When I moved away from home — can’t remember if it was to go to college or to come out to New York and work for Wizard because my memory’s pretty bad — my aunt Kristi gave me the mug you see above. As you can clearly see, it clearly features a classic image of Marvel’s longtime superstar character Spider-Man who you probably know more from movies, cartoons, action figures, video games and mugs than comics. This mug had a place of prominence on my desk all through my Wizard career and luckily made it home after I got canned. Since then, it’s been in my regular coffee mug rotation at home and has gotten bumped up to the big leagues after I broke the Blue Beetle mug my wife painted for me which I wrote not one, but two photo diaries about.
Anyway, now that the mug is in more regular rotation, I’ve been telling Lu about Spider-Man a bit. She even has her own take on his name that sounds something like “Pie-Der-Man.” Today, in an effort to get away from Disney’s atrocious live action line-up that seems too immature for my not-even-2-year-old. At first I tried putting on the 90s cartoon that first taught me about the character, but the music in that one’s a little more intense than I remembered. There’s only one real thing that seems to scare Lu and it’s music. If you remember the opening of that show has a pretty gnarly electric guitar piece that does not stand the test of time by any means. Luckily for both of us there’s like eight Spider-Man cartoons and they’re all on Netflix Instant. I decided to go as old school as I could and went with the one that premiered back in 1967 (which you can buy as a DVD set too, of course).
This is actually the Spidey cartoon I’m least familiar with. I actually don’t think I’d seen a full episode, something I can’t say about the rest of the batch, though I’ve seen the memes around the interwebs. This one is much more Lu’s speed right now as the music is actually pretty funky and groovy and it’s overall very kid-friendly. Like every other Spidey cartoon I’ve seen, this one mainly focuses on introducing the Web Head’s rogues gallery (at least the first dozen or so, which we all watched today). There were two parts of the story that surprised me at least from a mythology standpoint: first, Peter Parker’s main love interest is actually Betty Brant instead of Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy and second, Peter isn’t presented as a high school student, but mainly as a photographer at the Daily Bugle when not in his Spidey gear. I thought that was an interesting point.
Anyway, I started playing these episodes for Lu and wound kind of fade in and out as far as what was actually happening in the specific episodes, but it looks to me like she fell in love pretty quickly. At one point in the day, I tried switching over to something else which lead to her staring at me and shouting “Pie-Der-Man! Pie-Der-Man!” until I turned it back on. I try not to give into baby peer pressure like that, but she had a rough night and was all up in my grill most of the day, so the time apart was welcome. Also, when she got up after her nap, I got the same thing but at a much lower volume.
So, it seems like my little girl is a Spider-Man fan which is great. I wonder if her fandom will be like mine which is actually reflected in the sentence I wrote in the opening. I love Spidey as a movie, cartoon and video game star, but never got into his comics. I also have a box FILLED with toys based on his cartoon and have three of his games on my “want to play on the Xbox 360” list. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe she’ll let me play video games if I’m playing Spider-Man. Hmm…