Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Support Group

Had a meeting of the group tonight. A bunch of us unemployable cartoon characters got together a few years back and decided to form a support group. I get a lot out of the camraderie and socializing, but honestly, some of these guys hang on the group for dear life.

Joe Camel pulled it all together. He had a hard time when they finally decided to let him go, and especially after they told him he could never work in animation again, by order of Congress. He was pretty stunned for a few months but then he pulled himself up by his proverbial bootstraps and got his act together. He's a cruise director for Carnival now, and spends a great deal of the year at sea.

Some members come and go. Magnus and Solar were here for a while, but both of them recently got "The Call" again so they're out working. We were really glad for them, even if we were all a bit jealous, too.

Bosco is the old man of the group. He always has stories of the old days at Warners, before "that damn Bugs Bunny and the rest of his Jewish clique" took over the studio. He says he gets together with B'rer Rabbit every year for a barbeque, but B'rer never attends meetings anymore. He's got a compound up in Montana that he almost never leaves these days.

There are a few other members who drift in and out. Krazy Kat used to come all the time but he's really busy with all these reprints. Hobbes used to to come as well, but he stopped coming after a while... unlike most of us, he retired pretty rich. It was sort of a pity thing with him, and a few other members resented that.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

October 1993

It was a long summer. My last earthly possessions were loaded into the back of my 1985 Subaru Brat. It was blue and I called it Mighty Mouse.

I hadn't been employed since I lost that job at the Memphis waffle house. I was a good short-order cook but, again, in another example of the prejudice our society still indulges towards the trans-personed. Believe me, there were many times in my life that I desparately wished to be something other than a green-skinned hybrid of Superman and Batman with green skin. I do have the powers of the Legion's Chameleon Boy, so I can look like whomever I want. But this is my default mode, this is who I am, and it took me a long time to learn that I shouldn't have to change who I am to conform with suburbia's ideal of normalcy.

Sure enough, I can change my form to look like Brad Pitt - or even Angelina Jolie. I can go out and have a good time, bring a one-night-stand back to my apartment. But invariably, when they wake up in the morning, its the green-skinned composite "freak" they wake up next to. I had had enough of pretending, I had had enough of trying hard to fit into a society that wanted very badly to pidgeonhole me into a narrow spectrum of gender identity. I was learning to accept who I was, and that it was OK to be different. It sounds silly, it sounds like Seseme Street on the face of it . . . but I needed to learn that it was OK to be me, that I didn't have to be someone I wasn't.

So I was driving through the high desert of Arizona with a cassette tape copy of Nirvana's In Utero on constant repeat in the stereo. I bought the tape at a K-Mart in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and although it was harsh and abrasive and painful, it was everything I needed in a record at that point in mmy life. When Kurt died six months later I felt the less more keenly because he had traveled with me on my journey, even if we never met.

I had bought a small sandwich baggie filled with peyote on a street corner in an Indian reservation in New Mexico. I don't know why I did it, I certainly couldn't afford it. I aimed my Brat into the horizon and drove like knife through the heart of the jagged Coconino landscape. When I ran out of gas I pulled the car over to the side of the road and walked inwards into the desert, marking a perpendicular path to the road and walking further from civilization with every step. There was a part of me that wanted very much to die, at that point in my life . . . wanted nothing more than to disappear into the space between the lines that Kurt screamed on "Rape Me". I could relate.

When the sun disappeared behind the far mesas I upended the bag of peyote into my mouth and sat down in the dust. There were storm clouds on the horizon, round puffy balls of chain lightning rolling in from California. I coudl feel the elctricity in the air - the part of me that was Lightning Lad could taste the free electrons in the air, buzzing like hornets.

I know you've all probably read Baba Ram Dass. I'm not going to bore you with my psychedelic experience, except to say that this was the first time I had ever had anything stronger than a joint and the experience changed my life. I don't know if I would ever reccomend that anyone do psychedelic drugs. They open some powerful doors in your mind, and if you're not ready for what's hiding behind them, it can probably be extremely traumatic. All I know is that I was ready for what happened to me that night, and I am thankful that God in his infinite wisdom saw fit to grace me with the light of His perception, if only for a moment. There was a place in Creation even for a messed-up Composite Superman, I knew.

I eventually melted into the desert in a pure liquid form whiel the lightning storm raged above me. When the sun rose in the east the drugs were fading but I realized that I could feel and understand things I'd never seen before. I could feel my watery tendrils snaking all throughout the living desert. Finally, I rose up out of the dust, my body blooming out of the ground in the form of a thousand tulips, every one of them having my face. I saw the new dawn through a thousand pairs of eyes, and I have never seen anything more beautiful than that desert morning.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hello!

Well, I'll be tickled pink. I have to admit that I've been a slow learner as far as this whole "internet" thing is concerned. I just recently got a Dell after a few years of having an e-mail account down at the public library. I love this computer, and the best part is that I was able to get it as a part of my workman's comp settlement, so I didn't pay a dime!

You've probably been wondering just what the heck I've been doing the last few decades. Well, the sad fact is that there hasn't been much call for a Composite Superman since the Crisis. I remember very well showing up for those last gigs at the DC offices. (I was in a few of those multi-character panels throughout the series. ) There was something of a melancholy mood throughout the shoot, because many of us knew very well that this would probably be our last gig with DC outside of reprints. Sure enough, there was no room for a Composite Superman in a post-Crisis world. I stopped waiting for "the call" a long time ago.

And before you ask, yes, I saw that Superman/Batman story, and no, I didn't get any money for the likeness. But it was very cool to see that I wasn't totally forgotten.

Anyway, I'll be blogging in the coming days about how the recent CS action figure came to be, how glad I am to have rediscovered my fanbase, and about the long years in between. I'll also be writing about my long struggle with my gender identity, and how I finally found the courage to come "out of the closet", and how I was embraced by the GLBT community. Being a monstrously powerful composite being with anamolous physical characteristics made my sexual awakening especially painful, and hopefully my story will be of some inspiration.

Thanks for coming!