Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Archive for the tag “inspiration”

Brad Bellmore Get’s a Life – 2

Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors and with the soon to be released movie of Blue Like Jazz, I have been pondering his influence on my life. That book made me rethink many of my perceptions on Christianity. He made me consider what am I really believing in and find a way to connect my faith to my life.
To Own a Dragon, his take growing up without a father. To him, a father was as mythical a creature as a dragon. This book connected with a lot of my thoughts and feelings of growing up without a father, some of which I did not even know I had until I had kids.
Another challenge to my faith and why I believe what I believe was Searching for God Knows What. It even challenged me to think about how I express what I believe.
But, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years pushed me farther than any of the others. The basic idea of this book revolves around Don realizing that he wants to write a better story for his life. This is actually spawned by the process of creating the movie mentioned above. Anyway, it resonated with me when I read it given that my life is rather a rambling mess than a cohesive story. I felt inspired at the time to make some changes. That was short lived, mostly because the various waves of depression stemming from unemployment plowed that inspiration deep into the dirt.
But now, as I ponder how I learn to live, to truly be alive for whatever is left of my life, the movie surfaces and stokes again the fires of creating a better story. Which is what I hope to do here, both explore the process and tell the story.
And so, I set forth in quest for a life worth living and a story worth telling.

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Discovering Independent Comics

I am still learning my way around the current landscape of the comic industry and one thing seems missing to me, the presence of black characters and black creators. Granted, I know a small portion of all there is, so there may be vast armies of both that I have yet to discover.  Early indications don’t support that, at least no in the mainstream.

A quick side point, I know that the proper term is African American, but there seems to be a dearth African Africans or African Europeans as well, both as creators and characters – especially heroes. So, for simplicity, I am not so politically correct. Hopefully I don’t offend too many.

Recently I spent a weekend at Wizard World Chicago, the comic con in the Windy City. One of the striking features of this event was the large proportion of independent creators in Artists Alley that were black. The underground appears to be abounding in black comic creators and black characters.

I took the time to hang out with a few of them, to get to know what they were creating and why. Brian Williams proved the most fascinating to me and his superhero Lucius Hammer really caught my attention. The first full issue is yet to come but his rough cut preview impressed me. Great art and astounding writing filled the pages.

Intriguingly, both the origin tale of Lucius and the letter from Williams at the end address the absence of or at least the limited presence of black superheroes.

Williams raves about his discovery of Luke Cage, aka Powerman of the Marvel Universe, when he was child and how that shaped his love for comics, his hope for comics and his desire to create comics. I too remember Luke Cage from my early days reading comics. He was one of the reasons that I kept reading. He truly was one of the coolest characters, both as a hero and a person to grace the pages of comics in my formative years.

While speaking with Williams, I remembered an interview with Whoopi Goldberg in the movie “Finding Debra Winger” (well worth the rental fee if you haven’t seen it yet; seriously, as soon as you finish reading this, go watch it.) She talks about seeing Star Trek on TV when she was young and telling her mom to come see this black lady (Lt. Uhura) on the show “and she’s not even anybody’s maid.” The striking inspiration of that character in her life moved me. Artists and writers have the opportunity to inspire even if they aren’t creating high art. Williams’ love for Luke Cage echoes the power of art to change lives.

That makes me even more desirous for there to be greater diversity of characters and creators. Who knows who will be inspired next? Who knows what will be the revelation or inspiration to some kid that they have a shot at something more than what they see in front of them.

And by the way, tell your local purveyor of comics that they need to get copies of Lucius Hammer on the shelves.

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