Tagged: Kandor

Ed Catto: Family Reunion – Geek Culture Style

xReunion Comic-Con 3

Reunions remind me that I am definitely in the “Lucky Guy” category. Celebrating recent wins and remembering the good times invigorate me – and I’ve done both at my recent reunions. I may need my time alone to recharge – it drives my creative process and keeps me sane – but deep down, I’m truly a social creature blessed with an abundance of family and friends.

SDCC-LogoBut I’m not the only one who’s been focused on reunions this summer. Choice Hotels’ recent advertising campaign targets all those folks who are undecided about attending an upcoming reunion. The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go? reinforces our natural indecision as a wide variety of people anxiously prepare for their reunions. “It won’t be the same without you, bro”, taunts one bearded man who undoubtedly represents a friend we all have. Take a look here if you haven’t seen it yet.

I’ve always enjoyed my college reunions. I haven’t missed many. I love being on campus without those ‘pesky’ students running off to interesting classes I’d like to follow them to or flaunting their seemingly endless time to relax in the Quad. Reunion is like a private party at Disneyworld without the other customers. Or the Bottled City of Kandor without the Kryptonians.

Reunion Comic-con 1And my family reunion was a fantastic time to reconnect with 25 family members, get some family business done (we’re struggling with the inevitable elder-care issues) and have fun together. It was another opportunity to hand-deliver Archie, Boom! and IDW comics to the upcoming Catto generation. I also played with my young nephew, explaining the story of Thor (via a Captain Action toy) and blaming the thunderstorm later that night on his mighty hammer. Fans of Greg Rucka’s Lazarus comic will understand when I say that my internal mantra for the weekend was “Family First,” a phrase I borrowed from that outstanding Image series.

Reuinon Comic-Con 2I believe that “Comic-Con International,” the event that the rest of the world calls San Diego Comic-Con or #SDCC, is an event with the same kind of reunion magic – generating energy and creativity, support and hope.

I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with Geek Culture for some time now. Business acquaintances have become friends. Favorite artists, writers and publishers, at the core of Pop Culture, have likewise evolved into business acquaintances and friends.

Oh sure, for me SDCC is a time filled with business meetings, panels and interviews. It’s also an opportunity to discover new ideas, new creations and new ways of doing business. But so many of us connect with old and new friends, celebrate shared passions and just hang out.

When I was a Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Reed Elsevier’s Exhibition division, I traveled to conventions across the US and around the world. In most cases, these tradeshows share a congenial element of friends gathering together. Some conventions are more business-like than others. But I don’t think any other industry’s trade show has the unique vibe of Comic-Con. Those other conventions simply don’t have that overwhelming passion baked into the DNA of the exhibitors and attendees at Comic-Con and the connections that come from that passion.

For so many of us, last week’s San Diego Comic-Con was a place to spend time with people that feel like family. Over 130,000 of them. And it was a time to learn news about shared interests and then share it – both within the tribe and beyond to the world at large. But like the mystical cities of Brigadoon or K’un Lun, this magical reunion in San Diego appeared all-too-briefly and then shimmered away. It was a the ideal spot to gather together and I never thought, “Should I stay or should I go?”


Mindy Newell: Dear Supergirl…


Superman: C’mon, Kara…don’t give up. You’ll make it. Pl…please…please stay with us.

Supergirl: I can’t. B…But’s it’s okay…I knew what I was doing…I wanted…wanted you to be safe. You mean so much to me…so much to the world.

Superman: You succeeded in destroying the machines.

Supergirl: Thank heavens…the worlds…have a chance to live…y-you’re crying…please don’t,,,you taught me to be brave…and I was…I love you so much…for what you are…for…how good you are…

The Death of Supergirl, Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 October 1985, Marv Wolfman and George Perez

Dear Supergirl,

I watched the teaser. And though I generally don’t watch them because of their usually really bad quality, the bootleg version of the pilot episode mysteriously showed up in my e-mail box the other day; by the time you read this I will not have been able to resist. You are my favorite super-heroine of all time.

How many times have I mentioned you, Maid of Might – one of your nicknames back in the day – on these pages in the last two – or is it three – years? The last time was just two week’s ago in Occam’s Razor.

I was heartbroken when Marv and George decided to end your life in Crisis. I mourned both for you and for the death of my childhood dream. And I mourned for the end of an era – of all the changes that Crisis wrought, this was the one that struck me at my core, this was the one that felt real, felt irreversible.

And I felt old.

And even though you came back, you didn’t come back the same. You were no longer your cousin’s secret weapon, you were no longer hiding in an orphanage as an ordinary Earth girl named Linda Lee. You didn’t have a Linda Lee robot to cover for you when you were off doing super-missions on your own or for your cousin, and you didn’t have a best friend in the orphanage named Lena Thorul, whom you didn’t know was actually the sister of Lex Luthor, your cousin’s arch-enemy.

You didn’t have a cat – the only thing I didn’t like about you, because I’m a dog person – and you didn’t have a super-horse named Comet – which was another reason I loved you, because I’m a horse person – for the “strange brand” marking his hide. You weren’t a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and you didn’t have three boyfriends: the 31st century green-skinned, brilliant Brainiac 5, the Atlantean fish-tailed mer-boy Jerro, and ordinary Earthling and fellow orphan Dick Wilson.

Fred and Edna Danvers didn’t adopt you, and you didn’t rescue them from certain death, blowing your secret identity, which of course your cousin agreed you absolutely had to do. And the people of Earth never celebrated and honored you when your cousin finally said that you were ready to graduate and step out on your own, so you never met the President and you were never honored at the United Nations.

Well, there is one good thing. You were never kidnapped by Lesla-Lar of the bottled Kryptonian city of Kandor and brainwashed into believing you were she, living her life as a respected scientist in a city in a bottle kept by your cousin in his Fortress of Solitude while she lived your life on Earth.

All that history, and more, wiped out of existence as if it never happened, never inspired the imagination of one little girl and, I bet, thousands, maybe millions, like her, who read comics and dreamed of things that never were but could be.

All that history to draw from, to borrow, to homage, to even reinterpret…all the things that could be….

…when you, Supergirl, make your first debut on network television this fall.

I don’t know whether to laugh and cheer…

…or to cry and mourn once again.


Martha Thomases: The DCU – Getting There Is Half The Fun

kandorTraditionally, the last two weeks of August are the time when everyone goes on vacation. The chi-chi restaurants, the ones that don’t rely on tourists, are closed, which is fine because most tourists seem to prefer chains like Red Lobster, which I don’t understand at all. The kids are home from camp and taking two weeks to go to the beach, or the lake, or the mountains (whichever is closest to grandparents), and that seems like a fine idea.

When I was a kid, that was just fine. No schedules, plenty of new places to explore, or just plop down with a book.

As I got older and more pretentious, I wanted to explore the world on my vacations. I wanted to see the great nations of Europe and more. I wanted to see sites I’d never seen, eat food I couldn’t pronounce, and, maybe, fall for with someone who spoke a language I didn’t understand.

I still want to do that. But I also want flop. Is there anyplace to go on vacation that lets me explore and relax at the same time?

Of course there is! Comic books!

As a DC girl, I tend to think of escapes in the DC Universe. And, for the purposes of this column, I’m assuming I do not have a Time Bubble, so I can’t vacation with dinosaurs or Legionnaires. Even so, I’ve found three places that seem, to me, to be ideal.

3. Atlantis! No, not the resort. Not even the sunken continent of myth. The undersea home of Aquaman, king of the seas. It would have all the grandeur of a royal court on dry land, such as castles to explore, and probably cathedrals (or whatever Atlanteans call their communal spiritual structures) and museums as well. I imagine the food is like nothing I’ve had before, maybe sushi, maybe seaweed, but much, much more salty, since it is grown and prepared in saltwater.

Best of all, I bet that tourists would be able to play with the fish. I’ve fed stingrays, and I’ve swum with dolphins, and both have been so much fun. Sure, it’s for rubes, but it’s fun. I would entirely enjoy being exploited by tourist wranglers in Atlantis, and I’d tip as well as I could afford for the privilege.

2. Themyscira! Again, not the place of myth, but the home of Wonder Woman. Coincidentally, it’s also known as Paradise Island, which is also another name for the Atlantis resort. And I imagine it as a paradise, at least for women. Like the Canyon Ranch, but with optional hunting and sword-fighting, it would be all organic food and rejuvenating spa treatments. I have done neither archery nor horseback riding since I went away to camp forty years ago, but I bet the Amazons would tolerate my ineptness as long as I wasn’t an asshole and I tipped well. I can’t think of a better place to go for a Bachelorette party or a class reunion.

1. Kandor! I’ve saved the best for last. I would like to tell you that I want to go to Kandor, the Kryptonian city that Brainiac shrank and put in a bottle, because it would be educational to learn about a culture that is, literally, out of this world in origin. I’m sure that learning how Kandorians interact, their customs and habits and beliefs, would be fascinating.

But that’s not why I want to go.

Kandor retains Krypton’s environment, which includes red sunlight and massive gravity. Unless I took extra precautions, I wouldn’t be able to get up off the ground.

Slide a mattress under me first, and let my lie there in a lump for my two weeks. Now that’s a vacation.