Tag Archives: drums of war

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

The Warrior Who Drums for Peace

Who's Next?
The original image (since modified) came from “Cartoons by Homer C. Davenport,” De Witt Publishing Company, New York, 1898. Source: ComicBookPlus.com

______________________________

(This updated article first appeared in my previous blog, but it is still timely, as once again the talk of war, this time in the Ukraine and/or a dozen other places, is in the air. Will there ever be a time when it isn’t?)

I’m making a drum for a sky warrior, a pilot who, as I write this, is deployed in a far off battle zone. He flies in defense of freedom and to thwart tyranny. We held him in our drum circle the other night, and continue to hold a sacred seat for him, even knowing that it is doubtful he will ever visit America and physically join the circle. He lives in and flies under the flag of his own country. But he is in the circle nonetheless.

I’ve written much in the past about quieting the drums of war, and in fact, just mentioned it in my previous post about the drum circle. And I think he would agree. The last thing warriors want is conflict. But if it comes, he and comrades like him around the globe stand arm in arm against the forces of oppression.

However, the fact is that there are those who profit handsomely from war, and it is a very large part of our economy. And it seems as if wars are sometimes waged in the name of profit, as oppression is merely a feigned reason for taking up arms. And thus people of the world so often go to war because of its economic benefits.

He told me he wanted to use the drum when he goes hiking with his family, or when he needs some time by himself to replenish his energy and spiritual connection. He enjoys the freedom of it, he told me. What a beautiful idea, and what a wonderful example of warriorship.

We pray for his — and all warriors’— safety, and hope, with all due respect, that the day will come when all warriors will know the peace they fight for and seek.

Is it possible? In such a calamitous world, it certainly seems not.

But we are not of this world, merely visitors on extended stay. So, we have powers as yet unknown to our conscious selves, but capable of influencing this place. And when we enter the altered state of awareness through the active meditation practice of drumming, we can learn of the ways to engage these powers in the service of peace.

People don’t understand that peace is good for the economy, too, and offers far more benefits  to citizens than any war machine. So call forth your power now and be the change for peace along with this warrior. When the drums of war are silenced, and when all warriors drum for peace, we will know peace.

We pray for it happen this minute, this second.

peaceful drum
A medicine drum leans serenely against a tree in the springtime.

The warrior for whom I make a drum, and others like him, are leading the way. May Hawk and Eagle fly with them. And I ask Spirit to guide my hands in making his drum, that it may sound peace for all.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

_______________________________________

Copyright 2014, Thunder Valley Drums, All Rights Reserved