We tell our children they're trapped like rats on a doomed, bankrupt, gangster-haunted planet with dwindling resources, with nothing to look forward to but rising sea levels and imminent mass extinctions, then raise a disapproving eyebrow when, in response, they dress in black, cut themselves with razors, starve themselves, gorge themselves, or kill one another.
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I think the only way you can get something out is to invest some real emotion into it, which means you're already writing about what's going to happen to you, whether you know it or not. That's why I'm always surprised when people talk about writer's block. Because to me, it can't be stopped.
In the world of the superheroes, everything had value, potential, mystery. Any person, thing, or object could be drafted into service in the struggle against darkness and evil - remade as a weapon or a warrior or a superhero. Even a little bee named Michael - after God's own avenging angel - could pitch in to win the battle against wickedness.
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It's quite possible we may actually be looking at some kind of super-sanity here. A brilliant new modification of human perception, more suited to urban life at the end of the twentieth century...He creates himself each day. He sees himself as the lord of misrule and the world as a theatre of the absurd.
Afraid? Batman's not afraid of anything. It's me. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that The Joker may be right about me. Sometimes... I question the rationality of my actions. And I'm afraid that when I walk through those asylum gates... when I walk into Arkham and the doors close behind me... it'll be just like coming home.
Modern man has successfully razed the imaginative landscapes of primal peoples the whole world over. Kill the gods first, slaughter the sacred animals, rewrite the mythologies, and build roads through the holy places. Do all this and watch the people decline. Without souls, they soon die, leaving dead shells, zombie cultures, shambling aimlessly towards oblivion.
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Individual humans are not super, but the organism of which we are all tiny cellular parts is most certainly that. The life-form that's so big we forget it's there, that turns minerals on its planet into tools to touch the infinite black gap between stars or probe the obliterating pressures at the bottom of the oceans. We are already part of a superbeing, a monster, a god, a living process that is so all encompassing that it is to an individual life what water is to a fish. We are cells in the body of a three-billion-year-old life-form whose roots are in the Precambrian oceans and whose genetic wiring extends through the living structures of everything on the planet, connecting everything that has ever lived in one immense nervous system.
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Adults... struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life. Adults foolishly demand to know how Superman can possibly fly, or how Batman can possibly run a multibillion-dollar business empire during the day and fight crime at night, when the answer is obvious even to the smallest child: because it's not real.
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Ah, I feel a sadness on me, Dane. That's how the Irish people say it. In their language, you can't say, "I am sad, " or "I am happy". They understood what we English have long forgot. We're not our sadness. We're not our happiness or our pain but our language hypnotizes us and traps us in little labelled boxes.
To know that we are only angels weighed down by filth, free of guilt? The bacteria in our bellies are responsible for the farts which shame us, tiny monsters shitting in their billions all over our pure skin create the acid reek of "our" sweat. And Slade: when the "inner voices" tell us we're unworthy or instruct us to "love" and "hate, " despite our best instincts... are these incessant distracting thoughts our own? Or do we only hear the voice of the eternal germ screaming in our heads?
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Superhero science has taught me this: Entire universes fit comfortably inside our skulls. Not just one or two but endless universes can be packed into that dark, wet, and bony hollow without breaking it open from the inside. The space in our heads will stretch to accommodate them all. The real doorway to the fifth dimension was always right here. Inside. That infinite interior space contains all the divine, the alien, and the unworldly we'll ever need.
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American writers often say they find it difficult to write Superman. They say he's too powerful; you can't give him problems. But Superman is a metaphor. For me, Superman has the same problems we do, but on a Paul Bunyan scale. If Superman walks the dog, he walks it around the asteroid belt because it can fly in space. When Superman's relatives visit, they come from the 31st century and bring some hellish monster conqueror from the future. But it's still a story about your relatives visiting.
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When [Wonder Woman creator William Moulton] Marston died in 1947, they got rid of the pervy elements, and instantly sales plummeted. Wonder Woman should be the most sexually attractive, intelligent, potent woman you can imagine. Instead she became this weird cross between the Virgin Mary and Mary Tyler Moore that didn't even appeal to girls.
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Your head's like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune's all we are.
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I thought I could capture the stories of the city on paper. I thought I could write about the horrors of the city. Horror stories you see. I tell you I didn't have to look far for material. Everywhere I looked, there were stories hidden there in the dark corners. . . . I wrote and still there were more. . . . No one would publish them. 'Too horrible,' they said. 'Sick mind,' they said. I thought I could write about the horrors of the city but the horror is too big and it goes on forever.
A comic will always be more 'personal' than a DVD or CD, both of which require electronic 'players' to decode their content. With comics, the reader is the player so the engagement with the material is always more fundamental and dynamic. Reading comics is a much less passive activity than consuming CDs and DVDs.
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I loved IRON MAN: Robert Downey Jr. has been and probably will be my favourite actor for a long time... but IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SUPERMAN RETURNS and all the others feel a little like Saturday morning cartoons next to the carbon black glory that is 'The Dark Knight.' Trust me, *this* is the future of this sort of thing.
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The 'medium' is unaware of its attractiveness, that's all. Everyone loves comics. I've proven this to my own satisfaction by handing them out to acountants, insurance brokers, hairdressers, mothers of children, black belts, pop stars, taxi drivers, painters, lesbians, doctors etc. etc. The X-Files, Buffy, the Matrix, X-Men - mainstream culture is not what it once was when science fiction and comics fans huddled in cellars like Gnostic Christians dodging the Romans. We should come up into the light soon before we suffocate.
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Adults...struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life. Adults foolishly demand to know how Superman can possibly fly, or how Batman can possibly run a multibillion-dollar business empire during the day and fight crime at night, when the answer is obvious even to the smallest child: because it's not real.
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Oh, yes! Fill the churches with dirty thoughts! Introduce honesty to the White House! Write letters in dead languages to people you've never met! Paint filthy words on the foreheads of children! Burn your credit cards and wear high heels! Asylum doors stand open! Fill the suburbs with murder and rape! Divine madness! Let there be ecstasy, ecstasy in the streets! Laugh and the world laughs with you!
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Because it all derived from Superman. I mean, I love all the characters, but Superman is just this perfect human pop-culture distillation of a really basic idea. He's a good guy. He loves us. He will not stop in defending us. How beautiful is that? He's like a sci-fi Jesus. He'll never let you down. And only in fiction can that guy actually exist, because real guys will always let you down one way or another. We actually made up an idea that beautiful. That's just cool to me. We made a little paper universe where all of the above is true.
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Imagine the earth's population of six billion people reduced to just one hundred representatives. Statistically, that makes 30 white, 70 non-white. It means 6 people own 59% of the wealth and they all live in North America. 80 are in substandard housing. One has an education. One owns a computer. Don't blame me if it all sounds crazy.
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