The Man Behind the Mask

After the great post by guest author Jeff Nelson, I realize I should tell you all a bit about who I am, since this blog doesn’t speak with only one voice. (And I still want more guest authors, so feel free to let me know if you’re interested!)

My name is Matthew. I’m a redheaded white guy who grew up in New York City and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin. I spent a number of years as a pastor in a liberal Christian denomination and am now trying to make my living as a writer and a consultant.

I have come to the superhero genre a little late and through a strange path. I was never into comic books as a kid- I have trouble with the visual style-  but I loved when my friends would tell me the stories. The epic battles were interesting, but what really got me were the stories where the lines between right and wrong got a little muddied.

I still remember listening to my friends in high school talk about their love of X-men. I didn’t care much about who had what powers, but the epic debates between Magneto and Prof. X about how to respond to human fear of mutants had me enthralled, especially when I learned how it was meant to be a commentary on the civil rights movement. For me, it echoed what I loved most about Star Trek and Star Wars, and the questions those stories raised for me. Even as a kid, I had loved the lightsaber battles, but it was the story of Luke pulling his father back from the Dark Side, and what it means to confront evil in your own heart as well as in the world around you that really got to me.

The first of the comic book movies that I really enjoyed was the Tobey McGuire Spiderman, but it was the Christopher Nolan Batman movies that really showed me how deep this genre could go.  The conversation between Batman, Gordan and Dent about how best to fight crime in an imperfect, corrupt world is one I continue to wrestle with so many years later.

Since then, I’ve gone pretty far down the rabbit hole.  Marvel is my first love, but the influence of a good friend (who I hope will be one of our next authors) got me into the DC animated universe and helped me re-discover my love of the Bat and all his friends. Since then I’ve been branching out further and further into this world, as well as enjoying the connections I see to similar ones like Fantasy and Sci-Fi, all of which I have and will continue to write about here.

So that’s a little about who I am, I guess, at least in terms of this blog. I’ll be making an effort to be clearer about who is writing the posts, instead of just acting as thought this blog has its own voice that exists in a vacuum— as soon as I figure out how to add an author bar on WordPress.

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