My roommate, Gehvyn, is the devil… Okay. Not really. She is actually one of my best friends, and like all best friends, she has enormous influence on me. Like that wicked little devil that sits on your left shoulder, whispering, “Go ahead. One bite of chocolate cake won’t matter much. You can stop at a bite.”
Next thing you know, one bite has turned into six, and then the whole piece of cake, and then on bad days, or good, depending upon how you look at it, you realize you’ve gone to the fridge to pour yourself a glass of milk to go with that second (okay third) piece of cake.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how my roommate and that piece of chocolate cake on the counter fit into a blog post titled, “The Flight of the Black Canary.”
Enter The Green Arrow and The Black Canary
Well, Gehv introduces me to all sorts of important things aside from cake, like the TV show “Arrow.” She knows I love superheroes and is always up for sharing a fangirl moment with me. And because she knows me so well, she knew I’d love “Arrow.”
I did and do love it. I loved it from the first episode. And like the good voice of bad conscience that she is, she encourages me to watch just one more show, and the next thing I know, I’ve binged-watched six episodes like I’ve binged eaten the cake at the opening of this blog post.
In the process of watching the show, I was also introduced to the Black Canary. Gehv kept telling me I’d love her, and that she was awesome, and well, you know. All that superhero, geeky fangirl kind of thing. I loved her, too.
Here’s why. And by the way, it’s the same reason that I love Batman and the Green Arrow, too. These characters are the human superheroes, the heroes that made themselves heroes. I think people who love them, or at least the reason why I love them, because these heroes come with the idea that with enough resources, with enough training, courage, and grit, we, too could be like them. For the record, it’s also why I love Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.”
A Short Bio of The Black Canary
The Black Canary is a martial artist with a screeching voice, who in the TV-incarnation of the show, hit the streets with Oliver Queen - aka the Green Arrow - to bring justice back to the Glades and Star City. Like Katniss, she’s flawed, strong, sometimes a little annoying, funny, and smart. Her rise to embrace her own power was born out of the pain of loss.
Her loss eventually gives her the strength to find her own courage and to take flight to be the person she’s destined to be.
I think about her and other characters like her quite a lot. It’s why I write what I do as a novelist and why I’m finally taking the first steps into graphic-novel publishing. It’ll still be awhile before I actually draw a whole book, but my new Alice-in-Wonderland series touches on the ordinary-girl-turned-superhero theme.
The books, which are also published under my Wonderland Cafe series name, are cookbooks and journals that look and feel more like graphic novels. They use the same strong aesthetics. And they provide me with a jumping off point for writing more about my passion for fairy tales retold and modern myths like Batman. And for publishing graphic novels down the road.
Something Empowering From Wonderland Cafe
We can’t live without superheroes anymore than we can live without our best friends. Scott T. Allison and George R. Goethals say in an article called “10 Reasons Why We Need Heroes,” that our heroes reveal our missing qualities.
For the Black Canary, this meant learning how to fight with her body as much as she does with her mind. For me, my favorite superheroes reveal where I’m lacking in courage, in physical health, in humor, and in personal growth. Drawing my heroes is one way that I tap into those missing qualities. Writing about my heroes, or the hero that I’d like to be, is another way.
In the next few weeks, I’m publishing not only my Alice cookbook/ graphic novel, but also some more books, password journals based on Alice-as-superhero. While I won’t show you all the pages, I will give you a peek. The page below is one of them. More will come. And hint…They’re really cool! And the graphic below gives you some idea of the direction and the theme that the journals will take on.
Here’s to us being the superheroes of our own lives!