Monday, August 04, 2008

My appearance on TALK OBJECTIVISM

Well, here's a different type of appearance for me!

I was a guest on TALK OBJECTIVISM, a podcast that discusses the philosophy founded by Ayn Rand (author of THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED). How, and why, was I a guest on the show? Glad you asked!

As readers of this blog probably know, I'm a big fan or Steve Ditko (his Spider-Man is shown above). Ditko, besides being one of comic's true great talents, has been a follower of Objectivism for most of his life. Much of that philosophy has found it's way into his comic book work, particularly his independent/self-published work (MR. A being a prime example). Over the years I've always been curious about Objectivism, since it's been such a prevalent influence in Ditko's work. When Blake Bell, the author of STRANGE AND STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO appeared on my radio show, some of the questions I asked him were about the Randian influence in Ditko's work.

In the interest of learning more about Objectivism, I found the TALK OBJECTIVISM site and started listening to the podcast via iTunes for the last couple of weeks. I immediately found the show interesting because of the host, Jason Mosley. I was hoping the host wouldn't be some stuffy, pedantic, academic stiff, because that would put me to sleep. Mosley is a graphic artist, who maintains a blog about bacon (!), he's a tech-nerd, and even does an online comic-strip. He's what I call a regular guy (only a comic-creating, blogging geek like me would think that, right?!). He's been into Objectivism for about 4 years, and is learning as he goes along. So for me, his view on the philosophy, while he's dedicated to it, is coming from the point of view of someone finding his way into it. As there are things about Objectivism that don't fit in with my world view, I can listen to his show without feeling preached to about the philosophy.

So anyway, I emailed him to tell him all this, and asked him if he was aware of Steve Ditko. I gave him some background on Ditko's work on Spider-Man and his own Objectivist heroes like The Question and Mr. A. Mosley was quite interested in all of this, and soon we are talking about me appearing on his show to talk about Steve Ditko! I was happy to do it, of course. Not because I fancy myself a Steve Ditko expert, or even a representative, but I figured I knew enough about Ditko's history to lend my opinions and share some knowledge. Plus for me it was an opportunity to appear on a talk show and not necessarily promote my own work (not that I'm shy about that!). As a Ditko fan, I thought it would allow me to expose more people to his work, and that gives me satisfaction.

So anyway, I spoke on the show yesterday, and it's now available on the TALK SHOE site as Episode 071 (you can also download via iTunes). I had a really great time talking on the show with Jason and his regular guest Arthur. They were genuinely interested in Ditko's work. Plus it allowed me to talk with them about various philosophical issues, and some political talk. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

By the way, I'm going to be on the show again next Sunday, this time with Blake Bell making an appearance! I'll be there to ask Blake some questions specifically how Ditko's Objectivist views shaped his run on The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as how it affected his other work.

In the meantime though, I have to get ready for my own guest on my own show tomorrow!

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