February 13th, 2012

Smallville Potential

Personal: Sounds and Stories

One of those great quiet moments. I've been sitting on my couch, distractedly trying to read about Hegel and German Idealism in preparation for my Modern Christian Thought class tomorrow. Finally in getting still enough to get work done, the stillness itself distracts me. It's raining in New Orleans tonight: mid-50s outside and a gentle rain that began just as I was getting off the streetcar, coming home after a late dinner in my office once I had finished up my three Catholicism sections this evening. I don't live on the top floor of my house, so I still do not have a roof (I've not had a roof directly above my immediate dwelling since Clifford The Big Red House in South Bend in 1997), but I can hear the rain outside and on the walls of the house in a way that I couldn't in my über-solid Milwaukee apartment "The Ledge" in the Ardmore Building. No thunder tonight: just the lovely, quiet sound of rain, with minimal traffic sounds to mar it. I don't know. It feels like a long time since I simply listened to that sound. And, dry and warm, the rain becomes a pleasure to witness.

My love of story added some fun to life tonight, too. I was talking with my Dad as I came home, filling him in on an interview that I had enjoyed during the afternoon, and was surprised to discover a package leaning by my door. I picked it up and discovered a British Air Mail tag, with the import/export documentation on the package, and exclaimed that I had a surprise from one of my British friends. (Or, I admitted, that I had again ordered something and entirely forgotten about it.) But within a moment, under the light inside, I saw the stamp from Anne Marie's London law firm on the label, and knew that I was about to discover something clever.

Indeed! I laughed out loud to discover Ransom Riggs' The Sherlock Holmes Handbook: The Methods and Mysteries of the World's Greatest Detective. After geeking out together online about the latest season/series of Sherlock from opposite sides of the Atlantic, this "how-to" book of Sherlocking (in faux-Victorian printed style, no less) put a huge smile on my face from the moment I turned to the one section that Anne Marie had flagged for immediate attention: "How to Survive a Plunge over a Waterfall."

I was also delighted, as a story lover, for discovering that one of my favourite stories had not yet met its end. Flaws, shortcomings, and inevitable swings-and-misses aside, I was a big fan of the show Smallville, and its take on the formative years of Clark Kent. After ten seasons, the series ended last year, and I managed to get a bit of Smallville fix in the fall by purchasing the complete set of adult and young adult spin-off novels that had been written in the first few years of the show. Those done, I thought I'd come to the end of that particular coming-of-age take on the Superman legend.

Not so! DC Comics announced that, in the tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, the canonical, continuity-continuing comic book series continuing from where the television production had let off, DC would shortly be producing an online (later to be collected in print editions) Smallville Season 11 series of comics. With show scribe and story editor Bryan Q. Miller scripting the series, it should provide a smooth transition into the new medium, and grant me this bit of entertainment "comfort food" for some time into the future, even though the coming-of-age aspects of the story (the strongest aspects of the series, I thought, with its deep roots in the meaning and influence of family) are long concluded, this particular spin on the DC Universe had its other attractions. So I'll see how that goes.

And the rain is still falling. Back to the books.