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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Howie's Comic Book Club

One of the hardest lessons I've learned in life is how to just enjoy something for what it is. Divorced from what other people think about it, and who those people are, and if they might laugh at me for liking the thing. Maybe this is easy for other people, but it did not come easy to me.

Example: My Chemical Romance played at one of the Warped Tours I went to. I'd never heard them before because of this complicated relationship I had with music. Bands could become popular, but only if I'd listened to them first. If I was introduced to a band after they'd become "trendy" then it was too late, sorry guys, you have no fan here. This is why I didn't let myself enjoy The Offspring until my late 20s, even though you guys, The Offspring are awesome.

Guess what people in the know when it comes to music just hate My Chemical Romance. I don't know if it's the makeup or the pageantry or what, but they're like the Michael Bay of rock music. So I didn't pay attention at all. There are lots of stages at Warped Tour, so I probably went to the rap freestyle tent or watched a "legit" punk band I never heard from again, or maybe I just looked at girls. I don't remember. I do remember just being so grossed out that these guys were in the same zip code as me.

You can probably guess where this is going. Yeah. I love My Chemical Romance. At some point while working in the desert I realized that I need to listen to music that is fun to listen to while I was staring at the desert ground and guess what? I didn't care what people thought anymore. Because the music snobs I still knew weren't people I wanted to be around anymore. Aside from a small amount of people making a living by hating things, they didn't seem to exactly be prospering, you know?

Here's another example: remember that Katy Perry halftime show with the giant tiger and the shark who forgot his dance moves and the high beach ball guys? I loved it. Genuinely, unironically loved it. I really like Katy Perry. And I like spectacle. And I really, really like Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot. But then I look at social media and it's bad? It's a sign of our population's decline?

Social media be damned. Let's let ourselves have fun again, you know?

Lil' Ginny, my girl, can't not sing along when Taylor Swift is on the radio. Know why? Because it's CATCHY AND FUN AND WHY NOT SING ALONG. SINGING ALONG TO CATCHY MUSIC MAKES LIFE MORE INTERESTING.

Anyway, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance wrote a graphic novel. It's called The Umbrella Academy.


OK. What we've got here is a handful of folks who were all born at once, to a variety of mothers, with very special powers. I think they were implanted by an alien? I'll have to double check on that. Anyway, they're grown up now and famous for their exploits as The Umbrella Academy. One of them went to space and got injured. They saved him by putting his head on a gorilla's body. Another one, Rumor, can make things happen by saying she'd heard it somewhere. Example: "I heard that scaffolding was built shoddily and is liable to break." Scaffolding breaks. Everything she says comes true.

Another guy, Seance, can channel the dead. Number 5 is a 60-year-old in a child's body. Also he's like a killing machine.

You know. A regular old superhero team.

I didn't know Gerard Way wrote this book until I was two books in. But isn't that kinda cool? I guess I think that it is. The art is great, too. It's by Gabriel Ba, who I think was maybe in The Mamas and the Papas (citation missing).

I could have watched him play music that I would have enjoyed, but let what my friends (and lots of strangers) let me decide what to think. We hear a lot about peer pressure when it comes to talking you into doing something that could hurt you like smoking mushrooms or eating doobie brownies or whatever, but someone should talk to kids about the dangers of the peer pressure of media snobs.

Anyway next week I'll write about an obscure book that has been approved by those in the know as Real Literature. Not that dystopian drugstore pap about teenagers I see you carrying around all the time. I mean, honestly, aren't you at least a little ashamed?