Infinite Crisis/Infinite Opportunity: Me + Phil Jimenez on Reimagining Creativity and Power

27 Jan

Your Friendly Neighborhood Goofballs

What would you do if you had superpowers? And why is the answer for comic book heroes always, “beat some asshole up and send him to jail!” Why do our imaginations seem to turn so often to just, sort of, tidying up all the bad stuff. Couldn’t we dream bigger?

I had to investigate this weird imaginative limit, so I called up one of the most imaginative people I’m friends with, comic book writer/artist/creator, Phil Jimenez. Phil is probably best known for his work on Wonder Woman, and for being one of the first mainstream comic creators to talk about being gay. He’s also worked with creative warlock Grant Morrison, has drawn Spider-Man, created Otherworldand he teaches illustration.

Phil and I go all over the place here, but we’re always circling the potential of creativity pjand trying to avoid the word “power.” Why is everything framed in terms of power, anyway? To that end, we talk about Tempest, a DC character he revamped, Chris Claremont’s X-Men (particularly the Siege Perilous story lines and the Asgardian Wars – but don’t worry, you don’t have to speak comic geek to get it, we lay it out), the difference between collections of comics and absorbing the content of comics, and more.

Of course, it all relates back to the world at hand: Where many people are just learning to be heroes now. We’ve got all this creativity available to us at all times. So now what?

There’s a little mismatch between the audio and the video; I’m working on upgrading all my stuff, so if you have any desire to help me get better equipment, hit me up. In the meantime, I’m working out the best way to turn these videos – including the one I just did with Caitlin Doughty, the poetry reading by Martin Pousson, and my discussion with Dr. Chris Donaghue – into downloadable MP3s. I HAVE an Mp3 for this one, but I’m working out the best way to offer it as a downloadable file. Does that mean I’ll be a podcaster? Ahhhhh!

5 Responses to “Infinite Crisis/Infinite Opportunity: Me + Phil Jimenez on Reimagining Creativity and Power”

  1. Richard Capener January 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    How can we get this sort of material, these sort of discussions, to the Muslim community at this time?

    • Conner Habib January 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

      I’m not a Muslim, and if you’re not either, I suggest you bring it to yourself first. Absorb it all deeply. When it’s all really there, live through it. Then people in your community will see it and experience it. Eventually it will find its way to other communities.

      • Richard Capener January 29, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

        I wasn’t saying you were… I’m not either. I like this idea of embodiment. Conjuring to visible appearance 🙂

  2. haralambimarkov February 8, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    This conversation has been both delightful and so important. I have been thinking very much in the same line in regards to power – i.e. what could constitute a superpower outside what we go back to time and time again in comic books and seek other uses in a society. This is predominantly done for my secondary fantasy world, but the merits of such creative thinking are so rich, since you can open channels to so many different forms of conflict that are not based on violence and domination in their simplest form. Daring to imagine a different world can be so difficult, but it’s essential work. It saddens me that the genres where literally EVERYTHING is possible we reenact the same stories.

    • Conner Habib February 9, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

      Thank you so much for your comment – I’m happy this held some meaning for you. And yes, writers don’t tap into their infinite, potent, amazing imaginations enough. When they do (Grant Morrison, for example) the results are shocking and enlivening.

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