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heroes need not apply

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

On a message board recently, someone said to me, “When I grow up I want to be just like you.” I replied that when I grow up, I want to be just like me too. I was just being my usual silly self, but after I typed that it dawned on me how true and deep that statement is. Being true to yourself, embracing the spirit of you, without regard to what others might think is probably one of the most beautiful and sometimes most difficult things that you can do.

There are many elements to my nature that have been with me since childhood. I’ve always loved Halloween, spooky movies, dark music and art, goth/punk/alternative music, nature, animals, cemeteries and more. It would have been easier as a teenager to wear what everyone else wore and listen to the same music as the masses. I would have avoided stuff like being called a freak or having boys tell me I’d be beautiful if only I would stop dying my hair odd colors and wearing black lipstick. At the time, my ‘look’ was a means to express myself and also a way of weeding out shallow or closed-minded people. As an ‘adult’ my approach is less extreme…usually…but I do tend to remain on the fringes. Fashion is only a tiny example. It applies to my work, my relationships…my life.

Despite teen angst, I think it may just be harder to embrace your spirit as an adult, because you are supposed to let a lot of stuff go and “grow up”. I feel like society hands you a tiny box and tells you to climb in by a certain age or you’re done for. I looked at the box, maybe even jammed a limb in a few times, but always pulled back out, re-examined the box, shook my head and said, “It’s too damn small. How on earth can I fit all of me in there? Nuh uh.” Ideally, we find a way to be true to ourselves and have some form of success doing so. In a lot of ways, I’m doing it now. I don’t have much money but I stick with doing things that feed my soul in some way and am focusing on surrounding myself with people that aren’t afraid to show their true selves. Dark, light and shades of grey. It’s all good, if it’s real.

I didn’t mean to go off on a mini tangent. Hehe. I just thought it was a cool sentence so I based the comic on it. I could have created a haiku that grasped the concept, but I just really liked the simplicity of the sentence so I’ll leave the haikuing to you guys. 😉

This week’s adventure really ties in to what I’m talking about. I attended Beach Theater’s Night of the Living Dead showing where people were invited to dress like zombies. I had been working all night and decided at the last moment to go so in 20 mins. I put together a creepy little outfit complete with shredded stockings and blackened eyes and lips and ran over to the theater where I handed out some GingerDead postcards and indulged in wine and classic horror-movie goodness. If you believe in the whole ‘inner-child’ concept, this is the sort of thing that makes mine giggle and dance.

Outside the theater, I met a really cool woman who took her childhood wants and turned them into a career. As a kid, she explained there wasn’t much horror literature out there for her age group. She was frustrated because she couldn’t get her scare fix and had little interest in reading until she was much older. Once her passion for literature developed she followed her spirit to the next logical step: writing horror for young adults.

Her name is Lynne Hansen and in her own words she is ‘the gateway drug to adult horror.” (I loved that description!) Lynne explained that she is actually getting kids interested in history and literature by tapping into their love of a good old fashioned scary story. Pretty cool, huh? Her books are even finding their way into schools complete with teaching guides and stuff. If you are a parent that loves horror, share that love with your young ones and get one of her books. Teachers who want an alternative option to the usual reading material, check out Hansen’s work. You might reach a few kids who you thought unreachable. 🙂 Buy Lynne Hansen’s Young Adult Horror books here.

Tampa’s Gasparilla Film Festival Feb 27th – Mar 2nd sounds pretty cool. Horror fans rejoice because you’ll be able to attend Blood Feast, a 35mm Florida made horror movie described as the most shocking film ever. There’s a Q and A with creators, the Godfathers of Gore: H.G Lewis and David F. Friedman as well. Blood Feast will be shown at Channelside Theaters on Saturday March 1st.

I can’t leave without reminding you to check out the moon tonight (Feb 20). It’s a full lunar eclipse and will be visible in many parts of the world. With a full lunar, the moon can turn blood red. How sexy is that? I know I’ll be at the beach with a bottle of wine, a camera and someone special. I suppose first I’ll have to get a sack and a baseball bat in order to ensure the ‘someone special’ bit, but it’ll be worth the effort I’m sure. O.o

See you next week!

23 Responses to “heroes need not apply”

  1. Keiki Lemieux Says:

    I love being me. 🙂

  2. angela Says:

    found you via a google blog reader search 🙂 thanks for the reference to lynn hansen, I’m gonna take a look at her books now. any specific books of hers that you would recommend starting out with?

  3. calan Says:

    yay keiki!

  4. Gabe Says:

    blazing your own trail
    headlong into the thicket
    to deliverance

  5. calan Says:

    nice one gabe 🙂

    hiya angela, welcome. unfortunately, i can’t make a recommendation because I just met her on Saturday and haven’t read anything yet. i just thought what she was doing was pretty cool and my readers might want to check her out. the witch one looks good though. it was salem history in it as well so you get some historical knowledge while you enjoy fiction…more bang for your buck, hehe.

  6. nobatneeded Says:

    to be me is free
    to be you would cost me me
    i can’t afford me

  7. calan Says:

    *puts bat away and smiles*

  8. Amanda Says:

    So I’ve been reading a while now a couple of months at least since before halloween. I finally decided to comment this one made me happy. I’ve been sick the last few weeks and we’ve had a lot of issues at home and i finally thought about it. you shouldnt give a flying fig what other people have to think about you because it doesnt matter. Anyway wanted to say hi. I’m from the tampa area too and you should know Bay area Renaissance festival is coming up starting this weekend *spams you about it* if you see some crazy lady dragging cabages thats me. Anyway keep up the great work.

  9. calan Says:

    hey amanda 🙂 thanks for deciding to comment. i can see the amt of traffic in my stats but interaction is way cooler. sorry stuffs been rough at home lately. if i was responsible for a smile…well that’s just awesome. the whole point of doing what i do.

    i saw the renn fair ad in creative loafing but i think i’m heading there on easter because there will be nothing else to do.

    btw, if you have a flying fig, DO NOT give it away. cherish it or sell it on ebay for lots of monies!

    have fun at the festival and go easy on those poor cabbages!

  10. Seraphine Says:

    i love your thoughtful
    post about you becoming
    you, haiki or not

  11. Seraphine Says:

    i mispelled haiku
    oop haiku haiku haiku
    i am such a git

  12. justme Says:

    i’ll be watching rapt
    underneath a blood red moon
    if the clouds will part

    I tried to haiku-riff on the comic’s theme but they just kept coming out trite and lame. Oh well.

    But try not to judge the poor conformists too harshly. For a few years I changed my style from “Addams Family” (some might uncharitably have said “Manson Family”) to “Brady Bunch” just to see how the other half lives and I have to tell you, feeling accepted by mainstream society and being seen as easily approachable were pretty intoxicating on some level. Just the change in how store clerks treated me blew my mind. In the end I decided it was costing me too much (myself) and reverted to form but I found the experience enlightening nonetheless.

    I gave a fig once
    but I missed it terribly
    so I took it back

  13. calan Says:

    hiya justme – thanks for sharing your little experiment. i used to do my own experiments when my look was more severe by doing unexpected nice things. like if i saw an elderly person cringing at me, i’d go out of my way to open the door for them and/or smile and stuff. that’s just one example but you get the idea, little things like that. my thought process was that maybe it would make people think twice about judging a book by its cover or make them feel bad for thinking i was the devil incarnate, hehe.

    btw, both your haikus are awesome. as for the red moon, i’m in the same boat here. it’s doubtful the clouds will part according to the weather dude. unfair! i live in sunny florida, so it’s just extra annoying that of all days to be cloudy it picks today. we hardly get days like this here. it is nice and somber though and makes me want to take a nap. *yawns*

    thanks sera 🙂

  14. coolioness Says:

    “You laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same.”

    No truer words were ever spoken. ^^

    When I grow up, I
    want to be the coolest me
    I could ever be!

    Pretty neat, inner child of calan! ^^

  15. Tara Says:

    Hihi Calan!! ‘Member me? xD
    anywhoo I love me, *hugs self* and it took me a while before i realized that the key to happiness is being yourself… Like Growing up as a little kid i was always ousted… why? i have no clue, anyway, i kept trying to fit in but to no avail (i usually just ended up making a dork out of myself xP) then around 7th or 8th grade, i was so used to being alone i was just like screw it. and Vala! I discovered myself liked it (I’m funny,naive, hyper and ditsy and those are my fav. kinda people, who would have guessed?). After that I was happy and after that i got friends yeys!!! anywhoo now a days I’m all llike weirdness and randomness = love normal= omg run away it’s hideous! So it’s Like hello world I’m Tara Tennyo* love me or leave me! ^_^

    anyway… I can’t believe you met Lynne Hansen!! I love her books i have yet to read altdeath.com but i read the change and The return… i like the change most i think anywhoo umm have a good day!

    * note Tara Tennyo is my pen name XD

  16. calan Says:

    hiya Tara,

    great story. 🙂 lovin’ your uniqueness is definitely a beautiful thing.

    so you are a lynne hansen fan, huh? sweet. i just sent her an email with a link to this comic, maybe she’ll pop over and wave hi at ya.

    coolio – love that quote too!

  17. Lynne Hansen Says:

    ::waving to Tara::
    Hi, Tara! I’m tickled you like my books. I love my zombies, werewolves and vamps. It’s cool that you found my stuff through the Heritage of Horror series instead of the AltDeath.com series. Usually it’s the other way around. (Everyone seems to go for the vampires first! lol)

    ::waving to Calan::
    Great meeting you at Zombie Night! I adore your artwork. Cute and creepy–one of my favorite combinations.

  18. calan Says:

    :waves back:

    thanks for stopping by, Lynne! it was great meeting you as well. 🙂

  19. Tara Says:

    WEee hihi Lynne ^_^ I’m actually in love with vampires atm so i’m like dying to read it xD but umm yea i think i picked up The return like a year after it was published recommended to me by my librarian (I

  20. The Wife Says:

    Awww, that’s so cute! I love your stuff, Calan. 🙂

  21. Ratchet Says:

    Bwa! Cute! I likes.

  22. Eric Says:

    I know I’m getting on the gingerdead bandwagon late, but I love the comic so far. Also wanted to call the Little Prince reference no one else seems to have noticed. One of my all time favorite books. If you haven’t read it, read it. Again, sweet comic!

  23. calan Says:

    is there a bandwagon realllly? YAY!!!! welcome to the site Eric. 🙂 the Little Prince is a lovely book.

    commercial break –

    this comic is now available as a signed print @ http://gingerdead.etsy.com


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