Pop culture is. It defines us, it anchors us, it gives us context. And it helps us relate to one another. If you are stuck talking to someone you don’t know, and you get on the subject of favorite movies or favorite albums, you’ll get a sense of who each other are.
When we read that Guns and Roses “Appetite for Destruction” or Beastie Boys “Licensed to Ill” turned 30, or Nirvana “Nevermind” turned 25, it locates us, bringing us back to the where we were when we first listened to them, or memories of friends with whom they became part of our life soundtrack.
Movies are the same way. Obi-Wan Kenobi facing off against Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” movie. Or Indiana Jones getting ready to switch his bag of sand for the idol he is after in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
And the big screen now is a playground for Marvel and DC superheroes to write themselves as an even larger part of our family room, dining room table, and water cooler discussions. Movie characters, book characters, comic book characters, can become a part of our personal and cultural stories.
When we look around us at the world today, the figures in front of the cameras don’t always give us much to inspire us, to give us something or someone to pull for, or to aspire to. Often, the inspiring figures come from the sidelines, or neighborhoods, people doing great and inspiring, or simple things to make the world better. And it’s often those people, the most important people, who writers and artists look to inspire when they create pulp heroes, like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, or Captain America. We see people stepping up, stepping into their destiny–who they are supposed to be, how they can make a difference.
Cultures are defined by their stories. Some of the most inspiring stories are those where the impossible becomes possible. Those are the stories that tell us to aim higher, dream bigger, and they tell us not to accept the way things are, if we see another way that they might be. Bruce Wayne didn’t want anyone else to experience what he did in losing his parents. So he became Batman.
If you want to read a great Batman story, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo (art above is from their Batman run) have told one of the best. And that is just one iconic character among so many, and one telling of his story. Pop and pulp culture are full of stories, moments, events, and milestones worth exploring.
And that’s the adventure in front of us: to have fun exploring the world of pop and pulp culture and in doing so, maybe reveal a little bit more than what seemed to be there at first glance. And that’s what we hope to do with Pulp Revelators. Now, there is another story about the impossible becoming possible; a story meant to inspire, to make us wonder, to keep us both awestruck and grateful. But that’s a story for another post.
In the meantime, welcome to our story, to the beginning of our adventure: surveying the sensational.