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Want to know about unfulfilled aspirations in comics?
For years I've been saying that if there's anything I don't feel I need
to do again for the rest of my life it's write another comic book.
I mean there's just no internal imperative any more, after all. What
incentive is there for me to do a bang-up job on my 522nd comic book story?
Am I worried that if I screw up I won't get to write the 523rd? What I've
done in comics -- as chaotic an overall vision and as internally inconsistent
as these hundreds of stories are -- constitutes an oeuvre, I feel.
So I decided awhile back that what I do is books and movies, and not to
pursue animation or comics or television or anything actively but books
But at the moment, because somebody called and asked and I didn't say no,
I'm writing my first comic book story in about two or three years and it's
fun. It's a Generation X annual based loosely on the story
in the Generation X novel Scott Lobdell and I did which is shipping
to bookstores as I write this. And it occurred to me that I can think
of at least one comic book story I still would like to write.
I'd like to do the epic story of Krypto. No joke.
It's always bothered me that in the old Superman continuity -- the version
stretching back to 1939 that we all worked so hard to justify and build
upon until 1986 when we all got fired and they stopped worrying about their
heritage altogether -- stuff was always "drifting" to Earth. Superman.
Six kinds of
The Phantom Zone
Krypto. Doesn't work. It's not like Earth
is actually the backwater spot that we thought it was years ago. Turns
out Earth is actually about a third of the way up along a major spiral
arm of a not terribly insignificant galaxy that is one of a major archipelago
of galaxies. But still, we're only a little planet after all.
Not likely everyone and everything from one point in vast space would likely
end up in this other point in space. But Krypto is another story.
This all started percolating in my head, as it happens, when my seventh-grader
read a bunch of stuff by Jack London for English class this year and I
read or reread a lot of it with him. Dog stories are great, especially
when you take the dogs seriously. Why has Krypto as a character survived
in all our imaginations for all these years? It's because -- like
White Fang -- Krypto fulfills a need in many of our individually rich fantasy
theaters. The story of his bonding with the baby Kal-El, his being
lost in space, his adventures and will to survive even after he is lost
and his homeworld is destroyed, his spectacular reunion as a grown dog
with the boy Clark Kent ... this is the stuff of legend. It's a great
boy story and I suppose if I were of a mind actually to pursue this stuff
I'd pitch it to Joey or somebody up at DC. I won't -- just because
I'm not doing that sort of thing these days.
But I'll tell you about it, just because you asked. And I'll copyright
this article, just in case.
And thanks for asking.
Copyright © 1997 by Elliot S! Maggin