Their Obsession With Cheetahs

The CubbiesEvery night my children go to bed with cheetah cubbies that may be leopards.

They are cheap stuffed toys, the kind you see at the front of lesser family restaurants. Nothing extravagant, but wherever they go in the house, they are usually in the same room, many times next to each other. And each evening, they are needed for nighttime or there might be tears.

The cheetahs started with my son when he realized how fast they were.

My son has always loved to run. Back when he used to go to daycare and I would pick him up, on every nice day he would be in the playground racing with his friends. The teacher would just shout “Go!” and watch the kids run around and around again, not considering it was the parents that had to deal with the kids with sweat-soaked hair that would always need a bath later.

Now my son wasn’t always the fastest, he did good, but there were always kids a little faster since they might be older or just plan bigger. But that didn’t matter to my son, he would always tell me on the way home how he won… even when we both knew he didn’t.

He was Dash from The Incredibles for Halloween when he was four then the year after that The Flash. Whenever either costume was put on he would get this look in his eye, scream “zoom” and take off running around our house hoping to find a bad guy some place.

A red blur of speed!

 Last Christmas, my daughter gave her brother a giant stuffed cheetah. (Well, actually the parents did but she happily took credit for it, she was one then.) My son immediately declared it was the mommy cheetah, and they both happily agreed. The cheetah cubbies were grabbed and quickly were reunited.

They are now a family of cheetahs. Continue reading

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The Conundrum of Men in Capes

Even Superman writes!Superman was always my favorite superhero. There was always a lost operatic elegance to his story in my opinion. Yes, he saves cats from trees and helps old ladies cross the street, but he is alone among us. One of us, and yet not really one of us. A lost relic of another world, another time.

One of my favorite character debates comes around Superman. See, I love breaking down what makes a character or a story work, and here is the one I always like to throw at writers, is Superman pretending to be Clark Kent or is Clark Kent pretending to be Superman.

I love that!

See, Christopher Reeve had Superman be the real person and Clark Kent the performance, but more recently, TV shows like Smallville and Lois and Clark had it the other way around. What does that mean really? Everything to the character, little to us in the real world, of course. Our boring and drab reality where men don’t fly, and magic and superpowers only survive in our imaginations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about superheroes over the last few years. Mostly that is because of my son. The one nearby me as I write this, wearing Justice League PJs, Star Wars slippers, and holding a Superman toy from the film Man of Steel. He is five.  Continue reading

Happy Birthday Superman!

Superman by Larry TyeI don’t know if I can say this as the dad of a five-year old, especially one who changes who his favorite superhero is every week, but for me, my favorite superhero has always been Superman.

And as a fan, it s a good year to be one of us (did you see the trailer for the new movie yet? Wow!). Today marks his 75th year on our planet, so I thought I would link to some of my earlier posts on the man of steel.

Book Review: Superman by Larry Tye

This is a book review for a great piece of nonfiction by Larry Tye. If you are curious about the origins of the character, the people that have played him, and the struggles of the creators (if you are a writer this stuff will floor you), grab this book. You can read the review here.

ExterminatorsRecommending Four of GraphicAudio’s DC Audiobooks

I love GraphicAudio. If you have not heard a GraphicAudio audiobook you are really missing out. Basically, they are extremely well-produced audio readings of books with special effects, music, and a full cast of actors. Their tagline is “A Movie in Your Mind” and that is fairly accurate to what you get from them. In this blog post I recommend four of their audiobooks, many containing our favorite man of steel. They have a new Superman audiobook coming out in May and just recently did their first Marvel title. Trust me on this. Learn more via this link.

The Superhero Books of Ralph Cosentino

Ralph Cosentino has written three books for kids about superheroes; one on Batman, one on Wonderwoman, and, of course, one on Superman. They are beautifully illustrated and a fun way to introduce a child to comics and their heroes. After writing this review, I became a fan of some of his other children books. His books have a lot of wit and are in many ways modern-day classics. If you are a parent of a kid who likes to tie a towel around their neck and pretend it is a cape, I highly recommend you track his stuff down. My review is here.

Up, Up, and Away!