Understanding is a three-edged sword. Your side, my side, and the truth.
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The point of mythology or myth is to point to the horizon and to point back to ourselves: This is who we are; this is where we came from; and this is where we're going. And a lot of Western society over the last hundred years - the last 50 years really - has lost that. We have become rather aimless and wandering.
I also like to look at the dynamic that takes place between religion and science because, in a way, both are asking the same questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? The methodologies are diametrically opposed, but their motivation is the same; the wellspring is the same in both cases.
A story is a story is a story. The only difference is in the techniques you bring to bear. There are always limitations on what you can and can't do. But I enjoy that. Just like when you write a sonnet or haiku, there are rules you have to abide by. And to me, playing within the rules is the fun part. It keeps the brain fresh.
Anyone who sets foot into the 'Watchmen' universe and isn't just a little nervous should be given a few days of electroshock therapy. I've always considered 'Watchmen' to be one of the best graphic novels ever written, and when it came out back in 1986 I was as blown away as everyone else. Just masterful.
For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America's hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest.
For me, growing up in a ridiculously poor family living in dead-end neighborhoods, Superman was a deeply personal icon, one that said you can do anything if you put your mind to it. What he stood for formed the core of who I wanted to be as I grew up, and informed how I view the world and my responsibilities to other people.
Here's the miracle: I grew up thinking, 'Wouldn't it be great to write 'Superman' someday? Wouldn't it be great to create my own show, or work on 'Lensman,' or 'Forbidden Planet?' Those were very literally the goals I set for myself, the dreams that I thought I didn't have a chance in hell of ever actually achieving. But it's happened.
I was born in Patterson, New Jersey, and raised pretty much all around the country. My family tended to move from place to place following economic prospects and jobs and looking for new opportunities, so we changed schools, colleges, grade schools, high schools every 6 months to a year - depending on the breaks.