Sunday, July 29, 2012

On Spiderman, Oregon and Joe

Owing to the sudden re-emergence of a huge appetite for comics recently, when I traveled hometown last weekend, I first went to the bookstore even before going home. Well, at least Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle do exist. But the section that used to adorn superheroes now is left with that-little-girl-with-the-bag(..grrr..What's her name?!).  DC or Marvel : nowhere to be found. Dexter or Flintstones : Na-ah. What has dawned upon us?!?! I hunted all possible places where I could get my hands on one copy of DC or Marvel.

There was this guy in one of the stores amused/irritated by my impatience and handed me a graphic novel of Metamorphosis.: 
“No, I won’t need this!”
“But you did ask for Spiderman, right?!”  

At the end of everything, I had to conclude only this: Leave alone Dexter and the like, even Superhero Comics don't exist anymore in my hometown. All that we have is that-little-girl-with-the-bag(…Oh I knew her name once!!!) 

So now there won’t be monthly flocking at the bookstore to get the next issue of the amazing spiderman. There won't be any SupermanVsBatman fights/arguements during lunch hours at schools(Or sometimes on who's the hotter one--only next to WonderWoman of course--Spidergirl or Supergirl). There wouldn't be neutral kids who are with Spiderman, to resolve these conflicts. Kids who were Spidey-fans were most often fans of Peter Parker because in some way or the other they found a piece of themselves in him. Like the old school saying goes(..or probably I just made it up): Superman's an alien, Batman's mighty rich, but Spiderman is just you and me.

I remember, once when me and my friend managed to grab the final two copies of a rare SpideyVsWolverine issue, it was more than the superheroes there. It was us. We weren't able to watch the transition when Clark and Bruce made it to the big screen, but we were there when it happened with Peter. And so, instantly Stanley became our hero too. We both stared making our own superhoes. And boy did we enjoy it!! He was the one who plunged into action first. His guy was Oregon Webster. Mine was Joe Alan (yeah I know..not as cool as Oregon eh?) .The toughest part initially was to find a name. He used to sink his head into the Atlas and thus emerged with an Oregon. And Webster...not the dictionary. For the record, I think it was a tribute to Spidey. I don't remember much of Oregon's traits or powers now, but I do remember the eccentric face he gave him. Joe was a basketball guy, and of course bullied by the fellow players. Scientist dad who helps him channelize his powers. But as I grew up, Joe grew up too. And so did his origins. He emerged from being the teen-protagonist of a half-done comic to a mature-protagonist of a half-done novel.   

Now I remember the day I called my friend up and anounced 'Guess what, I'm starting my comic!'
'Awesome! '--that was a genuine one--'bring it to school tomorrow...'
Even though tomorrow was sports day and there was this teacher who thought we-don't-care-enough-about-sports so no-notebooks-only-cheering-the-players, all that we did was reading my just-begun-comic and talking about it the whole day.

Oregon and Joe were left astray in their undrawn future. But if ever they had one and met each other, I'm sure they would've been great friends too!

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