Funeral For a Friend: The Death of Superman

We all carry traumatic events with us from the media we consume, so much so there is a website that will tell you if a dog dies in the movie. Creative types work very hard to achieve the emotional payoff from such reactions. I can tell you from experience, I have sat in discussions where writers were actively talking about how they can twist a story to make you cry. It might be nefarious-sounding, but why do you come to media, to begin with? To artificially stimulate real-life responses in situations you aren’t in currently. You may read romance novels to feel what it’s like to be in love for the first time, you may watch action movies to feel the rush of kicking wholesale ass, or you may consume science fiction to quell the thirst for curious discovery. As writers, we are always trying to improve our ability to give that to you.

What is my traumatic media moment? The day Superman died. I wrote a blog about where I was when I’d found out Superman died — for this week’s blog, I wanted to share the literary examination of why that’s such an amazing story, and how the writers took my emotions and crinkled it like cheap tissue paper in the jaws of a puppy.

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My Moments In History: The Death of Superman

I was at a friends’ house recently, and the topic of Billy Joel came up. I remember the first time I’d ever heard “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which was subsequently my first Billy Joel song I’d ever heard. The video was powerful — the images of flames, the family dynamic falling apart, really a masterwork of visual storytelling layered over lyrical storytelling. Billy Joel had taken all of the histories that happened in his lifetime and put it into song.

I thought that was such a cool thing to do, and I wanted to incorporate it into my blog, as a regular piece like “Ask An Author.” So, welcome to the first edition of “My Moments in History,” where I’ll be chronicling where I was when certain events in history happened.

This week’s addition: the Death of Superman.

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