It was 30 years ago this week that I first slept with the man who would be my husband. This didn’t happen because I sensed he was my soul mate, my other half, the light to my void. I didn’t think he’d be the perfect father to my children. I didn’t think I needed a date for Valentines Day. Neither did it happen because he had a lot of money, a great job, or a fantastic apartment.
I thought he was hot, cute and funny. We had met a few months earlier, at a press event, through mutual friends. We discussed the possibility of feminist porn, and he leant me a copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Nin, finding her writing a bit gooey, but it was a hell of a line.
Why am I mentioning this, aside from monumental self-absorption? It’s been an interesting life. We’ve had adventures. We’ve had fights. (We’ve also had over a decade of therapy, but that’s another column). We’ve had successes and failures. As a result, we have a lot of stories that we tell our friends and family at dinner parties.
Imagine if we had super-powers! We’d have even more stories to tell!
The time we went to Paris, and saved up all our money for a big dinner at a fancy restaurant and I got sick? It would be so much funnier if I were flying when it happened. Or when I was in labor and the cab driver almost threw us out on the street because he was freaked out? If John had super-strength and could life the cab over his head, the hack might have been nicer.
Every couple is different from every other couple, and become more different the longer they stay together. You probably have friends who are together, and you can’t figure out why. You never will. Making a life together is more than sexual compatibility, or common interests. It’s a mixture of those things, plus smells and tastes, and temperament.
It seems to me that being a shape-shifter, able to make parts of one’s body bigger or smaller at will, would be an advantage.
No one in super-hero comics is telling these stories. If anything, they’re trying to un-tell these stories, with “Brand New Day” and “Identity Crisis.” Independent comics aren’t much better. Single people, according to conventional wisdom, are more interesting and their stories are more commercial. The coveted 18-to-25 demographic is assumed to be uninterested in stories about people unlike them.
The most successful movie stars aren’t 18-to-25. The best-selling novels are not about people that age. Why are comics aimed at such a narrow target?
Being drawn to a person, in love with someone, living with that person and negotiating life, is a common human experience. Sometimes it’s happy and sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. As we approach Valentines Day, let’s enjoy this human trait, and encourage the creation of more stories that acknowledge it.
Martha Thomases, Media Goddess of ComicMix, still thinks her sweetie is hot and cute and funny.
Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.