Paul Fairchild, writing at The Atlantic:
For us mortals, “kryptonite” works without the cape and the big red “S.” It’s a moral weakness, a character flaw. It’s the idea that we’re powerless in the face of this vice or that guilty pleasure. It sounds cool when we describe our shortcomings this way, appropriating Superman’s virtue for ourselves: “cigarettes are my kryptonite.” This kryptonite is metaphorical, a weaker, abstracted copy of a space rock that serves as a totem. But it makes more sense as a metaphor than as an object that’s just a cheap, flimsy deus ex machina.
Everyone’s got their kryptonite. Everyone’s powerless in the face of something. Sex, drugs, money — those are high end character flaws. But just as Superman’s classic writers made “real” kryptonite into something bigger than it deserved, so metaphorical kryptonite turns out to be more deflationary. Our moral integrity is better undermined with things more mundane, such as catnaps or Friends reruns or jelly donuts. Mephisto delights. Screw the scheming, work, and showmanship that go into Faustian bargains.
Update: The following isn’t actually Apple’s fault at all. It’s ComiXology’s
I want to take a minute and thank
Apple ComiXology for making a bad decision. They —to the dismay of comic fans everywhere— banned the new issue of the fantastic Saga series from all comic readers on the App Store. If you’re wondering what the hubbub is about, Robert Agcaoili had a good account of this yesterday. While I clearly think Apple’s choice is bad —although not at all surprising— something good came out of it for me.
I haven’t been to Beachhead Comics since I was 15. It’s always been sitting just a block from my office, but it never crossed my mind to stop in and visit. Until today.
AppleComiXology giving Saga #12 the boot (from their own iOS app) has sent me down memory lane. I spent my whole lunch hour browsing, much to the curmudgeon-owner’s dismay. But that’s what is so endearing about [insert your local independent comic shop here]. These places are usually —or at least in my experience— dark, shady shops with owners who, while cranky as can be, give you the feeling that they totally appreciate your patronage. Sure, I could have just bought the issue from ComiXology directly, but where’s the fun in that?
I’m happily giving a few bucks to a place I haven’t been in years, and that’s thanks to
Apple ComiXology. I’ll definitely be back more often —buying my first physical comic in 17 years felt good. I picked up Walking Dead #109 while I was at it.
I meant to link to this piece from Robert Agcaoili, but while we’re on the topic of comics, it’s a great read for folks just jumping in.
David Steinberger, ComiXology CEO:
It’s been a whirlwind weekend, and we’re fresh from SXSW where Marvel Comics launched their Marvel #1 promotion featuring over 700 free comics distributed via our platform.
We expected a high degree of excitement for the Marvel initiative – and had believed ourselves prepared – but unfortunately we became overwhelmed by the immense response. We’re still struggling to keep our systems up.
The result is that you aren’t getting your comics when and where you want.
I was mega-depressed to see their servers flail to the ground like a child in mid-tantrum. I love the app and the service, but I like free comics too.