Friday, May 18, 2007
What is this Mickey Mouse $#!*?
I'm not embarassed by my fondness for comics. Really I'm not. In my "office" at work, I have a TALES FROM THE CRYPT calendar on the wall. There's also a shelf holding my Bender, Iron Giant and ROM figures along with all my Harvey Comics bobbleheads. I also proudly display my SUPERMAN RETURNS poster where everyone can see it. But I go to great pains to prevent people thinking that's what I'm about. I don't walk around telling people that "with great power comes great responsibility." I don't spend hours telling everyone who will listen about what Sam Raimi got wrong in the first SPIDER-MAN movie. And, with the exception of my so-uncool-it's-cool Aquaman T-shirt, I don't wear comics-related clothing at work. And I absolutely don't rub people's noses in what's in the picture at the top of this post. (That's my albatross of a comic collection, which resides in my attic/office.)
It's a constant battle. People were shocked...SHOCKED!...when they found out that I hadn't seen SPIDER-MAN 3 after it had been in release for a whole week (and still haven't.) When the Richmond Times-Dispatch started inserting those nifty reprints of Lee and Ditko's Spider-Man run in the Sunday edition, I got two or three of them on my desk every morning for weeks. Every Christmas, friends give me little superhero knickknacks to clutter up my house when all I want is pair of dress socks. When that (admittedly amusing) Comcast commercial came on, the one with the ambiguously gay fellow in the Spidey suit interviewing for a potential roommate, I was horrified. Co-workers immediately wanted to know if I liked it.
"Nope," I said.
"Because I knew, the minute it came on, that everyone I knew saw it and instantly thought, 'Hey, that's Matt!"
"Yeah, I did!"
All this reminds me of a similar situation my first year at VCU. Back then, I had a burning desire to own a Mickey Mouse watch. I didn't know anybody else that had one and I thought it would be kind of retro-cool. So I got one. (And then proceeded to see one on the wrist of every other person I ran into, but that's beside the point.) I had just started dating the sister of my next-door neighbor, a cute highschool senior named Rebecca. She saw the watch and got me a keyring that was a little figurine of Mickey Mouse holding a videocamera. I was majoring in Film and Video Production and I guess she was trying to impress me. And I was impressed. But then it started to snowball. Between the watch and keyring, people I knew started thinking I had a Mickey fetish and started giving me all kinds of crap. I got T-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, posters, notebooks, pencils...anything you can think of with Mickey Mouse on it, I probably had it. I got so I hated that f***ing mouse! I ended up getting rid of everything, including the watch. Just pitched it all out. The only thing I kept was the keyring, for sentimental reasons. Finally, I lost even that. And I wasn't really sorry to see it go.
That's how it's been with the comics. I read them. I draw them for fun. I enjoy the movies based on them. But it's not who I am. I have other interests. I run. I work out at the gym. I work on my house. I read mystery novels. So, please. If there's a God up there, and he's listening...no. I absolutely do not want that Spider-Man Mr. Potato Head for Christmas.
Wouldn't mind a new Mickey Mouse watch, though.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 8:34 PM