Mehta, Mumbai, and the evolving blog

Well, I’ve done something odd. I went back and tagged my old India blog posts. I guess I’d intended to let them sidle out of sight, since this blog has continued to change so much. But after the events of this past week, it suddenly seemed disloyal to be hiding my wonderful trip to Mumbai under a basket… So, you will notice links to pix from the trip and the cloud tag now also contains tags from the trip… I can’t imagine Mumbai will be a huge topic going forward, but reading this OP ED in the NYTimes from Sonny Mehta, I suddenly want go back and reclaim the Mumbai I remember. I read Mehta’s Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found in preparation for my trip. It’s an amazing read–all the disparate elements that make up this character that is Mumbai. I even had a bibliography for my trip that at one time was attached to this blog, but has disappeared. And I have to stop looking for it right now because the Third Year Review (TYR) is due tomorrow. I need to (sigh) read it one more time.

I’ve been making connections in my frazzled brain about why Graphic Novels are a natural next step for me. One is my (occassionally hidden or obscured) passion for all things Sci Fi and Heroic. Like all latch-key children of the eighties, I absorbed the cartoon ethic. I would watch anything from Godzilla to She-ra to GI Joe with equal fervor. It was what we did. As I grew older, I hid my love of cartoons until I fell in with computer scientists and anime fanatics in Boston. I saw all of Cowboy Beebop on “Anime” night with Fletch and Kathie and Will, along with several things I’d love to forget. I’ve watched every episode of Farscape, Stargate, Babylon 5, Deep Space 9, Star Trek Voyager, and on and on. I adore almost anything the SciFi channel is willing to serialize, though I generally can’t stand any full-length movies they air. Must be the attention span issue.

I also love mysteries. I didn’t grow up reading comics or graphic novels, I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Trixie Belden. My first job was in editorial at a mass market publisher working with mystery novels. I have a deep appreciation (along with an occasional loathing) for the formulaic. I am a House addict.

I see every animated movie that comes out. Luckily my roommate shares my passion, so I’m not alone with the tots and the parents in the theater. Or even worse, with the teenagers. So, combining my passion for the literary, the formulaic, the mystery, the cartoonish, the weird, the sci fi, the bizarre, and you can see that Graphic Novels have no doubt been standing in my path for some time now.

As an aside…I cannot bear most grown-up movies–I really only like the emotionally disconnected ones. Like Lost in Translation or anything by Wes Anderson—LOVED The Darjeeling Limited. But, thanks to my stepmother, it has become apparent that I am turning thirty-six on the eleventh of this month. So I’ve done this piece of analysis in part to redeem my childish nature, and to justify my love of all things graphic with my well-earned literature degree. (I was really excited about turning thirty-five–I’d even considered having a party.)

In the process of writing the TYR, I have finished Watchmen and read Dark Knight. Loved both of them. Analysis will have to wait until I don’t feel like I should be editing the TYR (which I do…right now…so I have to stop…).

Amanda Clay Powers


  1. Great! I can go back and virtually tour India through your posts!

    We will be adding GN to our collection as soon as I sit down and order them and donate to the library. We have a student which leans towards the drawings and I thought I could get more art students involved through him. We plan on a rotating stand and a light touch in the catalog department; no, dewey encrusted spines. Do y’all have a collection?

    Happy B-early Birthday!

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