FanBoy Fun

Many of us lately find our congregations on-line.
Or so we hope.

In my pursuit of Legion of Super-Heroes oriented good times I join in on discussion groups composed of similarly minded geeks.
Turns out the discussions are not all geekery.

Someone had posted an illustration called “Dream Boy” featuring an elfinly masculine analog (perhaps) of Legionnaire Dream Girl, or maybe a fellow Naltorian with the same indigenous prognostication power as she. Who knows? Anyway, it was mostly a fine illustration, with maybe a some minor critiques about transparent legs not being a typically Naltorian feature.

Apparently someone had gotten into a bit of a twist over the illo’s vaguely androgynous look, and then someone else got into an even tighter twist over someone calling someone a “deviant” and then calling for the mods or the admins or Mommy or Pop to squelch the heretics for blasphemy, homophobia, apostasy, and transphobia. And I’m only kidding about two of those crimes. So by now I’m wondering, “What happened to the fun and the camaraderie? Aren’t we all deviants on this bus?”

So of course I have to weigh in.
A deviant is that which deviates from the norm.
Norms and their derivatives the deviants are simply mathematical constructs. We expect the norm because it is the most common, and we are sometimes surprised by deviations depending on their rarity.
So what exactly is the problem with “deviant”(a concept that embraces the left-handed in a right-handed population and the lactose intolerant in a lactose digesting population equally)?
There is neither anything exalted about normal nor anything disgraceful about deviation.
I recommend a dose of Trichillin.
(from the makers of Chillax, use only as directed)

And then, just because that was too reasonable, I had to add a little more.
Or remove me for insufficient piling on.

Correspondent JK asserts that I “can’t be that stupid”, without specifying exactly HOW he thinks I’m being stupid. Since I am riddled with doubts I thought it might be prudent to go back and check my math and English. Nah, there’s no need to check my math, or the statistics, as many minorities are abundantly obvious. As for English, Merriam-Webster’s first definition of “deviant” refers to it as an adjective, to describe something that has deviated from the norm — as in deviant results, deviant data, or deviant behavior. The SECOND definition vindicates my usage, as it is a person whose characteristics or behavior deviates from the norm. And still, deviations remain good, bad, OR indifferent, according to circumstances.

Correspondent JM recommends that I depart for the Nether Kingdom, and also possibly to Spoil The Friendly Urchins(?). It’s a little hard to make out through his seething ire. Often it seems that the greatest outrage is that others aren’t outraged enough. I cheerfully reply.
Or simply anger on… as umbrage is so ambrosial… Happy Daze!

Apparently not one to be mollified, JM cuts me deeply with “Quiet down troll,” and goes on to declare (I presume) that I have a “fake profile.” This, somehow, is “very brave” of me. Meanwhile, admins seem to provide JM no succor, just as JM provides no clue as to what aspects of my profile he believes are fraudulent or courageous.

I may have developed too thick a skin after a lifetime of deviation. Sometimes I’m not terribly sensitive to people’s delicate little fuh-fuh-fuh-feeeeelings. Tough. I am a multi-threat deviant myself: anarchist in a statist world, atheist in a mystic world, polyamorist in a monogamist world, and a shameless fan of super-heroic fantasy in a “them funny books is fer kids” world. You don’t think I know from ridicule? The fact is, every one of us who participates on this forum is a deviant.
So what?

Chameleon Boy, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Gigi Cusimano, Cosmic Boy, Triplicate Girl (all depicted by Steve Lightle), Shvaugn Erin, and Jan (Element Lad) Arrah (both depicted by Colleen Doran & Al Gordon), are all properties of Detective Comics and Warner Communications.  Their images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement for DC‘s properties at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.

 

“It’s been a fun life.” ( September 1984, Legion of Super-Heroes vol3 #2 )

setup 181114: Paul Levitz was a perfectly adequate editor in his own right, but I think it may have been DC’s policy that writers not edit their own work. I don’t know. At any rate the Legion at that time was edited by Karen Berger, to whom I addressed the following remarks. Nevertheless, Levitz himself handled the “Letters to the Editor” column because, well, I suspect because he liked to.
Herewith are my remarks from 1984 regarding Levitz’ and his collaborators’ super-heroic confabulation, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and in particular, their character, Dream Girl.

Editor:

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I couldn’t have said it better myself. In LSH vol 2 number 310, Nura Nal coins her own best epitaph (and I hope she never needs it as such.)

Preparing for an action which, at best, will neatly suck Omen out of her universe and, at worst, kill her, her compatriots, and possibly all of Khundia, she succinctly sums up her existence and completely crystallizes her character.

“It’s been a fun life.”
Beautiful.

Not, “It’s been a useful life,” nor “…a productive life,” nor “…a meaningful life,” nor any other of the abundant clichés of individual subordination. “It’s been a fun life.” Nura knows. I know. Paul Levitz apparently knows.   (Whether or not he believes it himself.  Steve Ditko obviously knows — see AVENGiNG WORLD.) If human existence has any purpose at all, it is the pursuit of pleasure. Whether we derive pleasure from a job well done, from helping others, or from helping ourselves, fundamentally we’re in the game for number one. It’s the human thing, we must depend first on ourselves for our own happiness. Aside from contractual obligations, nobody owes us anything, and we owe nobody our lives. Not our church, not our party, not our race, nor tribe, nor “society,” and certainly not the state.

Thank you Nura. Thank you Paul. Keep up the good word.

Levitz responds:
“Whew! One of the best parts of writing the Legion is seeing what depths of character readers can analyze out of brief sentences. While we’d agree with your analysis (largely) with respect to Nura, Lawrence, we’d hate to be accused of believing as our various characters do. — pl.”

update 181114: I don’t condemn Levitz’ hesitation to commit to radical individualism; Nura Nal and Steve Ditko and I represent the narrow end of that particular bell curve and I know how awkward it gets out here.

In spite of that, Paul Levitz remains a great personal hero of mine. In the mid to late 1970s he and Neal Adams led the charge to help Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster reclaim their interests in Superman. Going up for decades against the metastasizing goliath that had become Warner Communications, Seigel and Shuster had all but given up hope.

Adams gets a great deal of the credit for their eventual triumph, and he deserves it, but people often neglect this very impressive difference. At the time Neal Adams was a powerhouse in the industry. Just about every publisher in town was courting him and he was writing his own golden ticket. To speak of Adams as Adams himself might, “The son of a bitch carried some goddamned weight and the corporate suits dared not fuck with him.” If Warner held a grudge Adams could stroll across the street.

Paul Levitz, however, carried no such weight. He was admittedly a tyro writer and a rising star with an MBA on the way and Earth-Two’s Bat-Daughter in his portfolio, but still, he knew the history of DC AND Donenfeld’s toxic legacy. He knew what had happened to writers before him who had pushed too hard.
He pushed anyway.
For the Fathers of the Man of Steel, he couldn’t not push.

Paul Levitz and Neal Adams may disagree with me on matters of art or food or politics, but I still hold them both in the highest of esteem,
both as artists, and as men.

in re advertisement above:  Hawkman, Triplicate Girl, Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Supergirl, Phantom Girl, Stone Boy, Flame Lad, Polar Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Night Girl, Superboy, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, & the Army of Living Kryptonite Men are all properties of Detective Comics and Warner Communications.  Their images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement for DC‘s properties at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

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Alex (Swamp Thing) Olsen, Linda Olsen, Shvaugn Erin, & Jan (Element Lad) Arrah, are all properties of Detective Comics and Warner Communications.  Their images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement for DC‘s properties at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.

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Firehair, Bat Lash, Pow Wow Smith, El Diablo, and Johnny Thunder are all properties of Detective Comics and Warner Communications.  Their images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement for DC‘s properties at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

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Princess Pam is the creation of Bruce Jones and Dave Stevens.  Black Canary is the property of Detective Comics and Warner CommunicationsStephanie Starr is the creation of Mike Friedrich and Dick Giordano.  Their images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.

* * * * * * advertisement * * * * * *

These images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.  If anything, their use here constitutes free advertisement for their creators at the considerable expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.

* * * * * * advertisement * * * * * *

Conan and the Frost Giants created by Robert E Howard. this particular presentation of Pan was earlier seen in the House of Mystery, property of Detective Comics and Warner Communications.  Kirk Douglas as Spartacus by unknown photographer.  These images are reproduced by Piracy Press for purposes of analysis and scholarship.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.

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cover illustrations by Dick Giordano & Russ Heath.  Used without permission.  Piracy Press is a non-profit enterprise dedicated to the preservation and distribution of great art and ripping good yarns.  Digital Damage by Lethargy LadPrice per issue:  Ten Centigrams Gold.

Stories are selected with the greatest of discrimination, but even numbered issues of Daring Love are specifically edited with the prurient interests of atavistic fanboys in mind.  Reader discretion is advised.