Saturday, August 3, 2013

Five Fridays in August, Part I

Five Fridays in August I:
The Superhero Exhibit

This weekend, we're going to the superhero exhibit at the Baltimore Jewish Museum. It's a traveling exhibit that's in town thru August 18.

The exhibit celebrates the early comic creators, many of whom were Jewish. This concludes the unpaid advertising part of this blog post.

My daughter loves superheroes. Most girls love dolls and princesses. (She does, too. If Superman got the princess instead of Lois Lane, it would be much cooler for Isabel.) She loves the big splashy colors, the flying, the strength, the quips, and the action scenes that unfold in the movies.

How does all of this relate to a writing blog? Well, comic books are a creative medium. In addition to the artwork, they obviously require a lot of writing and editing. Not every author writes on pages devoid of illustration.

But more than that, old comics had a simplicity about them. The bad guys were bastards whose motives, while nefarious, were easy to understand. The heroes were colorful and virtuous. Sometimes, the entire story was an exercise just to get Captain America to sock Hitler in the jaw. And that's OK. Not every plot needs to be made for a two-and-a-half-hour Bond movie. In this post-Matrix world, we've come to expect our heroes to wear black and not have qualms about killing the bad guys. There's nothing wrong with a simpler hero of more old-fashioned principles. This is doubly true if you're writing a period piece.

I don't know if the superhero exhibit will inspire my creativity or not. I'll probably just think it's really cool. But you never know. Sometimes, a glimpse at the past can give you a spark for the future.

Happy writing.

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