For the past several years I’ve received inquiries from numerous fans in the comic book industry about a blog, and requests for all sorts of content on any blog I might start. But, as anyone who follows my Facebook or Twitter feeds knows, many of my tweets/posts are not about comic books or the industry I’ve live and breathed for 20 years (although when “Wonder Woman” ends up as trending as a topic, I can lose whole days to that glorious debate).
I’m interested in so much — and find so much interesting in the world — that it’s been nearly impossible for me to narrow the scope of my Tweeting and Facebook and social media-ing to merely “the job.” Indeed, there are so many in the business with really excellent Twitter feeds and blogs (and far more nuanced writing skills) tackling the likes of Batman or The Young Avengers that I figured my “angle” online would simply be to chat about anything I found interesting on that day. Invariably, that’s a lot.
I’ve covered a lot of bases in my few thousand tweets, from art, politics, and religion to plenty of humorous stuff, too (and yes, on comic books and super-heroes — just enough to get me in trouble, at least!). But I’ve never really posted much cancer. Not comprehensively, anyway.
My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October of this year, just a few days after her 68th birthday. The diagnosis was devastating for multiple reasons: Stage 4 lung cancer is inoperable and terminal; the cancer, now spreading to multiple organs and tissues throughout her body, causes my mother incredible, debilitating pain; a vibrant woman, someone I happen to like a lot, was quickly stripped of nearly everything she’d fought so hard in the past five years to obtain (most notably her independence); and maybe, most selfishly, because I dig my mom, and, I adore the woman she’s become in the past five years. I just adore her.
Now, I don’t think my mother would object to me telling untold zillions in the blogosphere that she wasn’t always this woman (although there’s plenty that she might object too, if she knew I was telling the world). Indeed, she was a very different woman when I was growing up, and an even different woman before than, from the tales people tale. She used to be someone else entirely. And, thanks to the lung cancer, she’s going to become someone else before she dies, far too soon.
So that’s really when it struck me, how I might focus this blog, this “thing” I’ve been concocting for years now. While I’d like it to be about a lot of things — ’cause I love a lot of things, and the world fascinates me no end, I’m going to star by focusing on my mom. Who she was. Who she became. And what her story’s meant to her, and to me (and how her stories have shaped my approach to stories, and what I like to say with them).
So that means some family history, and some American history. Lots of stuff on gender and its politics through the decades. Personal observations about my mom and her tumultuous, often far too difficult personal history, and how that shaped her approach to raising me (and raising me well, I might add). And then, of course, cancer, caretaking, and life and death.
Pretty standard blog territory, right?
(I’ll try to throw in polls, too, ’cause folks *love* answering polls!)
Obviously, I’ll tackle other stuff, too, since forums like this tends to grow organically (and there are a bazillion blogs on cancer, and I want this to be more than just that). And I’ll try to blog regularly, but please be patient if I disappear now and then. Taking care of my little spitfire of a mother is a full time job, even moreso than drawing comic pages (especially those hospital visits!).
Now, I’m not sure I’ll use enough “key words” to make me a Google top 10 hit, or if I’ll include enough tips about cancer caretaking to make it a “must-read” for Sloan Kettering docs or their patients. My guess is that hardcore Cyclops and Wolverine fans won’t necessarily give a shit either, unless I’m actually talking about Cyclops and/or Wolverine — although I’m told my “voice” is so distinct that anyone reading my stuff knows it’s me instantly, so that might intrigue some comic fans to stick with it for a little while, at least (I’m sure my left-0f-center observations on the industry will bring some back, too — and drive others far, far way).
But ultimately, my hope is that enough people will come back to this I’m making, while I take care of my dying mom, to keep interesting, interactive, educational, informative, touching, and meaningful. If nothing else, my mom (her name is Pam!, by the way — I’ll explain the exclamation point later) will have her story — what I can get of it — recorded for posterity, if not eternity. It’s really quite an extraordinary story, and worth knowing, I think.
(And, just ’cause it’s gnawing at me, like a wounded animal (no, I don’t mean mom!) — does that “Until now” up there seem false, and irritatingly over dramatic? (could you hear the “dum dum DUM” as you read it?). I mean, I love a cliche as much as the next guy that loves a cliche, and I thought it worked quite well there, but…well, let me know if it was too much or not, and I’ll adjust appropriately as we head toward the future together. Maybe. 😉
P.S. You’ll find I love a good non sequitur, too!)