Of Comics, Superheroes and Other Stuff
By Ziad Bashir
Nobody cares why I like comics so much… bummer!
Yeah, that’s how it began for me. Comic books, super heroes, their selflessness, stories like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the larger than life adventures in them are some of the things that have been a significant part of my life. How significant? Let’s put it this way: I have wrinkles on my forehead because brooding seemed cool when Batman did it (hint for dummies: this is an exaggerated fact- so that you get the point), and hoodies became one of my most frequent dress items because (winces inwardly) the Jedi wear them too. O speaking of star wars:
“Children like Darth Vader despite being a dark character because they are attracted to power, since they themselves are the most powerless creatures.” -George Lucas (quote pulled out of memory from an old interview).
How could I NOT be influenced by something like that? :O
So when my co-editor mentioned my love for comics once, I just went haywire and lost track of the actual conversation. I told her about how these characters of fiction are an identifiable part of the present generations of earthlings. How for many of us, they are our first teachers after parents. For me, watching their animated shows, or reading their comics taught me a lot about human values, helped me draw a clear line between right and wrong, taught me about selflessness, about how authority and power could be dangerous if you are proud and so on. She was polite and replied to me patiently- those short replies you send when you do not exactly feel the way the other does but give enough of a damn to reply with a smiley =P
As I realized how insignificant this HUGE part of my life was to her, and frankly to 99% of the people I know, I thought about the rest of the stuff that mattered to me but would not interest many others. And immediately I thought of this company, Ideas Evolved. We get heaps of praise for the work we have done in last one year (some constructive criticism too though), people see what is in front of their eyes, some are impressed, some are glad to see that we did something useful with our time, but I realized that even my closest friends or my own family which is otherwise extremely happy with this initiative, doesn’t look at it the way we do. They see what’s on the outside and congratulate us, but they don’t know that for us, it’s what goes on behind the scenes that really matters. But what goes on behind the scenes can’t possibly excite anyone else if they knew about it.
Ideas Evolved taught us about building something from scratch (big deal outsiders might say), showed us that if you are committed to your work, people recognize your efforts, give enough of a damn to step forward and lend you a hand, or request to be a part of it. Something that was so insignificant in the beginning has introduced me to people who are among my best friends and coworkers now, though I would otherwise never have known them. It’s priceless for me- but invisible to an average reader or acquaintance. They don’t see how by actually writing a post for Ideas Evolved right now, I am preparing for my exam tomorrow- it’s that satisfaction of knowing your time is well spent. Because of iE I learnt Graphic Designing which helped me nail many academic projects too. If I can’t enjoy my courses like this, I can’t study at all. See? This stuff matters to me only and adds to the real worth of iE for me, but this is not what’s obvious to others who look at iE and its managers from the outside.
So the point is, that with great power comes great- ok, that’s not it. I just always wanted to say that somewhere. Because the late Uncle Ben was right, and it left enough of an impression on me and others like me I am sure that they took this message to heart. “With great power, comes great responsibility”. This line is what rings in my ears every time I have to lead a team (whether it be a university project or here on iE) – and I have fared well for the most part so credit to the fictional character of Uncle Ben for that =D
Of importance to the Author
For other comic book fans, Ziad Bashir Recommends: