…for I am Chirevas, King of the Weak-Willed Geeks.
One of the lines I’ve been on the fence about since its release is The Batman from Mattel. I like the show well enough (No, it’s NOT Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series. Put your hand down.) and I rounded up a bunch of figures at the start only to ebay them all after opening only The Penguin.
Then, as tends to be the case with me, the line evolved, the figures got a bit better, and I got sucked back in. A little. I bought whatever plain Batman was out at the time along with Killer Croc and, together with my opened Penguin, I had a tiny The Batman collection. I wanted to add Batgirl to the group, but the only one I ever saw looked like it lost a paint flinging deathmatch with Jackson Pollock, so I never got her.
When the exclusive Arkham Asylum 6-pack was announced, I decided that would be the linchpin on which the future of my The Batman collection would turn. I like Poison Ivy and The Ventriloquist characters a lot, so I decided if they were good figures, I’d continue collecting the line. If not, then not.
The set is out and I am not impressed.
Blocks-For-Feet Poison Ivy…?
Is this thing on…? If it’s not, he’s got no hand…
So, there you go, sussed. No more The Batman for me.
Naturally, the next time I went to Target, I came home with these…:
In my defense, this was the first time I’d seen Joker, he looks good, and I planned to get him from the start but forgot he was out.
Mr. Freeze was a straight-up Ooo, A Varient purchase. No excuse there.
With these guys in hand, I instantly reconsidered the Ivy and Ventroliquist set. Luckily, I came to my senses and decided not to get them. I didn’t like them on first inspection and having a figure I really did want from the line didn’t change that.
My The Batman collection remains at five.
It occurred to me that this incident in my collecting life ties into something I’ve struggled with recently in my writing life. As long-time readers of TOAWBAH know, I want a career writing fiction. Not even a career, really, just regular publication doing I want to do.
What I want to do. Therein lay the dilemma. What do I want to do?
The meager publications I’ve had so far have been in the hardboiled crime, horror, speculative western, and retro-pulp adventure genres. About three months ago, I decided that wasn’t substanitive enough; I would become a children’s writer. That’s how I’ll make a difference. That’s how I’ll feel good about what I write. I did a bunch of research on the market, came up with an idea and started writing.
Then I came up with a good idea for a horror/crime story, and set the children’s project aside.
Then I said, no, I’m a children’s writer now, and went back to what I started.
Then I stopped writing altogether.
Then I revisted two unpublished hardboiled crime stories and decided they should be brushed up and submitted.
Then I thought about Joker and Mr. Freeze, and the The Batman figures I don’t want.
I’m not a children’s writer, at least not now, or yet. My strength as a storyteller lay largely in the dark unpleasantness of our world. I ran away from the genres I’ve had success in because it didn’t feel good to know that was part of who I am inside. But it is.
And so I will write the stories, and buy the The Batman figures, that come naturally.
And know that neither represents all of who I am.