Wednesday, February 15, 2017


I was looking through some old Creation Point posts and came across this one from seven years ago that, given the current lunacy in our country and our world, was just what I needed to read today: a reminder to myself about what's really important, what's really possible, stuffed in a bottle and tossed out to sea in 2010, found and opened in 2017.  Here it is, in a slightly edited version:


While reading Ellen J. Langer’s book Counter Clockwise (which details a 1979 experiment in mind-body connection, in which Langer, in essence, mentally time-traveled a group of men in their seventies and eighties decades into the past, resulting in significant, positive changes in their physical health),  I came across a quote that went straight to the center of my soul:

The fact that something has not happened doesn’t mean it cannot happen; it only means the way to make it happen is as yet unknown.

As someone who believes that the (apparent) limits of the possible exist only to be exploded—as that quote over there on the left attests—I was delighted to come across such  a powerful reminder of a truth I already know, but still, for all my efforts, sometimes forget.

In my novel Imaginalis, the main character, Mehera Crosby, is guided on her adventure by words that many would dismiss as childish imagination:  “Because it’s impossible, I’ll do it.  Because it’s unbelievable, I’ll believe.”  To me this isn’t an immature world view, this is the essence of our existence.  For all the strangeness and suffering life can offer, it’s been my experience that we truly inhabit a universe of magic and miracles—one universe in a simultaneity of universes that we step into and out of with more frequency than we realize—and the more we acknowledge that, the more we realize that the sky isn’t the limit, that the only real limits are in our own heads, the more that magic will come alive for us.  Respond to us.  Transform the world within and around us.  

Just because something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can’t.  If we keep our eyes wide, open to the endless impossibilities the universe has to offer, the miracles will come.

Feel free to remind me of that if I forget again.  And I hope, in some small way, I’ve reminded you.

©copyright 2017  J.M. DeMatteis


  1. A very important message...and ALWAYS timely.


    1. Thanks, David. If we were always in contact with our inner guidance and wisdom, we wouldn't need these reminders; but, being human, it's easy to get lost in the noise and chatter of the so-called real world. (Well, it's easy for me.) That's why we need to regularly remove ourselves and go into the quiet of our own souls where the true reality can be accessed.

      Every little reminder helps!

  2. "What is now proved was once only imagined." - William Blake

    And I remember a phrase from our 1960s youth: "Be realistic. Expect a miracle."

    And how much of the "real world" is simply an agreed-upon illusion in the first place?

    I agree, with the everyday world so hectic * packed with supposedly vital & urgent trivia, all the more need to go to that quiet place within. For my wife & myself, a good portion of that is simply walking in our local parks & really looking at every living thing we see, so that we feel our mutual kinship. on a very deep level.(May I recommend a wonderful new book on Thoreau, "Expect Great Things" by Kevin Dann, which looks at him & his experience of the world with an emphasis on the spiritual & the mystic?)

    1. What you say about the "real world" is very true, Tim. I truly believe that the whole game's an illusion and remembering that—and staying connected to the Divine Reality beneath the illusion—is the key to to living.

      Love that Blake quote. (But you knew I would!)

      Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll check it out. And thanks, as always, for checking in. Keep taking those walks in the park!

  3. Thought you might like to see this. It made me smile.

    1. Yes, that's fantastic news. As you may (or may not) know, Karen and I were friends before either of us worked in comics and I opened the door for her at DC, introducing my friend, a brand-new college graduate, to Paul Levitz, who was looking for an assistant.

      It's been a source of great pride and pleasure for me to watch as Karen carved a unique place for herself in comic book history and I can't wait to see what she does at Dark Horse.

    2. I believe you had her trying to ask Captain America out on a date at one point. Poor Ms. Berger, trying to compete with Bernie Rosenthal. She never had a chance.

      I wonder if she would still be interested in Cap now that he has been cosmic cubed into a fascist.

      I am excited about this, even if it is Dark Horse trying desperately to make up for losing its sugar daddy, Star Wars. I mean there are worst ways, right?

      Of course, DH shouldn't have announced this before they had some books to name and release dates.

      Then again, the internet has messed everything up so much, what else could they do?

      I mean spoiler warnings have become so insane to people that they have to be in the loop themselves.

      This is of course caused by the diminishing concepts of of societal norms. With the commonly discussed and identifying concepts of, religion, morality, philosophy, culture, and national identity, dead, dying, or lapsed into a state of relativity, this is out new faith. Shallow politics, amped up past introspection and materialistic concepts that define as has who we are. "I am good, I vote the right way" "I am a part of this, I matter, I was here before you."

      I mean the spoiler thing is so strange, if you can't enjoy something and still know the ending... it probably isn't that good. You would think it would matter less, since you can look it up so easily, but it matters more.

      Then there is the idea of what the internet can do with everything able to be analyzed and torn apart, months before it is out. Remember the Ghost \busters remake? Was it god? I don't know, I don't see many movies.

      But it took a month to earn back what it cost to make it. Not even a bad movie has that problem. Probably because it became a whole thing and most people wanted no part of a debate.

      Then there was the controversy in Captain America a year ago. Poole claimed that issue two was changed to accommodate fans. A month to re-write draw,ink, color, letter, and print a comic seems a little farfetched. Even in these crazy computer times.

      What was the point of this?

      Oh yeah. Karen Berger recreating Vertigo at Dark Horse (come on that is exactly what this is). I'm stoked. I hope it brings in a lot of well known creators for personal works, and grooms new talent. Just like she did before.

      I am excited.


    3. Karen only dates Cap when he's drawn by Mike Zeck. She won't even date a Sal Buscema Cap. She's very particular.

      And, yes, I'm stoked, too. Good things to come!

    4. Okay, this took a weird turn.

      I was assuming it was the Karen Berger who existed in the same universe as Captain America. Now, the real Karen Berger is attracted to the fictional one? Or at least the artwork of Mike Zeck... perhaps as a whole?

      There is something interesting about taking the founder of Vertigo on to raise sales. Given that Vertigo got to be Vertigo because Clark and Bruce wrote the checks.

      It goes to show how powerful a legend can become in comic...books. Aside from all the potential for storytelling and talent that will assuredly be gathered, it will also be interesting to see what happens when there doesn't need to meet the same hurdles DC had for Vertigo. You know, higher sales quotas and such.

      Good times ahead... but they really should have waited to announce it until I could know WHEN those good times were coming.


    5. I'm sure more info is forthcoming. Maybe even fifthcoming! (Rimshot!)

    6. Puns are lazy writing, so do me a favor and get all that out of your system before your next script.



    8. Yeah, yeah, just don't let it soak into my ScoobsApocs.


    9. All this talk of Ms. Berger losing out to Bernie makes me think even more about how she could have prevented all this Captain Hydra stuff...

      Supreme Hydra: What do you mean you are quitting HYDRA?! NO ONE QUITS HYDRA!!!!

      CAp:I have three reasons 1. I love my wife 2. She's Jewish 3. I don't have a death wish.

      Supreme HYDRA: ... fair enough.

      Jewish guilt and upbringing. Saving the world from Fascism, one Super Soldier Goyfriend at a time. I smell a companion piece to the Greenberg the Vampire Hanukkah Spectacular... "The Bernie who saved Seder...and the world(but who cares about that?)"


    10. I'm thinking the GREENBERG THE VAMPIRE HANUKKAH SPECIAL should be live-action and on Netflix, alongside the other Marvel shows.

    11. I believe you mean "Greenberg the Vampire's Hanukah Spectacular: from Latkes to AB Negative"

      And, you don't want a netflix special. Once you do that, it will turn into an eight part mini-series, and half of it will be used to promote the next big movie.

      Besides, comics are the way to go. TV is a fad. Comics will be around forever.


    12. But what if I want the GREENBERG special to be a musical? I tried doing a comic book musical when I wrote the XANADU adaptation many years ago, it just didn't work. Unless we include a flexi-disc. (I will now pause while you wonder, "What the hell is a flexi-disc?"

    13. I have the Flexi disc that goes with my Nexus #1.

      Besides, you could always put the comic online and demand people read it near a computer.


    14. Idea for a tie in if worst comes to worst. McDonalds' meals with latkes instead of fries and strawberry jam (marked blood on packet)instead of ketch up. Of course... I guess it couldn't come with the cheese BURGER. Or could it? You created Greenberg, how strict is he on the kosher front?

      I look forward to the subplot where he has to come around to the new Twilight-ish vampires, which have come along.

      Are you taking notes here? You have got to have a game plan here. You only have 10 months (give or take haven't checked the calendar for Hanukkah). You'll have to start shopping for the holidays in a week or two.


    15. GREENBERG THE VAMPIRE would fit pretty comfortably as a Netflix Original, though not necessarily within the Marvel template.

      I'm not an expert an vampire literature, but I am curious, did GREENBERG predate other attempts to view a vampire through the lens of culture instead of a monster narrative?

      Anyway, I think a GREENBERG film or series would absolutely win an audience with the line, "Bram Stoker was an ass." Funny stuff.


    16. Yes, I'm sure McDonald's would be up for that. There used to be a chain in NYC called Kosher King. They might be more open to it.

    17. Actually, David, I think there was a line like that in the GREENBERG graphic novel. And, yes, I think GTV would work very well as a Netflix series. As for culture vs. monster—there may have been other attempts like GREENBERG back in the day, but I wasn't aware of them.

    18. Oh, I remember the line quite well! I was quoting it from memory. I thought it was a great opener to the graphic novel. Perfect encapsulation of GREENBERG's subversive humor--and one that stands the test of time.


    19. You've got a good memory, David! Well, here's to our imaginary GREENBERG TV show. May it become reality!

    20. The key to retaining valuable information is to ignore unimportant details--like what day of the week the garbage gets picked up, or when you're required to use a turn signal. Now if you'll excuse me, the guy in the other lane won't stop honking! Sometimes I think social media really is making people more antisocial...


    21. Wait, is that true about Kosher King? Was that a real chain?

      As for the first attempt to look at vampires through a human lens, I looked up when Anne Rice's first book came out, and it was 1973. I've never been a big reader of hers, but isn't that her whole thing?

      Also, wasn't that what Harold H. Harold from T.O.D. was. Wait, was Greenberg originally a Harold H. Harold story? God, what a great series that was.

      Plus. even though they were monsters and killers, I am pretty sure there were some EC and/or Creep comics that showed Vampire living within contemporary life.

      Also, I assume the Vampires in Salem's Lot behave much the same way everyone in Maine does. I've never been there... but it seems like they would fit in well.


    22. Yes, Kosher King was a real thing.

      Was Harold H. Harold a vampire? It's been a long time since I read TOD, so I remember Harold (I can see him in my mind) but not what his role was.

      I do think GREENBERG was unique in tone and culture. The original idea was to kind of meld a Woody Allen movie with a Stephen King novel. And I think it would adapt nicely to television.

      And I want the Hanukkah Special to be a musical.

    23. Harold H. Harold (a character often compared to Woody Allen, and a pulp horror writer) became a vampire at one point during the original run.

      No one is saying it can't be a musical.

      Lyrics could be as he serenades his wife...

      Now I say, "my sweet seniora
      Please pass the menorah."

      Though you make a great lat-ka
      Especially for a shik-sa

      My tastes fall less for jewish deicasy
      as than for blood...type AB

      So long a go do we first date.
      I longed for a mate

      I prayed we would be blissfully wed
      as a so casually said

      I don't care how hard he hit his wife
      I will live John Lennon for life.

      now that I walk as the undead, it is still true
      though I will never do that to whom I love true

      Was Kosher King any good?


    24. Never ate there.

      Re: your song lyrics. Oy!

    25. OY: I should clear my schedule and grab a plane ticket?

      OY: Don't quit your day job?


      OY: That was to brilliant to allow the project to continue without you. Your in or I walk from Marvel?

      The point isl, if you haven't tried latkes with strawberry jam., do yourself a favor and do it.

      Wait, was Greenberg's chick a gentile? I feel like she was? Then a gain they were married in the 80s.... and baby boomers. They could be divorced and he with another.


    26. Yes, Denise was a very Annie Hall/midwestern type (in fact, if you look at the first black and white story, she kind of looks like Diane Keaton). And they're still together. I can guarantee it.

    27. ... I'm not sure I like the inferring that Midwestern and Jewish are mutually exclusive. I'm pretty sure we exist. As sure as I can be that anything exists.

      Even with my partial heritage excluded I'm pretty sure that Farmington Hills, Oak Park, increasingly Downtown Detroit and Royal Oak, Livonia, Redford (after a fashion), Oak Park, the shop owners in The Dexter that got their shops vandalized in the riots, And West Bloomfield... especially West Bloomfield, would argue with that. And that is just the places I can drive to in less than an hour.

      In fact, isn't your whole carrier based around two Midwestern Jews?

      This reminds me of when John Oliver made the joke that both Jews and tomatoes are naturally uncomfortable in the upper Midwest. Never mind that 3.7s of those state have major metropolitan areas (Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland). Also, I think Madison and the Twiun cities have decent Jewish populations (one spawned American Icon Bob Dylan), but I try not to paty much attention to those state.

      also, my grandfather and millions of others in this state grow tomatoes.

      When do I need to be in New York to write those lyrics.


    28. I'm married to a midwestern Jew, so I know there's no exclusivity!

    29. look, there are some typos in the lyrics, no doubt. My own fault for typing at that ungodly hour. For instance it should be "Love John Lennon." But whenever you need me to stop by and write the rest of teh lyrics, just let me know.

      There wee even typos in my Midwestern and Jewish statement.

      While we're there, my interest is peaked. A little about where your wife is from (my guess is St. Louis). say or don't say on that one. But my really question is, what is a Midwestern type? Besides, obviously, brilliant and devastatingly handsome.

      There is an interesting conversation to be had one day about Jewish Americans by region, and how they shaped the areas, and how the areas shaped them. Us? Whatever.

      Its interesting that what the media shows as the common Jewish way of being (Jerry Seinfeld for instance) is probably not what anyone around here expects being Jewish to be (even... less than enlightened people), but some of it is a stereotype of what a New Yorker (regardless of ethnicity) might be like. These existed before Jerry and Woody Allen started trying portray the idea of New York Jews.

      For that matter, there are Jewish groups around here that have stronger since of Motown pride, an more stereotypical Midwestern ways than many Midwestern gentiles. Not more by numbers, but probably by percentage.

      But all of this... interesting as it is... is for another time.


    30. I have a friend who grew up in the South and the Southern Jewish experience is yet another spin on Jewish identity.

    31. The south and the Midwest. Who would have thought that the Jewish people would find a place where people are known for there desire to converse and enjoyment of heavy means? Knock me over with a feather.

      I have seen that clip before, and I think it has baring on this conversation.

      First, some needed points. The Midwest is complicated, in the sense that there is the Midwest and the true Midwest. The true Midwest comprises Kansas, Nebraska, and the other great plains states. I will be addressing not that, but the part of the Midwest that comprises around teh great lakes (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisonsin and Minnesota). There is much debate, especially even in the states themselves (my self included), given that it is geographically inaccurate, economically the region is more similar to the east (especially industrial parts), and culturally sort of between the two. This is what I will cover, because it is what I am familiar with.

      second, are facts followed by a belief:
      Facts: America as a whole there are more Jews in the US than any other country (Canada is second), in this country they have found wider success and acceptance than n any other,

      Belief: That makes this the home country, not Israel. I have no problem with Israel, I support the country, and I know it is unpopular, but that is my belief. The Jewish home is America

      That was important, for the discussion.

      I think that the clip points out the nature of Jewish assimilation as a whole perfectly. There was antisemitism... but there was also acceptance. AS log as there is some form of acceptance, and especially is it is enough to not be a random aberration, it makes assimilation feel possible.

      Keep in mind that no matter how bad antisemitism might have gotten here at any given point, it was worse in Europe. Still is really bad, actually.

      So ANY acceptance was a step up, especially that a common trope in antisemitism is "Christ Killer," and in the US many Christian groups helped Jews people become established in America.

      The strain of antisemitism that was mentioned about the south, here? Complicated.

      Henry Ford used to go on the radio in Dearborn, and read from Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He also kept Jews from jobs higher than being on the line. This included often times engineers. However, GM and Chrysler had no such qualms.

      Now, this happened about a hundred years ago, so the effects are hard to know. However, based off of people I have known who were alive then, I would assume that the antisemitism was no worse than the rest of the country at the time. Make of that what you will.

      AS I eluded to in my joke, there are some similarities between the south and Midwest. Specifically a strong sense of community and... I don't know, neighborliness?

      Also, a sort of pride and commradery among wring people that is advertised. Not only there, but these two groups like to view it as a banner.

      Does that mean there is no prejudice? Of course not. That is ridiculous. I do think that once you ARE accepted in it creates an ability to navigate to who you can form the communal bonds. So, you are there and feel at least somewhat more at ease, and less of a need to push back.

      Now, that exists in all parts of the country... but these to regions make it point, and therefore make it seem like just another part of what it is.


    32. But I still don't think that is all of it. I think there is a more universal angle, that goes beyond this region.

      I am no big fan of Roseanne, but I remember a joke she made about her father wearing a cowboy belt with a star of David on it, and that she was Jewish 3 days a week, and Mormon three days a week, when she lived in Utah.

      Now, have you ever noticed that in subsets of American life, Jews are often disproportionately pushing for communal senses? Not disproportionately a pert of them, just pushing to make it a thing.

      Look at geek culture. Fandom (true fandom, not watch a couple movies and buy a shirt) is spread out across backgrounds. But Jews disproportionately but together fan shows and in the old days published and wrote to fan-zines.

      Music scenes are the same too, fro jazz to... whatever the kids are listening to. The fandom isn't unique, the passion isn't, but the pushing is.

      I think region doesn't matter as much as the Jewish people in America, for the most part, have hyper-assimilated, and continue to do so. They have staked a claim for there part of America, an d we share with everyone sales no problem, but we won't give up ours, or take it for granted

      IN Detroit, every year we light a Menorah downtown, here is proof

      To be fair we are not the only ones that do nit, but that just proves my point.

      There are stereotypes about Jews not liking the outdoors or being good with our hands. That is more a stereotype of the Northeast here.

      Jews can fix things, and I often see Stars of David on cars at the state park.

      Jews around here are almost painfully more Midwestern then gentiles. Very close families (often times including geographically)I think that is a Midwestern Stereotype, many craft shows at synagogues (having a craft show at a place of worship is pretty Midwest), Jews have disproportionately taken stakes in the Renaissance of Detroit that is going on, they often the stereotypical Midwestern humility a bit far at times.

      As part Jew and part gentile, I can sort of see it from both sides. Which may give both a clearer view, and a more tilted one.

      I will add hat, often times people will leave a place for somewhere else, and then come back. It isn't unusual, and usually is that unfamiliarity or difference in costs made it difficult get a foot hold. No shame. However the only people I have known to be happy to b e back, and say that it felt more at home have been Jewish. Not all, but still.

      It seems that the idea is that it is often a Midwertesn (southern, southwestern, Northwester) Jew and not a Jew from the Midwest (just copy and paste), which is often how it at least comes off as the idea from the Northeast. A dichotomy, that seems to at least be presented, if not necessarily real.

      It seems the Jewish experience in America is somewhat universal (guilt and over-protective mother included) but also varies as much as region to region. Until you... again presumably just present...bit the Northeast. That seems to be whee it separates into being two things apposed to one.

      This based off my experiences alone, and of course mileage may vary... but perhaps the idea is not who do Jews in the South and Midwest assimilate so much, as why does the Northeast not.

      Of course, like so many things, my little part of the world may be an aberration. Or me myself for that matter.

      I do think that there is more facinating road to travel here, but that is just me.

      The Jewish people in Metro-Detroit are diverse though, just like the country and world outside it are as well. Why? Because the Jewish people are just that, people. You'll find multiple types people in any group large enough, and that will usually fit any mold. These are of course just for surveying and discussion purposes, and should not be made Gospel.


  4. So, yeah when you work at a place with internet and it's a bank holiday it gets kind of slow around here. That being said, I have completed two issues of KAPITAN KALAMAZOO that feature the new super villain, Glue Bucket Bill. Anyone want copies I will be happy to send them out free of charge. Just email me your address. Thanks for the inspiration, fellas!

    1. Excellent. I'm glad to hear it. I look forward to receiving my residuals for my input. Don't worry, cash or check is perfectly fine.


    2. Sorry, Jack, I give the mini comic away for free. You're getting paid in copies I'm afraid.

  5. In case yopu ever wondered about Jim Shooter's views on story telling, they are as follows...

    "People say that prostitution is the oldest profession. Baloney!Men were making up outrageous lies long before commerce of any kind was invented. STORYTELLING is the world's oldest profession."


    1. I suspect they evolved simultaneously! : )

    2. That's J.M. Dematteis for you, always defending prostitution. Is that how I want to say that? Eh. What is the worst way that could be interpreted?

      I have it in his handwriting and everything.

      Upon getting that info yesterday, I also found out that he and I are the same height. So... I guess I should be running Marvel!

      I can't speak for every experience, but he is surely a very nice man to his fans.


    3. You're the same height as Shooter?! Wow.

    4. My local comic book store had an anniversary celebration this weekend. They have been around for 34 years. They brought back the 25 cent bin and a lot of boxes full of wonderful things. One of those happened to be a 1999 Annual of Peter Parker, Spider-Man written by J.M. DeMatteis. Talk about a dense story! It was wonderful and the trippy artwork was magnificent. I will have to read it a couple of more times to truly absorb it. Probably one of my favorite finds in that trip to the comic book store.

    5. I'm glad the story made a modicum of sense, Douglas, since it tied in to some MAN-THING stories (growing out of the series that I'd done with Liam Sharp) that we thought were going to see print, but never made it out into the world. I've always been frustrated by that. There were other frustrations with that particular story, so the fact that you enjoyed it makes me very happy.

    6. I have that series so maybe I'll go back and reread that before I head back into the Annual again.

    7. MAN-THING was one of my all-time favorite gigs at Marvel. Working with Liam Sharp (who's currently doing such outstanding work on WONDER WOMAN) was a dream and we were really hitting our stride when the book was cancelled. Actually, it was cancelled several times (long story). But we could have gone on for years.

  6. I have been amazed by the Rebirth of Wonder Woman. Such a great book, one of my favorites from the new Rebirth along with The Flash. Your Man-Thing is the only non-Gerber Man-Thing that I like. I would have read it for years.

  7. Thanks. I'd love to reunite with Liam on a project. One of my favorite collaborators.