Good afternoon, fair-game icons!

Taking a leisurely Sunday after an intense week of publication designing, and before a full month of teaching comics. I’ve been reading Johnny Cash’s latter day autiobraphy, and thinking of Batman as a collective trope. Not sure how the two are connected, just letting my mind wander here.

For elaboration of the latter, though: Batman, Mickey Mouse, and a handful of other characters have permeated the hive mind to a degree that claiming ownership of them is ridiculous. Of course, there are always legal gatekeepers that try, and occasionally succeed in enforcing those rights.

Some other characters in that fuzzy, public domain would be religious figures. Essentially mythicized to archetypes (dare I say “caricatures”?) in and of themselves, Buddha, Jesus or Muhammad are interpreted differently (but largely homogenously) by different worshippers.

I’m willing to bet that even within the same Xian congregation or sect, you could be able to identify several different but compatible Jesuses (Jesui?), simply because of the character’s non-specific characteristics, and at the same time the intimate relationship that worshippers feel with their prophet.

And the there’s Batman. The character has gone through several interpretations (visually and conceptually) over the decades — there is literally a Batman for everyone out there, but my point here is how the idea of Batman has entered the public mind-at-large, more than any specific, publisher-sanctioned Batman story has, or ever could.

Think of the ways that pagan deities and tradition lingered in medieval European folklore, while biblical apocrypha was popularised and spun on like pre-urban legends and tall tales. Same thing.

Stories that escape their original framing, organic narratives living on unchecked in people’s imaginations (perhaps even affecting their host’s actions like toxoplasma Gondii of fiction) …I find that incredibly fascinating, and not a little comforting.

Good morning Spock-less world!

I was sad and surprised to hear that Leonard Nimoy died yesterday. He was one of those actors who are forever associated with one iconic character, but besides Star Trek, his parts in the original Mission: Impossible show and Fringe were pop culture highlights. Between those roles and the fact that he passed away at the respectable age of 83, it’s difficult not to end this on a “live long and prosper” crack. Instead I think I’ll sit down and watch me some original Star Trek— that would be highly logical.

Help fund Simon Moreton’s new book!

Just five days left on our kickstarter for @smoo_comics new book! we really need your support to make this happen!

— Jordan Shiveley, just now on Twitter

That’s Simon Moreton’s Plans we made they’re raising money for there, and in my humble opinion that looks like one of the best books you’ll ever regret not supporting. You won’t want that blemish on your karma, chip in with what you can!

Update: When the last story is told

Latest word on When the last story is told, my book of abstract collage comics, is that printing starts 17 March and the finished books lands in Malmö about a week later. Yay!

I’ll have a limited, signed edition up for sale, but I’m queasy about taking pre-orders until I have word that the book is printed and bound. More on that soon!