Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Supergods by Grant Morrison is the most important book you’ll read in 2011

“We tell our children they’re trapped like rats on a doomed, bankrupt, gangster-haunted planet with dwindling resources, with nothing to look forward to but rising sea levels and imminent mass extinctions, then raise a disapproving eyebrow when, in response, they dress in black, cut themselves with razors, starve themselves, gorge themselves, or kill one another.”
– Grant Morrison, Introduction to Supergods

As important as logic and reason are to our rational, technological modern lives, one of the most egregious absences from the current worldview is that of myth. Politicians, rock stars, and reality television celebrity idiots have infiltrated most available slots in the mass consciousness set aside for admiration, mimetic representation, and plain old hero worship. This is not a good thing. Such cults of personality distract us from art, and therefore distance us from our own imaginations. When we fail to engage our imaginations, we neglect something crucial that allows us to repurpose and transcend our ordinary lives. We forget that an essential aspect of life is to seek always discovery and ultimate meaning.

Supergods is rather pointedly not the universal answer to all of humanity’s ills. It doesn’t really claim to be. It is an impassioned analysis and celebration of what one hyper-creative writer sees as a evolutionary step forward from the myths and legends that once enthralled and sustained a burgeoning human awareness. Superheroes are the latest step in the logical progression from gods and demi-gods and urban legends. They invigorate and augment the stories that feature them. They straddle the razor’s edge between being as flawed as us all and being everything we wish we were. They show us that there is a better path to choose that is seldom an easy one but one ultimately leading us all to a finer world. They inhabit a comic book world for now but they are infiltrating our culture through television and film, advertisements and online strips. They want only the best for us all, and they will strive against anything to ensure our survival.

Comic books and graphic novels may not be for everyone, but Grant Morrison isn’t looking to recruit only nerds and geeks to his way of thinking. Supergods is an argument toward embracing any art that makes you stand a little straighter, feel a little better, and smile more at everyone you pass. Readers who have forgotten how to dream of things larger than themselves and are hopeful about finding a new and more confident paradigm won’t merely find entertainment in Supergods. They’ll find inspiration.

Kyle Mares is a MFA student in Writing & Poetics at Naropa University. Born in Denver, he finds his return to Colorado (to attend school in Boulder) to be strangely invigorating after living in Chicago and outside Los Angeles. Having worked for three years in a southern California comic book store, being a bookseller at Boulder Book Store has proven to be a much quieter, less argumentative experience. He's not much for off-roading but he is considering bungee-jumping for the very first time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Local and Loved #5

Cover Charge for Author Events

On April 25th of this year the Boulder Daily Camera released an article that partially explained why the Boulder Book Store started charging for events. They did an excellent job. The problem is, so much has happened since April.

June 21, 2011 the New York Times released an article that explained that the Boulder Book Store isn't the only one charging. All across the country independent bookstores are asking customers to open their wallets and shell out a little money for some cheap, intelectual entertainment. This isn't meant to be a slight to readers, it is intended to be a way to reward customers who pay for books at the bookstore (the tickets ALWAYS act as coupons for the featured book or anybook on the day of the event) and a message to those who look at the store and then buy online.

Is $5 too much to ask? The average evening movie costs between 8 and 10 dollars, that isn't counting the extra charge for 3D. In actuallity an author event is worth paying for. It is a great date or the ideal way to pass a lazy evening.

So show your love for the local and come out and support the Boulder Book Store at author events.

Who would you pay to see at the bookstore?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Local and Loved #4

These are the books that say something about the community, though most aren't about Boulder.
In my opinion one thing that makes the Boulder Book Store a true gem is it's support of local authors. 81% of American's say they want to write a book, that's not to say all of them do it but 81% want to. According to the US Census there are 311million people in the United States, that means that 251,910,000 people want to write a book. 190,000 people get published. That means that there are people writing (not all 251,910,000 because there are a lot of things people say they want to do and then don't) who aren't getting published. At the Boulder Book Store that is not the case for the locals who come in, looking for a break. Check out the lovely blue tagged books on Rec Case 3.