. Now, anytime I pull one of his books off my shelves to read or peruse, I'll spot the signature up front, and remember the intellectual conversation going on in the back of a convention center filled with cultural depravity...
Blog Post Soundtrack; Ike & Tina Turner, Louis Jordan, The Ramones, Pink Floyd, Bjork, Oysterhead, Corrosion Of Conformity, The Police, Queens Of The Stone Age, Howlin' Wolf, Queen