SEMI-REGULAR MUSINGS FROM THE SEMI-REGULAR MIND OF WRITER J.M. DeMATTEIS
I had a fun conversation with the Capes and Lunatics podcast, discussing my 1980s run on Captain America. It's embedded below. Enjoy!
Interesting interview! In addition to creating one of the first gay comic book characters in Arnie Roth, I think you have also created one of the first schizophrenic comic book characters in Charlie Limbo from Seekers into the Mystery. There have been "crazy" characters before, like the Joker, the Hulk, and Crazy Jane from Doom Patrol, but none of these characters have schizophrenia, IMHO. The Joker is a sociopath and the Hulk and Crazy Jane have dissociative disorder. One of the mysteries of schizophrenia is what exactly causes it. There are many theories, but nothing has been proven. I came across a theory that I find compelling in the book Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey. House cats carry a parasite called toxoplasmosis, so young children exposed to cats can become infected with this parasite which could damage their young brains in such a way as to eventually lead to schizophrenia. My family had cats when I was growing up, so it is possible that my exposure to cats at an early age led to my schizophrenia.So anyway, thank you for breaking new ground with your character Charlie Limbo. It means a lot to me.
I never thought of Charlie in those terms, but if the character resonated with you in that way and had a positive impact, then I'm grateful.Fascinating theory about the cats, too.
Your interviews are always interesting and fun
In the Life and Times of Savior 28 the title character started off as a superhero, which is a type of soldier, then he became basically an unelected politician, which did not work out for him, and then he became a volunteer at a soup kitchen, which is another type of soldier. So, are you saying that to help bring about world peace Savior 28 did not need to give up being a soldier, but rather he just needed to become a different type of soldier?
Interesting POV, Willian, but that wasn't my intention. By the end, in my opinion, he's as far from a soldier as anyone could be. S-28 working at the soup kitchen was my way of saying that the smallest acts of kindness, of simple human compassion, can ripple out and change the world. The primary goal of the story was to show that there are many other ways—beyond violent confrontation—to make positive change in the world; but that it's not, it's never, easy.
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the clarification!