I’m sure you all remember when I wrote about this Kickstarter campaign for a new comic that had a lesbian superhero, named Iridian. The project was something I felt strongly about, not just because of the storyline but because of the man behind it. The creator, Paul J. Salamoff happens to be one of those very special people that sees the magic in the mundane and the extraordinary in the daily mire of life. He creates worlds that we can all dive into and he builds heros that we can all become. At least, at some level for ourselves.
The universe always brings the right people into your life at the right time and through this project I was able to make a new friend in Paul and an old, very very dear friend of mine, Eric was also extremely supportive of this project. In fact, that’s me and Eric fighting through tentacles in the picture below! So now I can officially check, being a super hero off my bucket list!
The following post is actually by my good friend Eric. I feel like I need to give him a brief introduction. After all, he is about to be the very first cis-male to ever write on CCL!!! Eric is one of our greatest allies in the fight for equality. He is one of those brilliant minds and huge hearts, who’s friendship inspires me to learn more and to do more. And he very kindly wrote the following for all of us, in celebration that The Tales of Discord are on sale NOW!
“What if Earth’s greatest heroes died, but were resurrected as one man? What defines a hero? What defines a man?”
These are the questions emblazoned across the backsides of the comics now arriving with lovely CCL jewelry in well-packed boxes on the doorsteps and desktops of the backers of Paul J Salamoff’s Tales of Discord kickstarter. There is a moment in Discord that answers these questions for me. I would like to share it with you.
It is two weeks after Warren Kimball’s death, and yet amazingly he has returned to earth. Instead of returning with his team of superheroes at his side, he has returned as them. Or rather, their remains have returned as him. As improbable as it sounds, Warren Kimball is only the primary personality in an amalgamation–a construct re-created by an alien race from the bodies not only of his allies and friends, but of the enemy that prompted their destruction.
Warren’s body is a patchwork horror and even after his love Emma overcomes the initial shock of his situation, she demurs to his affections. He flees into the night, thinking himself a monster.
It is in that moment that one of the heroes within him offers guidance. That hero is Sasha Edmonds, one of the fallen members of his team, also known as Iridian. Her remains constitute the right side of his face, including that eye and the shocks of hair that frame it.
She leads him to Sasha’s lover, Teresa, who understands:
He feels punished for what he cannot control. He does not understand why he has become what he has become, or even what he has become. He feels apart.
More, Teresa knows how to show love to someone who has experienced these things, and she does so even though no one would really blame her for displaying grief and confusion instead. It is, as is common, the one without powers who is the most heroic. With very few words, She offers the same acceptance to Warren that Iridian spent years obtaining from her parents.
“Please, come inside … It’s okay. I’m glad you came.”
One can only imagine what may have become of Warren in subsequent pages without him having drawn strength from Sasha and Teresa. Because we are all, in the beginning, crude pieces of many humans stitched together from the lives we emulate. What defines human? Each of us does, every day. What defines a hero, then?
Heroes go out of their way to fight the discord that arises from defining ourselves in the context of others first by facing the discord within themselves, and then by broadcasting their own assembled identity instead of questioning others’ identities. This gives us all a chance to become ourselves not as anyone else sees us, but as we do. In this the discord within us is quieted, and victory is obtained.
Thank you CCL, Sasha Lotrian, and Paul Salamoff, for being heroes.
To see the original Kickstarter campaign click here.