Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eternity vs. the Changing Seasons, Decades, and Debates


Ah, springtime at last, when (perhaps due to time travel problems like the ones mentioned in my Wednesday entry) snow flurries hit NYC, neopagans celebrate the renewal of life, a man plans an 80sa 50s costume to complement his lady’s 50s costume for a “decades”-themed party hosted by a Brown alum, and a copy of the March/April 2009 Brown Alumni Monthly arrives in your mailbox to remind you what once was — and make you think about comic books.

For you see, the new BAM — the same one that has a cover story about a Brown student spending a semester at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and managing to get along with the Christians — has letters from my friends Scott Nybakken and Ali Kokmen reacting to a prior issue’s error-filled article by Lawrence Goodman about Jews in comics (though in Ali’s case, they used the positive-sounding parts of the letter). You can sense the love of the medium in both the bad-cop and good-cop half of this team, a DC Comics editor and Del Rey manga promoter, respectively.

And just to make my world seem smaller, whereas Scott was one of our debaters last time at Lolita Bar, making the case that sci-fi should avoid getting mired in nostalgia, one of our debaters for next time — Rabbi Simcha Weinstein — is mentioned in the letter below Scott and Ali’s, since he’s not only our “yes” man in our April Fool’s Day debate on the question “Does Religion Make People Better?” — he’s also the author of Up, Up, and Oy Vey!, a book about Jews in comics.

The important issues have a tendency to be intertwined — you know, like issue #137 of Uncanny X-Men and issue #150 of New X-Men. Just a joke! Or is it, really?

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