posted by Ian Summers on February 1st, 2007

Believe it or not, Clark Kent asked Lois Lane out on a date in the debut issue of Superman in Action Comics #1 (1938) Lois accepted, but was far from enthusiastic. Was she holding out for a hero?

Clark Kent definitely did not turn out to be the hero Lois was holding out for. He not only didn’t stand up for his date, he expected her to dance with a man she didn’t want to dance with. Lois is forced to take matters into her own hands literally by slapping the aggressive suitor as Clark cowers. The bully attacked Clark instead of Lois. And that coward, Clark let him.

Lois Lane

Though Lois had every right to be angry, readers sympathized with Clark since they were “in on the joke”. Lois would have to wait another 50 years. Lois summed up Clark’s lack of appeal nicely. However, this has been an eccentricity of the comics from the beginning. Clark seemed to desperately want Lois to love him and yet he presented himself as not only a lie, but a singularly unattractive lie as well. Admittedly Lois Lane was no real prize in the beginning either. The difference, of course, is that Lois was not pretending to be anyone else and expecting to be loved for that “secret identity”.

Who did not stick up for you in your life? Was there a time when you might have defended someone and did not? Or have you ever assumed a secret identity? Have you ever participated in a chat room with a different name?


March 1944
How to Date a Superhero

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posted by Ian Summers on January 20th, 2007

This idea was stimulated by reading an article by David Mamet. The cry of olley olley in-free brought hide and seekers out of hiding and ended the game unless the IT had his or her fingers crossed in which case IT could renege on any promise they made and chase you back home.

Some bully could start punching you in the biceps unless you were crafty enough to shout finzies at which time you would lock pinkies and the pummeling would cease. If you expected someone was lying, you could ask them to cross their heart and hope to die. That is until you discovered lying did not kill. And if someone called you names, you could protect yourself by saying the magical words, “I’m rubber. You are glue. Everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” And we believed it just for that moment in time.

What were the chants used when you were growing up? In what ways can you connote the feelings of magical protection through ritual?

posted by Ian Summers on January 20th, 2007

This concept challenges your memory and perception. It involves impulse. In fact, it is impulsiveness which yields the best results. This exercise uses places and objects to supply impetus.

Start it by arbitrarily writing down things from your past and rapidly go on to another. Suggest the first thing which leaps into your head and as soon as you have named the object, go on to the next. Allow yourself to be affected by each suggestion, but do not dwell on it. Keep the exercise going for ten minutes. Then pick another starting off point and do it again. Try at least ten threads. For example, these fragments are from my own high school experience:

Parking lot…blue Mercury… Ed Sullivan… Milton Berle… Best friend, Stewie and Bobby… Tennis… I’m not a good athlete… sexual fantasies… Gong steady… double dating… Barry’s Olds… my father’s Caddie… Drive-in movies… I’m not good enough… feeling alone… college applications… doing it all myself… bad SAT scores… embarrassed… don’t like school… bored… hate gym…hate gym teacher… shame… Tony Curtis hair-do… Elvis sideburns… Wildroot Hair Tonic… white grease on a black comb…

I know these entries would be different next time I use high school as a place for my journey. You could do a similar exercise from points of view of a first grader or junior high school student. What would a series of personal images based upon your stream of consciousness look like? How can you make it interesting to someone else?