10 March 2012

Something to Think about Over Break

This is why class discussion and this blog space are so important to your research papers. Use them!

I hope you're all enjoying your break!

09 March 2012

better late than never.

"The Myth of Superman: chapter by Eco Umberto basically discusses whether Superman is a mythic or a literary hero. Umberto mentions a term called archetype, it means that the person has the characteristics of a superhero not the typical stereotypes. Some characteristics are that they try to save people and solve problems, a superhero is more powerful than the regular average man, they always have an enemy; someone that challenges them, and they have had extraordinary circumstances affect their lifestyle. When it comes to extraordinary circumstances, most superheros have had something tragic happen in their life. The tragic event triggers some kind of motivation is the "superhero". It triggers something for example, Spiderman when his uncle was killed he had this kind of emotion of revenge and he must make things right. The extraordinary event defines how the person will be when the become older.

Umberto explains the differences between a mythic hero and a literary hero. The main difference is that a literary hero is unpredictable compared to a Mythic hero who is predictable. But the argument that is valid is whether Superman is a mythic hero or a literary hero. Reason being stated is because every one who read the Superman comics knew that Superman was always going to have a problem, figure it out and overcomes the obstacle. He always win, but when The Death of Superman 1992 issue he crossed over into being a literary hero, he was no longer predictable. No one knew the death of Superman was coming, everyone was shocked it was even on the news! What makes the whole issue invalid is that a few years later DC Comics comes up with the Return of Superman. So now we are confused whether Superman is a literary hero or a mythic hero.

In my opinion, I believe Superman will ALWAYS be a mythic hero. Why you wonder? Because he will always be predictable. Even if he returned from the dead, the reader will always know that if he is faced with a problem, he will eventually find a solution to the issue. It does not make much sense to me. I'm personally not a Superman fan so if he gets killed by Batman it is not really a big deal to me. The writers just need to decide whether he is a mythic hero or a literary hero. No wishy washy.

06 March 2012

What's the Deal With Superman?

So what’s the deal with Superman? We all know that he is geeky Clark Kent than changes to Superman by changing into spandex and taking off his glasses but he never gets old and never dies. I mean over time he gets new powers to defeat his new enemy. I know that this is done so that the audience of Superman can stay hooked which is done by McCloud in his book Understanding Comics. He made his book in the form of comics so that it can keep his audience interested in comics and tries to relate his writing to their everyday lives. Now the writers/creators of Superman give him new powers and abilities but what they didn’t know that after a while Superman will come to the point where he will no longer catch the interest of the readers because he cannot be destroyed but they did manage to relate Clark Kent to others everyday lives. Clark Kent is like the high school nerd who want’s the cheerleader (Louis Kane) who is just his friend who want’s the football star (Superman) who is to into his career.  Now on to the love triangle that’s going on here,  Superman and Louis obviously have a love connection that you see every time that superman saves Louis but nothing more comes of it. But what if superman and Louis did get married? Would that be his down fall and the end of Superman? So now he is this unbeatable guy but a human female can be his down fall? What's up with that? So in the end of it all Superman isn't really invincible. So which is it? Can Superman be taken down or will this just end up like the Increadables where they were superheroes but became domesticated and we'll see a chubby Superman who tries to fit back into his tight spandex?

Wait, how old is Superman?

According to Umberto Eco's article "The Myth of Superman" Superman could and has been described as a mythic character. However, Eco uncovers how the mythic character, Superman, also embodies characteristics of what a character from a novel may have. Eco also points out how Superman is still the most popular and ongoing superhero in the United States even though he was created in the late 1930s and looks as though he hasn't aged a bit.
Another important aspect that Eco brings up about Superman is how because Superman has an alter ego, the writers have to include part of Clark Kent's life story in the comic. If the story were to only be about Superman, he would not be relatable to not only the citizens of his city but also with the readers. Umberto then goes on and explains how Superman continues to show characteristics of a mythological story because the story is so predictable. However, that particular characteristic can create some difficult problems for the writers of the comic because the ending of every Superman story will end with Super always defeating the evil villain, but that story can only be told differently only for so long.
The last subject Eco mentions about Superman is how his heroic actions must always be on a small scale. The reason for that is because, if Superman were to rid the city or world of all evil, there would no longer be any need for Superman, thus ending the story forever. The reason why Superman has been so popular for so long is because not only is he a relatable character, but it is being written in a way where it has become almost timeless. With the writers constantly making Superman relatable and creating new ways to tell the same story, Superman will continue to live on. 
Umberto Eco helped me finally understand why Superman has been the most popular superhero since he was created. It also made me look closer at Superman to see how it is not just a myth but it also has some components of a novel. I thought the things that Umberto Eco did point out in his essay were very good and important to understanding Superman and its stories. 

Superman? Should be 74 years old!!!

According this article, “The Myth of Superman,” Superman was created in 1938; therefore he should be about 74 years old. It was created by two young boys in 1932 but wasn’t published until 1938. They have been dreaming about the ideal superhero for quiet sometime. But they didn’t really get a clear image about what kind of superhero they really wanted. Until 1932 when they knew exactly what kind of superhero they wanted to create.
The article, “The Myth of Superman,” is a journal that gives us knowledge about our American icon that we didn’t know. It starts out by refreshing our memories about Superman by going over the powers that he has. They are flying at the speed of light; he can also travel through time, has enough pressure in his hands to turn a coal into a diamond and can move at supersonic speed. He has super strength, x-ray vision, super hearing and “bore through mountains.” From the other reading we are informed that Superman is not from planet Earth but a planet that blew up, named Krypton. Superman was sent from his planet to our planet just before it blew up. He was adopted by another family and they raised him as their child. As he grew up he discovered his powers, although we as readers don’t get to see Superman grow up. When he grows up he has disguised himself as a journalist, named Clark Kent. Clark’s personality is the exact opposite of Superman. Superman is a heroic, villain fighting, handsome, helpful and not mentioning extremely handsome. On the other hand Clark Kent is not smart, shy and fearful. Clark Kent is the normal everyday hard working man and by night he is Superman, the villain fighter, who comes when the citizens are in desperate need of a hero. There is a fact that everyone should already know about which the forbidden love. Lois Lane finds Clark Kent as a nebbish co-worker and doesn’t give him a time of day. Which Clark Kent is just a regular guy who is extremely shy when it comes to the one girl that he really wants to make his wife. If he was to make her his wife that would be a step back instead pushing him forward. But when it comes to Superman, she is more than willing to do anything for him.
Superman wasn’t the only baby that escaped the planet Krypton. There is a girl super hero that is mentioned when Superman was known as Super baby. She is the cousin to Superman and isn’t raised by a family. But she is in a girls’ school patiencely waiting for puberty. She has decided to come out to the world when she comes upon puberty.
I would say that the creators of the Superman took bits and pieces from other stories. They took the superhero idea from the comics that were coming out at the time. The storyline of sending a baby from the planet before it destructs is a modified version of the biblical story of Moses.

The Relations between us... and Superman

The Myth of Superman goes into why superheroes are created and what we, as reader, have made the image of superheroes become. To us, we compare superheroes to ourselves, their secret identities mirror our own actual lives. Although the super heroic part of it is derived from what we as humans wish we could do. We use superheroes as a self-esteem enhancer to make us feel good about our everyday lives. Take Superman for example, a charming fellow, is faster than a speeding bullet, has x-ray vision and supersonic hearing, but his alter ego is a man who can’t quite get the girl, who has less than perfect vision, who can barely hear a conversation going on in the corner of the same room. A man invented at a time of need to get readers mind off of current events and make them fantasies of a life that isn’t possible but make them wish it was. “Clark Kent Personifies fairly typical the average reader who is harassed by complex and despised by his fellow men.”(108).
Another factor that draws humans into reading these comics; what person alive doesn’t have someone that they are crazy for, but that person might not be so interested in them, but someone else who they just can’t compare to?  Superman comics have this ironic love about them that even though Clark Kent is madly in love with Lois Lane, she would rather prefer Superman, even though Clark Kent and Superman are the same person. If we think about this, we can make a pretty good assumption, that sure, there is no such thing as Superman. But, in a since, Superman exists. Okay not the “as fast as a speeding bullet, x-ray vision, supersonic hearing” part, but the secret identities of those who are great is left behind.  


Reading “The Myth of Superman” by Umberto Eco is about the literature and mythical aspects of Superman and other major comic book characters. Heroes are known for their powers and super natural ability to play hero and human at the same time, expect this must be completely exhausting. However, not all heroes are mythical more than literal and vice versa. Peter Pan was only  a child, he never grew up, he just decided to one day run away to Neverland(I think that what it was called) however when it comes to Peter Pan and Superman, they are completely different. Superman is both a literal and mythical person because he can be Clark Kent, a news reporter and loves Lois Lane. When Superman is Clark Kent, he has worries, fear, be intelligent, and has Lois Lane in his life. However when Clark is Superman, he has unlimited powers, no fear, and is indestructible. The double identity of Superman helps most readers to make a connection with Superman because readers want to have what Superman does. Peter Pan on the other hand just didn’t want to grow up and face reality, he wanted to become completely lost in his own little world, which he does, this means that he just wants to explore everything around him. The difficulty of both literal and myth are hard to co-exist because myths are more often recognizable; due to the fact that is what attracts the public. That is the fact that civilization of a novel offers a story in which it keeps the readers interest to build certain moments of suspense, allowing them to wonder what will happen rather than being told what will or could happen. Mythical characters have a sense of morals, demand, and are usually the most predictable ones and cannot often surprise the audience for which it is intended for. Eco’s purpose was to show that most mythical characters are original, always do the right thing, and making it necessary to move about in any way possible (this what Superman does) but since he in love, he has now been identified as a typical development of a novel character. Superman must face challenges in order to change because if he has nothing left to challenge him then he does not change, he will remain the same until something out of the ordinary appears. Although Superman has weaknesses, there is nothing he can do about it, so that’s why he faces challenges that could lead him to his death, of course we all know that he won’t or can’t die, because then where would the comic go? When Superman is faced with death, this makes more like a literal character, because if he didn’t die then, his alter ego wouldn’t be needed

I thought the reading was very interesting because it picks Superman apart basically to find flaws in which makes him more of a crossbreed of a literal and mythical character.. I think the ideas or statements that Eco’s makes are similar to what most people would think if they took the time to understand what they are actually reading. Even though this essay completely demolishes what Superman is, he is still my favorite super hero. Even though I had to read this essay twice to make sure I completely understood what Eco was trying to prove, it was fun to read... Superman was made out to be a great legend in which we well talk about for an extended period of time, hopefully he will still be around, and so my children can enjoy him like I did when I was growing up.

It's a BIRD or it's a PLANE? The Myth of Superman

In Simcha Weinstein’s book: “Up, Up and Oy Vey!”, a novel about superman and his Jewish connection in comic book comparative analysis of origins. Before you began reading this interesting analysis of superman and the connection to Jewish history, the most important relevant background is about the author the novel. In Simcha Weinstein’s profession he is an active leader in the Jewish faith, which is quite unusual because he is an Rabbi that write novels about comic book heroes. But not to get off track with the investigative blog about his book, Weinstein discusses some interesting topic that helps out his claim that superman is from creatively written off of Jewish biblical history. The creators of the Superman are no other than Jerry Siegel’s and Joe Shuster’s creative minds and mythology that they were taught when they were kids about the stories of Moses and Egyptians. In this character of superman was in the early known as a  bold move by Siegel and Shuster was thought of to be on the safe side comics in those eras of  Anti-Semitism America.

Michael L. Fleisher. (The Great Superman Book) 1978 Superman TM © DC Comics

In conclusion, Simcha Weinstein’s novel about Superman is interesting yet provocative to the readers mind to relate the man of mystery to modern day retelling of biology. Its interesting that in Weinstein book on the chapter on Superman: From Cleveland To Krypton has many valid points on the origins of the Superman to modern times. Another point in this chapter is the Yiddish words used in the early comics strips like for example superman krypton name of  “Kal El” and in that meaning of relevance is that “El” is one of the ancient names for God. So to conclude my blog I have to agree with Weinstein and his comparison explaining that Superman is the telling of many stories in Hebrew Bible all in one comic book hero and that the importance roles that certain Jewish individuals influence many of the early comics book heroes.

05 March 2012

Long Live Superman!

Umberto Eco, the writer of the article “The Myth of Superman,” takes the legendary superhero Superman, just as the title implies, and analyzes whether or not it’s truly a myth. Cleveland born Jerry Siegal and Canadian born Joe Shuster are the names of the creators of Superman. Superman was created in 1932 but was not publically known until around 1938. The creators of superman were just little boys when they started thinking of this amazing character. Seventy four years later, Superman still remains. Healthy, strong, and still popular, he still lives on. Eco believes he should be nearing his death since he has been around so long. In order to keep Superman known and popular, readers have to feel some kind of connection with him. In”Understanding Comics,” McCloud uses the same method to keep his reader in the book, simply relating the book to the readers everyday life does the trick. Considering Superman’s story does not seem very relatable with the super powers and all, you need to look outside the box. You will realize how much Superman is like us. He lives a normal life during the day by going to work as a shy nerdy journalist but by night he becomes this strong willed, humble, powerful man. This can relate to us because during the day many people go to work and are very professional but by night the alcohol comes out and so does their personality. Clark Kent is the name he goes by and his lover’s name is Lois Lane. Having a love story behind the scenes also allows a connection with the reader. Keeping this love alive and not taking it to another level, the writers continue to string out the relationship to allow Superman to go on and continue to be timeless. Something like marriage would start to put an end to Superman. The writers continue to keep the timelessness alive but they also have to be sure to apply the morality to him. Going back to the love between Clark Kent and Lois Lane, if the love continues so can the stories.
With constant inevitable endings, writers have a tough time trying to surprise the reader. Reading a superman article or some kind of reading, the reader knows how the ending is going to happen. Superman will defeat the enemy and everyone lives happily ever after. Without having an unpredictable ending, the writers have to think completely outside the box and come up with something extraordinary! Superman can do so many powerful things even if he were to tell you what he was doing, did it right in front of you, and showed you proof you wouldn’t be able to believe it. For example, he has the power to change the world, feed the hungry, make world peace, and fix problems in the government but instead, he fights everyday crime and saves random civilians. For Superman to continue to be popular, he must do this because this is what he is known for. All the crimes he solves and people he saves, will never stop. If he was to solve the major problems in the world, there would be no more Superman, no more Clark Kent.
Superman will always be a myth. The world will always be in need for a superhero and the world will never be perfect. Being around for 70+ years, Superman and his writers have done a great job at keeping him alive and engaging the reader to the point they feel a connection between them and Superman. Eco is completely correct when he explains this. Even before this particular superhero was created, a superhero was around, doing some of the same things. Superman has it all, and will continue to be awesome if the writers continue to show morality but also the timelessness.

Superman: Why is he still here?

In Umberto Eco’s article "The Myth of Superman", Superman is seen as a myth. The article goes on to explain that even though Superman was created in 1932, Superman is still very popular today.  Why? Because new episodes are produced that make it tranquil to keep Superman the same age for years and years to come. For years and years, Superman was always unbeatable. Every time a new villain came along, Superman would acquire a new superpower to defeat the villain. It’s all fine and dandy that Superman is strong and can beat villains, but it was soon realized that an unbeatable villain can get boring. Somehow we needed to see the humanity of Superman. Part of being human is being in love. Louis Lane and Superman definitely have a thing, but it never progresses into anything more than a thing. For example they never are official, or even get married. Their romantic connection exists in just about every episode. Could you imagine if Superman and Louis Lane were to get married? It might just be an ending to the whole story Superman as we know it! Unless they have superhero children, that would be interesting! But we know that for the Superman story to thrive as it has done, the Louis Lane loves Superman show must continue. Eco examines the community consciousness of Superman. From end to end all of Superman's achievements and fifteen minutes of hero status, he shows flawless courteous attitude and virtue. A Perfect personality of a hero. Superman fights crimes on the street with his superpowers instead of trying to take over using his superpowers. His virtues and triumphs must be on a small scale or else the story would come to an ending. Superman being able to change throughout time yet still is that superhero everyone loves is what makes the story be able to be loved for years and years.This article relates to Up Up and Oy Vey because of Superman. In Up Up and Oy Vey superman is considered a myth. Often related to Moses and Characters from the Bible. The characters from the bible were seen as heroes and so is Superman. Superman is based off those Bible stories characters. My opinion on the article is that now I understand why people still like Superman. It’s because the stories always change and that’s what makes it interesting. The article was not only interesting but also easy to read.