To recap: I make birthday cards for each year my boys. Lucas (2), Max (11), Cody (13). As they got older, I started designing them around what seemed to rock their socks off.
I was thrilled the year Cody turned 6 and Max 4 and they were both enthralled with the Spider-man 2. When I was younger, I loved Spider-man. I even liked the crappy made-for-TV shows from the ’70s and , yes, I might have squealed each time he appeared in a cameo spot on the kids TV show, The Electric Company.
I became a comic book dork. I wasn’t a smart one though, as a collector. I bought a bunch of rubbish at the worst time. But I did happen to buy the 5th issue of The Amazing Spider-man when I was thirteen and had it signed by Stan “The Man” Lee, before he became the Hollywood mogul he is now. It was at a signing in a dinky little hole-in-the-wall comic book store a few blocks from my house. Tough times then for Mr. Lee (my living room is bigger than that store was), but it was a precious memory for me.
He didn’t sign it “To my buddy,” or “Love,” or “Ka-pow!” but signed it: “Excelsior! Stan Lee.” I went to my dad and showed him. He smiled. Then I asked him what the Hell “Excelsior” meant. My dad graduated from Yale and, at one point, spoke Latin. He gave me the goods. Aaaaaand for all of us who didn’t go to Yale:
- excelsior (ɪkˈsɛlsɪˌɔː)
—interj, —adv, —n
1. excellent: used as a motto and as a trademark for various products, esp in the US for fine wood shavings used for packing breakable objects
[ from Latin: higher ]
I thought this was so classy and clever (my dad didn’t mention the sawdust bit). Even at that dumbass age, I saw style when it was staring me in the face.
In addition to this particular nostalgic specialness of doing a Spider-man theme for the boys, it’s also apparently impossible for me to keep my eyes dry when watching the Spider-man 2 scene where everyone on the freshly-rescued runaway subway train lifts Spider-man up and then tries to defend him against an overwhelming foe, Doc Ock. Ugh! Say what you will, but it just crawls inside me like a fluffy, abandoned kitten and starts kneading its pokey paws on my tear ducts. Something about merit… Unanswered worthiness and deservedness… I don’t know, just all those times where something went unacknowledged, for so long, finally being answered… just gets me right here. (Thumps fist to chest and bites lower lip). Whatever! I said I was a dork! Shut up and look away!
The Previous Cards The ghost twins from The Matrix Reloaded, Star Wars and Cody’s first birthday cards.
Funny Pictures Thirteen out of twelve doctors recommend these.