Growing Up With Spider-Man

During the late 90s, when I was between six and nine years old, I was a giant Spider-Man fan!

I never read any of the comics, I was more into Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck comics when I was little, but I have enjoyed his adventures through other media.

 

I was first introduced to the character through the Norwegian dub of the Fox Kids cartoon.

I used to play with my friends, but instead of Cops & Robbers we’d play as Spider-Man and his villains.

Spider-Man villains are the best in the genre, with only Batman villains coming close, so they were a huge reason for my infatuation with the series.

 

I liked to play as Shocker, due to his cool costume and ability to shoot shock-waves out of his hands. Although I had him confused with Electro for years as a result of his powers being changed from sound based to electrical based in the cartoon for some reason.

 

Later, I fell in love with Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films from 2002 and 2004.

MovieBob’s Really That Good episode about those films thoroughly explains why they are as great as they are.

When I saw Spider-Man 3 in 2007, I was afraid that I had grown out of the franchise, so I was very happy when I later learned that the film was universally despised.

I wonder how many people have thought that they have grown out of something they loved simply because they saw a bad iteration of it.

 

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ film from 2012 and its 2014 sequel did a lot to make me forgive Spider-Man 3.

Spider-Man 3 may have been the worst of the Raimi films, but it was still a film about Spider-Man, not a Sony marketing campaign starring a cool dude dressing up as Spidey on a lark.

 

So after three subpar Spider-movies in a row, it felt amazing to see Peter Parker show up in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in 2016, fighting alongside Iron Man and the other Avengers, back in the nurturing arms of Marvel Studios.

 And then ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ took that ball and ran with it the very next year, and now ‘Homecoming’ is my second favorite Spider-Man film ever, my favorite being Spider-Man 2.

 

This year, Spider-Man played a pivotal role in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, next year will have sequels to both ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Homecoming’ with ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ being released, and at the moment I am having a great time playing the new PlayStation 4 Spider-Man game.

It really makes me feel like I’m a friendly neighborhood spiderman, as I swing through New York with ease.

 

And today, 14th of December 2018, the new animated film ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is released, and by all accounts I’ve heard so far, it is great.

This is truly a wonderful time to be a Spider-fan!

 

 

I don’t know what it is about Spider-Man that makes me like him so much.

I have a fear of heights (and I don’t much care for speed either), yet I often imagine myself swinging from building to building.

Perhaps, with great imagination comes a loss of anxiety.

 

I Played Pokemon for so long that I was Reported Missing

pokemon cop police officer jenny

I was recently asked if I would like to submit a gaming memory to Couch Bandits’ gaming memory project, after they read my Why You Should Play Games post.

The idea of the project is to have up to 100 people share their favorite gaming memory.

This is not my favorite gaming memory, but it may be the most interesting one:

 

It was the fall of 2000, and I had just turned 10.

My parents had been separated for a few years at that point, and while I and my sister lived with our mother, we spent every Wednesday and every other weekend at our father’s place.

This was a Wednesday, and like every Wednesday for the past few months, I was waiting for my father to pick me up outside school.

 

To kill time while waiting, I had my trusty GameBoy Color, with my favorite game at that time… Pokemon (the blue version).

For a few years there, I brought it everywhere, and you could barely get me to look up sometimes.

This was one of those times.

 

As I made my way through the Kanto region, earning gym badges and crushing Team Rocket, I barely noticed how dark it was getting out in the real world.

Evenings in Norway get very dark very quickly as the calendar reaches the later months of the year, so I figured we must have just reached that point already.

school at night

So it came as quite the surprise when my father drove up to me, looking mad and worried, told me to get in the car, and informed me that my mother had called the police and reported me missing.

Turns out, I had forgotten that we were invited to a dinner at a friend of my mom’s that evening, and so my father would be picking us up on the Thursday instead.

 

When I never got home my mother got worried that something had happened to me.

She first contacted my father, who started driving around the entire city to find me.

Then she contacted the police.

 

I had been having so much fun playing Pokemon that I had not noticed that several hours had passed by!

 

The Doctor VS Anubis

the doctor vs anubis doctor who dog of death sindrelf john barry ballaran comic

This is the story about how the main character in Anubis: Dog of Death started out as a minor villain in my unmade ‘Doctor Who’ comic books.

 

In the summer of 2016, I contacted the artist John Barry Ballaran, to order a painting for my girlfriend for Christmas.

It would portray David Bowie and Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor from ‘Doctor Who’, battling an army of cybernetic creatures by shocking them with their electric guitar riffs.

 

The finished work would have a very realistic style, but long before the painting was done, John sent me a sketch of how the layout of the painting would look.

drWhoBowie_sketch_1_wip1

To me, this looked like something straight out of a comic book!

 

At this point, I had wanted to make several ‘Doctor Who’ comics for a long time.

Ever since I discovered ‘Doctor Who’ at 15 years old in 2005, I have always had countless ideas for stories set in that universe.

When I was younger I used to dream about the possibility of running that show, and even after admitting to myself just how unlikely that is, I still had a need to get all those ideas out somehow.

And while I could simply write a fanfic, I had imagined these ideas as television episodes, so I felt many of them needed to be visual to truly express what I wanted those ideas to become.

So I asked John if he would be interested in attempting to make a ‘Doctor Who’ comic with me after the painting was done, and he said yes!

 

I ended up writing a script for a one-part story, and asked John to draw a test-page.

Since ‘Doctor Who’ is owned by the BBC, and Titan Comics owns the rights to distribute comics based on the property, our only chance for financial support to pay for John’s work would be to send in the script and art samples to Titan Comics, and hope they would be willing to pick us up for a few stories.

I was pretty naive to think that they would be interested, as I am sure countless well-established writers would give their left hand to be able to write for anything ‘Doctor Who’ related.

smiling anubis dog of death

They never got back to us, but that did not come as a very big surprise to me, and even before I had sent in the script I had been thinking about other possible stories me and John could bring to life together.

When I first had the idea of a version of Anubis trapped inside the body of a purse dog, it had actually been as a villain for one of my ‘Doctor Who’ stories.

But even before I knew for sure that I would not be able to make those comics, I decided that character was too good to merely be an antagonist in another character’s story.

I knew Anubis The Dog deserved to have his story told, so it was to him I turned next.

 

Starting a series about original characters is much harder than relying on an established brand, but it also leaves me more freedom.

But who knows, maybe if ‘Anubis: Dog of Death’ gets really popular I’ll get a better chance to write about my favorite timelord.

I’ll save my drafts just in case..

 

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