Category Archives: New Concept! Superhero Spirituality

Comic Books and Heroic Drummers

Reprinted From
The Shaman Drums And More Website
(The Sister Website of Thunder Valley Drums)
Image clipped from an early coloring book.
Image clipped from an early coloring book.

Okay, okay, I have to admit it…again! Since this site and blog are new, I have to restate it in case you haven’t followed the old blog (psssst…..that’s the one you are now reading!). I love old comic books, pulp novels, etc. And occasionally I see a chance to combine them with my profession.

There is so much to admire or to despise in those old publications, beginning with the wonderful art and spanning over to the sometimes despicable money-grubbing publishers who were much worse than even the nastiest villains they featured in their books. They cut every corner they could, way underpaid the often incredibly talented artists and illustrators of the day, printed on the cheapest, shabbiest paper they could find, hoodwinked advertisers, and always promised more than they could deliver. But in the process, and even including the nefarious publishers, a form of folk story-telling emerged which would challenge and even occasionally change the world time and time again.

What I most admire most, though, and continue to focus on when it comes to blogging about it once in a while, is the art. It has given me a sort of hobby, lots of fun, and a mission. In my own little way, I try to help recall the artists and/or the art they created. After all, so much of what we see today in the comic book industry and the increasing spin-offs into television, motion pictures, gaming and practically anywhere else a pixel can reach began with these pioneers. So I key on the art, mostly garnered from Comic Book Plus, and pass it on, sometimes mashing it up for fun and in the spirit that I think it was intended. It makes for wonderful illustrations for my little drum business, too. But it’s most fun when one can take an iconic image of, say, something that once represented the powerful elite’s self-interest and turn it on its head. Like the following for example.

19th Century Illustration
The goddess of…soap?

Oh, Britannia!

The image of the Roman interpretation of one of their conquests, parts of the British Isles and environs, came to be embodied in the warrior goddess figure you see here (minus the flag). She endured to become an icon of a united Britain many centuries after her depiction of Roman power, when she often held a trident, which many believe represents power over the oceans, and a shield. Oh, how far she fell when featured in this soap ad from The Penny Illustrated Paper from the 19th Century.  There’s a lot more info about the Britannia figure here (Wikipedia).

Well, being a part-time comic book geek type, I was impressed by her stance in this depiction with an impressive shield. Surprised it was not drawn to resemble a bar of soap!

Heroes_logo
“Heroes” Logo”Heroes logo”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heroes_logo.png#/media/File:Heroes_logo.png

And it just so happened that I discovered the image at about the same time we had been watching reruns of the 2006 TV series “Heroes.” So it seemed the perfect combination to promote a cause we can all agree on. Well, most of us anyway. Maybe.

Perhaps?

Heroes Drum For Peace
The Britannia figure outfitted with a drum and drumstick against the background of a mashup of an eclipse, a black fill and some lightning. Ka-pow!

Well, I hope we can all at least agree that the drums of war have sounded too often in our world, and that they can be better used to refresh and renew the rhythm of life. If you can find a good drum circle in your vicinity, you’ll know what I mean. Group drumming is good for your health. (Two sources of note: Study 1, Book Excerpts)

Drum on, Hero.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

Spiritual Superhero Week Flashback 5

Spiritual Superhero Week Flashback 4

This is the fourth flashback from a short five-day series of superhero ads I ran in 2012. You can read more about the series in the first two flashbacks. Here’s the original post from Jan. 19, 2012.
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To Recap The Week: I’m running a series of one-panel comicbook-like illustrations that ponder what it would be like if the superheros of old were to espouse spiritual ideas in place of their hard fists, fast guns and anti-grav superpowers! I’m also pretending that they’re doing so as a series of ads for Thunder Valley Drums, but not because I happen to be paying them Zillions! Rather, it’s because they are finding alternatives to violence by discovering their peaceful spiritual powers… the same powers available to us all.

Today’s panel is similar in many ways to a shamanic journey, which begins with releasing the ego and connecting with the real power inside and outside. You can almost hear the lightning-struck shaman drums now, softly at first, but building to a grand crescendo…

transformation man
Changing the world, one heartbeat at a time

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

Spiritual Superhero Week Flashback 3

This is the third flashback from a short five-day series of superhero ads I ran in 2012. You can read more about the series in the first two flashbacks. Here’s the original post from Jan. 18, 2012.

It’s Day Three and I’m gettin’ my groove on!

I guess by now you know I’m hoping to resurrect some superheros of old and give them a chance to discover their own innate spiritual awareness while they battle the forces of E-vil. They’ve always stood for justice (more or less), but had to rely on superpowers, muscle, guns and dyn-o-mite to bring it about!

So now they face a new challenge, how to bring about change to a world that is now so much more bizarre and even more violent than when they flew the skies or slapped leather, and to do so in the name of peace, healing, and compassion! Good grief!

Instead of fighting to a drumbeat of violence, they now must follow the gentle rhythm of the shamanic drum and take a journey to the realization that we are all One, and that their true superpower is love.

It can happen, ya’ know. You have the superpower.

Now, on with DAY THREE of Spiritual Superhero Week!

Drum Dude
Drum on!

Aho & Namaste,

Bob

Spiritual Superhero Week Flashback 2

I’m walking down memory lane with you as I move previous posts over from my old blog. And this one is from a series first appearing in 2012 and featuring superheroes from yesteryear who have found new spiritual paths during their retirement. This post features the wonderful Mary Marvel, circa 1940s.

 

This is the second of five installments.

Here’s the original post:

 

If you just landed here on the Shaman Drums blog for the first time, here’s an up-to-date summary of what you just got yourself into.

This is the second in a week-long series of posts that combines many things I love. Not everything I love, but at least a bunch. To wit, in no particular order: (1.) I love to make shamanic drums and other sacred tools for spiritual seekers, like shamanic rattles, lightning sticks, shaman’s jewelry, things for your altar, shamanic spirit shields, and the like, mostly from the powerfully charged wood of lightning-struck trees (you can see ’em all on the Thunder Valley Drums Website here); (2.) I love old comic books; (3.) I love teaching, talking / reading, and otherwise engaging in shamanism; and (4.) I love learning from other spiritual seekers like you. So the series combines all of these things into a sort of fantasy I’m having about what it would be like if superheroes were to suddenly become seekers, too, and what their comic book appearances may look like, as sponsored by Thunder Valley Drums. Cool, eh? KEWL!

Oh, that last ingredient in number 4, you, is up to you. I’d love to hear from you! You can comment here, of course, or send along an email: livefree @ naturalshamandrums.com

So now, on with the show! Here’s Day Two of the TVD Spiritual Superhero Week! Sha-zaam!

Mary Marvel and rattle

Aho & Namaste,

Bob