My work has me handling superheroes: specifically working them into a design for a favourite client. I did good on developing the theme, despite my aversion to them – them being superheroes.
The condition is deep-seated and reasonable. It stems from my having German Measles (as was then named) in 1979, and my mum kindly bringing me home the Superman annual of that year to see me through some school-less days.
We’d all recently been to see the Christopher Reeve film; and had I known then the word genre, I may have mentioned something at the time, for this one was leaving me cold. It said nothing (as was once sang in a panic) to me about my life, however and whatever the primordial themes at its, er, heart. And I’m just the same with Star Wars.
Trouble: the comic book annual presented a Superman at stylistic odds with the one at the Odeon – it was the original articulation, I suppose, but I found this confusing and the stuff of poor planning. The same would be true of the ‘summer special’ editions of Roy of the Rovers, which habitually served up a differently-looking Roy Race – all jawbone and short-back-and-sides when compared with the groovy peroxided swinger I knew as the modern-day Melchester ace. Which unmatching Supermen embiggened* my ambivalence towards him/them into something like antipathy. And in my sniffling, itchy and green-gilled state the association took hold. This superhero made me feel rotten.
Superman was, therefore, my Kryptonite.
Back to the now and my designs: being self-employed I’ve chosen not to tell my boss about any of this – but to heroically crack on.
*a perfectly cromulent word, of course.