12 April 2011

The Owl's Legacy

Watchmen is an autobiography of the costumed hero of the late 1930's and 1940's named Hollis Wordsworth Mason, but also known as the Night Owl. A writer once told Mason to open with a sad story in order for the audience to sympathize with him. Mason's sad story occurred at his father's work in an auto shop. Moe Vernon was the boss. One day crazy Moe was wearing fake, foam, and pink breasts as a joke. He received a letter from his wife claiming she was having an affair with his head mechanic and leaving with all his money to Tijuana. Crying, holding the letter, still wearing the fake breasts, and listening to The Ride of the Valkyries Moe informed his workers of his wife's adultery. They all laughed at the sight of him! That night Moe committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes. This incident will always remind Mason of The Ride to the Valkyries song and how it makes him feel sadness.
Now, in 1939 Mason is a New York police officer who at night becomes a costumed hero. The desire for adventure began in 1938 when the Superhero's were created, like Superman. Secretly Mason was fantasizing about becoming a hero himself. Then a masked man with a noose around his neck begins saving citizens from crime, which further influenced Mason to choose his vocation. Soon he began working out non stop, creating a name, and a costume. His name was the most difficult, but it was inspired by a work buddy that once called him a night owl. Finally, Mason began fighting crime, but there were seven other individuals who fought crime as well. Over time all superhero's came together to create the Minutemen, which is a gang of costumed hero's fighting crime to make their country safer. All is well for a while, but some superhero's left, some were murdered, crime lost it's excitement for others, and most importantly there were no costumed bad guys to fight against. And in 1949 the league ended. These superhero's were all human, they suffered downfalls and endured much pain, but they removed their costumes and stopped playing the savor. In the end, Mason the Night Owl retired from his police work and went back to mending vehicles because that was the last time he truly felt real happiness.
I very much enjoyed this reading compared to the others. It seemed so believable and extremely vivid. Mason is a person one can relate to, he is a normal person who achieved superhero status by working hard and being determined. Even though he took off his mask in the end, he did not stop being a hero. He left behind a legacy that influenced younger generations of costumed hero's. Mason's story portrays that anyone can change or make something better in this world.

The First Masked Heroes!

Watchmen, is about Hollis Mason's autobiography. It talks about how Mason became a "masked adventurer". He starts the story by gaining the sympathy of his audience. He learns this technique from a woman who works at a grocery store. Her name is Denise. Mason talks about his years in the police force and how he got into this fad of superheroes. After he read Action Comics is when he became a "masked adventurer". After being on his own he joined a group of these early superheroes. They were called the "Minutemen". The Silhoutte, Silk Spectre, Comedian, Hooded Justice, Captain Metropolis, Nite Owl, and Dollar Bill were all the heroes in this group. They didn't last long as a group. They all went their separate ways and decided not to fight crime. In the later years a new breed of superheroes was born. These superheroes actually had super powers unlike the Minutemen. This elite band of heroes also fought crime for the good of the people. I really liked this reading and it talks about comics in the 1930s. Even in books it talks about how comics have had an influence in American society. I too thought this was a real life autobiography. I have never seen the movie Watchmen, but I really want to see it now!

Heroes Never Die

This reading is talks about how the Minutemen came to be, ascended up the popularity ladder, and later faded away almost all together. The reading starts off by talking about the writer's saddest memory, intended to capture the reader and introduce his story. Later, he writes about how the story of Superman was the most inspirational comic to convince him to become a superhero and how after that, it took him almost three months to decide that he was really going to do it. After he became the "Night Owl" several other people became masked heroes as well. Later, the few of these masked heroes united and became what is known as the Minutemen.
Throughout the 1940's everything seemed to be going real well for the group. Once the 1950's came around, the group slowly started falling apart starting with the leaving of The Comedian. After, The Dollar Bill was gunned down and the Silhouette was tracked down and killed with her lover by one of her enemies. Toward the end of the 1950's the "villians" that the Minutemen were fighting became regular criminals and the Minutemen themselves started to become more of a joke. Shortly after, Night Owl retired to go do what he enjoyed most, fixing cars. After that, a young man wrote Night Owl asking if he could borrow his name since he retired and thats when Night Owl realized that superheroes had become American life.
I thought this story was an actual true story. However, toward the end of the reading I got a little confused when Dr. Manhattan came into the picture. Then I wasn't sure if the writer was talking about something he actually saw, or read about or that it wasn't even real at all. Either way this seems very similar to a movie I've seen. And no its not Watchmen! Anyways, the reading showed me what it would actually be like dressing up as a hero and trying to fight crime. Somethings are not as easy as they seem but they are definitely not out of grasp. The heroes that all of us love may fade and be forgotten, but they seem to never die.

11 April 2011

I need your sympathy...

....BECAUSE THIS BLOG ISN'T GOING TO BE A WALK. Under the Hood is an autobiography by Hollis Mason. His autobiography consists of five chapters that explains the super-hero the Nite Owl. The first chapter is about how Hollis Mason knows Denise, a store clerk and novelist. Denise explains to Mason that in order to receive the audiences full attention he first must receive sympathy from them. Hollis Mason goes on to tell us the saddest story he knows about a man named Moe Vernon, his artificial boob and his cheating wife. Now that he had the audiences attention he was able to start his autobiography. Throughout the second chapter Hollis Mason tells how he became the Nite Owl and why he did it. He explains how he was worked for the New York City Police when he had the idea to become the Nite Owl. He said he liked the idea of super-hero's because "I like the idea of adventure, and I feel bad unless I'm doing good". In a sense Hollis Mason liked that super-hero's had great morals, so he wanted to be one. He also explains that it would be great to be a super-hero because they get all the girls, fantasies become real and he would be a hero to his community. In the third chapter he creates his super-hero character. He fantasized on becoming a costumed adventurer. He wanted his name to be full of drama and excitement like the "Hooded Justice". While working out and training to become a super-hero he receives the name "Nite Owl" by one of his coworkers. That is how he decided what his super-hero name will be. Soon after he became the Nite Owl many other super-hero's presented themselves. He then explains what other people thought of these new super-heroes. The forth chapter explains how the Minutemen first got together. Captain Metrropolis wrote Sally Jupiter about forming a group of masked adventurers. Then one by one the eight of them came together to form a group. In the final chapter of his autobiography he explains the problems the group had. Sally had a husband, child then divorce. The Comedian chose the political rout. Eventually the whole group had to testify before "House of UnAmerican Activities Committee" where they were forced to show their identities. This is when the Hooded Justice had chosen to retire instead of showing his real identity. Everyone chose a different life after being a super-hero. Hollis Mason chose to turn back to cars. To me this blog was difficult to write. But I actually for once enjoyed reading about super-heroes. This reading made me want to watch the movie Watchmen.

The Beginning of The Superhero Fad!

Watchman a book containing excerpts from Hollis Morison's autobiography. These excerpts tell the story of how during Mason's time in New York superhero's were the in thing. Mason is also know as the 'Nite Owl'. Mason writes about all his time in New York. Before Mason starts writing about his life he tells the story of how he got started. He asked a writer he knew about how to go about writing a book. She first tells him to start off with a sad story. This was to get the sympathy of the reader. He later goes on to tell a sad story about Moe Vernon, the guy that employed her father.
After the sad introduction Morison talks about his time as a police officer. For Morison it all began in 1938 when the first issue of Action Comics came out. He goes on to talk about how he was too old to read them. But he was really interested in them. This first issue brought back memories from his teen years when he would dream about being a superhero. They gave him the idea to actually become one. Morison goes on to talk about how he trained to become a superhero. He would train in the police gym. He first became the "Nite Owl" in 1939. After the Nite Owl many other superhero's began to appear. In the few chapters Morison talks about the success and failure of all the superhero's that were around. They went from preventing crime to not doing anything. Some turned to crime.

This has been the toughest piece to blog about. I have no idea why, but it was. I like the movie watchman and I liked this reading. I thought it was interesting. It showed how big superhero's became after the first Action Comics. It gave people the idea to actually become superhero's or "masked adventurers". This book goes into some detail while describing these superhero's. This blog is not very good. Just saying!

Welcome to the Costume Party

The beginning of Alan Moore's Watchmen begins with the young personal life of narrator Hollis Mason. Mason describes how Denise, who works on a corner grocery store, is a very good writer and explains to her his trouble of not knowing how to write a book. Her response is "start with the saddest thing you can think of and get the audience's sympathy" (1). Mason takes her advise and begins his story with Moe Vernon and "The Ride of the Valkyries." Moe Vernon was the man Mason's dad worked for, who owned a car repair shop named "Vernon's Auto Repairs." Hollis Mason at this time is age twelve living in Montana with his family. Mason would often help his dad while working and grew fond of Mr. Vernon. Mason described Mr. Vernon as a New York faced man with three chins around the age fifty. Vernon loved opera. He also loved strange toys, owned a large collection of novels, and had a weird sense of humor. One day while Mr. Vernon and his staff are at work, he decides to put on a set of artificial women's bosoms. This explains his weird sense of humor. While getting ready to make his crew laugh, Mr. Vernon opens a letter from his wife. His wife writes that she has been having a two year affair with Vernon's most trusted mechanic, Fred Motz. At this time, Motz is not at work, and Vernon's wife has taken all the money out of their shared bank account to depart to Tijuana with Fred Motz. This upsets Mr. Vernon and he bursts out of his office with his fake bosoms still on throwing the novel "The Ride of the Valkyries" while screaming words of disgust. The crew thinks this is a joke, and burst into laughter. Later that night, Vernon runs a tube from his exhaust to his car window, killing himself. This is the sad story Hollis Mason gets our attention with. The story fast forwards to 1939, where Hollis Mason is twenty three years old, and has taken a job with the New York City police force. Mason explains is decision why he became a cop by telling us the things he has seen including rapists, pimps, and rude landlords. Mason wants to help people, and fight crime. With life being unfair, Mason turns to comics. Mason likes comics because the good always triumph over evil. Mason wishes he could be a superhero, until his dreams come true when he reads of a real life superhero named "Hooded Justice." This opens the door for Hollis Mason's identity as the "Nite Owl." Mason gets the name "Nite Owl" from a mutual cop who periodically asked him to go to the bar. Mason repeatedly turned him down to go to bed early to work out in the morning. Out of sarcasm, the cop calls him the "Nite Owl." After describing how he got his name, Mason describes how he made his costume. Mason starts to fight crime and discovers others who are doing the same such as "Silhouette" and "Captain Metropolis." This is a good time for Mason. All these masked adventurers eventually agree to form an alliance known as the "Minutemen." At this time, the year is 1939, and things are still on the upside. The alliance is great, but things begin to fall apart. In 1940, one of the members named the "Comedian" is accused of attempting to sexually assault another member. Along with this incident, other things go wrong. The group finally broke up in 1949. Mason blames the fact that villains were now pursuing other crimes that did not involve the help of masked adventurers to his and other adventurers downfall. With this sad ending to his career, there is an upside.New superheros came alive in the 1950's. With Mason's retirement, a young man asked Mason if he could obtain the name "Nite Owl" at keep his legend alive. Mason explains that "The superhero has become part of American life" (14). He believes that there will always be superheros as long as there is crime to fight. I really enjoyed this reading. This was a new twist to the comics we have been reading in class. The book explained the story of a normal person, trying to be a superhero. I thought that was pretty cool and the reading was interesting. The way this book is written makes you think that something like this can really happen. I would like to read more of this.