Monday, January 26, 2004

Looking To The Stars: Mission Statement

Q: What is this?

A: Looking To The Stars is a weekly (most of the time) column written by yours truly. Though the exact subject matter varies from week to week, it is broadly about comic books, superheroes and all things that relate to the two. For instance, I may review a movie based on a comic book or discuss a game based around a superhero.

Q: What does the title mean?

A: It’s part of an Oscar Wilde quote: "We are all lying in the gutters,but some of us are looking to the stars." I’ve always liked the line because it suggests that no matter how low we may be, we always have hope. Also, it suggests looking onward and upward to better things, which is what I try and do with my discussions here.

Q: Isn’t the line actually “looking at the stars”?

A: I’ve seen it quoted as both, but prefer “To” since it seems more active.

Q: So who are you?

A: I write under the name “Starman” Matt Morrison.

Q: So what is your real name?

A: Matthew Morrison. Small wonder I use the nickname, Matthew being so common in the Bible Belt where I live.

Q: But why the “Starman”?

A: Back in the day, I was introduced to the classic “Starman” comic by a friend who said that the main character reminded him of me. In this case, the character was Jack Knight; a collectibles salesman turned superhero, whom had a unique style all his own. I got hooked on the title and it quickly became my favorite. Someone started calling me by that name and it stuck.

Q: What do you have in common with this “Starman”?

A: The biggest thing is personality. Both Jack and I are unmitigated smart alecks who are fond of innuendo, sarcasm and irony. One of my favorite lines in the whole series took place after Jack was punched by Captain Marvel and knocked to the ground, falling a few dozen feet to the ground. As he is asked if he is all-right, Jack quips “I think I landed on my Pez dispenser.” Make of that line what you will.

Aside from that, there’s some superficial traits. We both have eclectic taste, a wide variety of hobbies, tend to change our facial hair style on a monthly basis, are intense collectors and (while this wasn’t true when I first read the book) work in a collectibles store.

Q: So what’s the difference between you two?

A: The biggest differences are that Jack is, according to the Secret Files, taller than I am, lankier, has a criminal record and several tattoos and piercings.

I am 5’9”, broad-shouldered like a line-backer and have no record or body art.

Also, Jack Knight is fictional. I am, most of the time, a real live boy.

Q: What qualifications do you have to be writing this?

A: Well, I’ve been reading comics for about seven years now. I’ve been writing this column and reviews for 411 Comics for just over a year. Before that, I wrote for the now defunct comedy magazine “The Cult of Nobody” and the equally defunct “Fanzing”, where I had a monthly column called “The Mount”. You can read my old work for that here. Aside from that, I’ve written a few plays and short stories.

Q: Do you ever get in trouble for what you write?

A: I have gotten some heated letters from a few fans and even the odd writer or artist, but there were very few complaints about my writing by itself. The content of my writing, yes. But very few have offered constructive criticism.

Q: What is constructive criticism?

A: Letters that tell me how untalented I am but tell me how to improve without including George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words.

Q: So you’ve done this for one year. What’s next?

A: I have a few surprises in store. True to title, I’m going to offer as much information on upcoming titles as I can. I’ll take you behind the scenes and discuss some of the history and back-story relating to what is happening today. I might even manage the odd interview or two and maybe, just maybe, another episode and nit-picker’s guide for some of my favorite titles.

Q. Nothing more specific than that?

A: Nope. I said they were surprises. I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait.

Tune In Next Week! Same Matt Time! Same Matt Web Site!

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