Every month or so, I get an insatiable yen for anything to do with Superman, Captain Nemo, and Zorro. I want every Superman comic ever made, every book to do with Superman, Captain Nemo and Zorro, and every TV show and movie centered on the three of them.
But about a day or two later, the yen fades because of other books I want to read, other movies I want to see. Last month, it got as far as me watching most of Superman: The Movie from my sister's massive DVD box set that I got her for her birthday a few years ago. It includes all four Christopher Reeve Superman movies, as well as Superman Returns from 2006, cartoons and serials featuring Superman, and documentaries, along with a director's cut of Superman II and an expanded version of Superman: The Movie.
This time, it won't go away. I need to give some time to this craving. So in my room at this moment, I have 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, of course; Captain Nemo by Kevin J. Anderson, and Zorro by Isabel Allende. I also have the Zorro: The Complete Series DVD box set, which is the early '90s Zorro TV series. And I have the Smallville pilot on the Tivo, back from when it aired a week before the series finale (Or was it right before the series finale?)
But that doesn't feel like it'll be enough. I need more. So from Amazon, I ordered The Mask of Zorro, The Mark of Zorro (1940, featuring the greatest swordfight in movie history), and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. From AbeBooks (http://www.abebooks.com/), a slew of titles: It's Superman! by Tom De Haven, The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson, Enemies & Allies, also by Kevin J. Anderson (about Superman and Batman reluctantly teaming up), The Death and Life of Superman by Roger Stern, The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer, which involves a search for Captain Nemo, who's actually Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories, Voyage into the Deep: The Saga of Jules Verne and Captain Nemo, a graphic novel about Jules Verne writing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Captain Nemo by Jason DeAngelis and Aldin Viray. Even though manga doesn't interest me, that one does because of Captain Nemo.
Oh, but we're not done yet. Remembering that the Warner Bros. Studios store site (http://www.wbshop.com/) still had its Cyber Monday sale going (from which I ordered the third season of Night Court earlier in the day for $8.15), I searched for Superman DVDs, hoping that in the section of heavily discounted TV DVDs, the ten seasons of Smallville would be available, of which I was only interested in the first season to see if I like it enough to want more.
No chance of that, as they remained pricey at $47.95 each. But what about Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman? Yeah! I was an addicted nine-year-old when that first season aired. I especially loved a scene in which Clark Kent flew as Superman to China to pick up Chinese food, though as I learned, that had happened in a later season.
There on the Warner Bros. site was the first season of Lois & Clark for $12. And the first season of The Adventures of Superman with George Reeves. And Superman Serials: The Complete 1948 & 1950 Collection. Done, done, and done. I don't think this craving is going to wear off by the time any of these books and DVDs arrive. Thank god the books are always cheap.
Just now, while typing the Superman Serials title, I was reminded of the Dick Tracy serials, the 1990 Warren Beatty movie (which I watched a lot at the same age I was hooked on Lois & Clark), and the Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy books available, volumes of them. Thankfully, that feeling passed without kicking up anything in me. Dick Tracy doesn't have half the same effect as Superman, Captain Nemo, and Zorro do, though he's still a deeply rooted interest.
This is why I will always believe that the inside of my head looks like the sets on Beakman's World. Because not only am I thinking about these three great fictional figures, I'm also mulling over my desert playlist, full of music that I think represents, for me, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and the surrounding desert, and wondering if Matchbox sells its cars individually, not just in packs. I really want that city bus.