Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Christopher Reeve, I Miss You Already

Oddly enough, after attending a comic book convention on Saturday (at which I bought many a Superman comic), the man who will embody the character of Superman in most people's minds, Christopher Reeve, passed away on Sunday. Most of the time I wouldn't pay attention to a celebrity death, but this time it's different. Mr. Reeve wasn't your stereotypical celebrity. Ever since the horse riding accident that paralyzed him, he's been a wonderful example of someone who wouldn't give up.

Kristin has always seen his as Superman. To her, Superman wasn't a comic book character, he was the movie character portrayed by Reeve. Ironically, for her birthday, which was a couple of weeks ago, I got her the Superman movie DVD box set. Fittingly, I think we'll watch a couple of them this weekend when she comes down to visit me.

For me Reeve was a wonderful person. Unlike many, I haven't attached "Superman" to him, but instead thought he was a good actor that portrayed Superman well. What I have always thought of Reeve as is a wonderful, positive human being that has shown many of us how to fight past adversity. I can't imagine how I would react to being paralyzed. Much like he initially did, I probably would have thought about ending it all. A life where only my head could function would be such a hard life, yet he managed to turn his into an inspiration for those like him, as well as many fully functional people who were motivationally paralyzed.

I had such a great admiration for this man, even though I've probably never made a point of expressing it to many people, but just the fact that he's persevered for 9 years, and done so much while being in the condition he was in is simply amazing. For him to be as selfless and positive as he was while enduring such a tragic joke of fate has been a compelling example for me of how I would like to live my life. Whatever the cards that are dealt, make the most of them.

I think about how often I whine or complain when things don't go my way. I have to stay a little longer at work one day. I don't get a run in at night. I have to help clean our basement. I don't like driving to and from work every day. All of these things, and many of the other things I complain about, are all so small in comparison and yet Reeve never seemed to be unhappy, lazy, or whiney. He was always the opposite.

It almost feels like losing a loved one, losing someone who has been an inspiration to you. I've never met him and I don't know him personally, but through his actions he had become some I looked up to. Now in his passing I'm left with an empty feeling. I've never mourned for a celebrity, but somehow I feel like it is appropriate now. If anything is a testament to what a great role model he was, it's knowing that I'll actually miss him.

Not to focus too much on the depressing news, I'd like to also give my overview (and swag list) of 2004's Minnesota FallCon. This was the second year in a row that Kristin and I attended. Like last year, it was a fun time and I wished I had more money to spend and more free time to read everything I picked up.

We arrived early in the morning, about a half hour before the show actually started so that we could each get one of the goody bags that was given to the first couple hundred paid admissions. Between Kristin's bag and my own we didn't actually get anything comics-wise I didn't already have except for two issues of Avengers/Thunderbolts.

While we were waiting in line for the show, we were unfortunately confronted by a COG* that decided to talk with Kristin while he waited. He must have been about 50 and he was intent on keeping up a conversation with Kristin as he slowly inched closer and closer to her as he talked. As he moved closer, Kristin kept sliding further away. Luckily he didn't care so much about me, so I just observed Kristin as she suffered through it (sorry, honey, but it was funny!). One good thing did come out of meeting the COG, however, and that is he gave us his goody bag which actually contained comics we didn't have. There were four newer comics (Star Wars: Republic, Voltron, Marvel Age Spidey, and another one I forget) along with the prestige book Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1. I had wanted to pick up that issue but didn't want to spend the $6 on it. Now that I have it, I'll have to order #2.

Anyhow, once we left the COG and entered the show, we did what we did last year, went through the aisles looking through back issues boxes and searching out deals. I had about $125 to spend and I needed to do it wisely. So for a few hours I pored over back issue boxes with Kristin helping me. Interspersed between box diving was toy browsing. The big draw of the FallCon for Kristin is the toys (and I enjoy looking at them as well). Her goal this year was to find a Gargoyle figure from the tv cartoon, but we could only find two with one being broken and the other she already owned.

Even though we didn't find a Gargoyle doesn't mean that we came home toyless. Instead I think I spent more money on toys than comics. Kristin got a He-Man and Skeletor figure set for only $2 at one booth (probably because she's so darn cute). She was stoked about that and then later I picked her up an Edward Scissorhands figure for $5. As for my toys, I bought 10 assorted Spawn figures from series 23-25 (including the complete series 23 set) for $45. For McFarlaine figures, that's a steal.

As for my comic haul, I got about 130 comics for $40. Most of them were Superman and X-Men related and filled in gaps I had. In the graphic novel department, I picked up 7 for $20. A couple of CrossGen, a couple of Batman, and a couple standalone graphic novels. The one other thing I got was the Superman: Day of Doom trade paperback autographed by Dan Jourgens.

All in all, I think I spent my money quite well. We didn't stay for the entire show, but for the time we were there we really had fun indulging our inner children. Now I just have to find a place to display all of my Spawn figures and put the comics.

*COG: Abbreviation for "Creepy Old Guy"

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