Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Inspired by comic books, part 2 by Toi Thomas

Image via Pinterest from the My Geekdom board
I’m so excited to dive right into this second installment of my “Inspired by comic books” series. I mean, I’m a geek and I love to geekout. This is just another opportunity for me to do just that, but don’t fret, I will be tying it all into my writing process in inspiration. In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’ll be talking a bit about D.C. Comics today. (If you missed part one, my intro to this series, please check it out).

In part one of this series, I gave a preview of the My Geekdom board I created on Pinterest. So inspired by the images I curated on this board, I wrote a blog series, over at The ToiBox of Words, called My Geekdom. In that series, I talked about all my geek inspirations, not just comic books. For your convenience and curiosity, I’ll link back to relevant posts in that series when applicable. You can check out the post, My Geekdom 03: D.C. Comics, right here.

Oh, but wait, there’s more. I also did an entire YouTube miniseries, specifically, on the comic book influences for my Eternal Curse Series. Check out episode: D.C. Comic Influences for Eternal Curse & a Yorkie (Influences #1-1) right here. For this installment of the series, however, I’ll be focusing on how D.C. Comics have influenced my writing in more general terms.

So, here's a very brief history of DC Comics for those of you who don't know. If you've ever heard the term the Golden Age of Comics they're talking about DC. The DC actually stands for Detective Comics but it was more than that. It was DC Comics that made comic books popular back in the 1930s. They are the creators of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. Like any good entertainment entity, DC Comics has evolved over the years. What we see today in the comic books as a lot darker, a little edgier, and more realistic, even though we are still talking about characters with superpowers.

For me, DC Comics represents “the possibilities”. One thing that I like about the DC Universe is that it's not really real. I mean, yes, you can make a direct correlation between New York City and Metropolis or Gotham City and Detroit or Chicago but these aren't real places. There's a certain fantasy element that exists in the DC Universe that allows you to have a little bit of a disconnect.

When I think in terms of my own writing, I like the idea that I can create a world that's very similar to the world that I live in but it can still be a fantasy. In the universe of the DC Comics, there is a direct reflection of the world that we live in, but there is also this fantastical element that I think makes it a little easier to stomach. For me, I sometimes try to include elements that are very close to reality but are just far enough away so that it doesn't hit too close to home. I attribute that to my love of the DC Comics.

If you want to know more about specific characters that have influenced my Eternal Curse Series, please check out the video above. One thing most people who don't read comic books don't realize is that comic books have always been on the cutting edge. While mainstream Hollywood and TV shows of today are now showing more diversity and portraying hard issues in the recent years, comic books have always done this. Comic books have always found interesting ways to deal with issues of environmental awareness, racism, sexism (though they still have a way to go here), immigration, and more. And all of this has helped inspire me in my own writing.

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.