Why I Have an Affinity for Comics

Monday, 24 July 2017

Flashback to 2008. I took my seat to watch Christopher Nolans 'Batman; The Dark Knight' for the twelfth time at the movies - literally. I think that's where it all started, my love for comics and the comic book world.
I loved the exhilaration of seeing a bad guy taken down and defeated (and sometimes thriving!), I loved the thrill of a regular, everyday person standing up for the little guy; sometimes you just need to believe there are people like that in this scary world of ours.

I wanted to learn more. I spent my time delving into to the world of endless possibilities; of impossibly rich tycoons creating suits of power, and ultimately destruction, of time travellers finding their way onto other crazy planets, of people who had been done wrong rising the ranks and doing something about it. This was about the time that the MCU (Marvel cinematic universe) exploded onto our screens and rapidly expanded; and so did my love of all things involved in it.

These days you'll often find me daydreaming in a comic book store (Southampton Comics at the Loft Ladder is my fave), flicking through the issues on offer, painstakingly deciding which ones will come home with me. Or I'll be on my bed, leafing through page after page, absorbing their stories, imagining I might be part of it all, drifting off to worlds unknown and wishing I could stay there just one more minute when reality kicks back in. I'll spend an evening sat on the edge of my seat watching a dramatic story play out in front of my eyes for the millionth time but still relishing every moment.The characters; heroes and villains, their back stories, the adventures, the elaborate costumes. Everything about a comic draws me in.

Theres something about coming across a new character too, it ignites a spark in me and I cant put it out. This happened a lot for me recently when Netflix began producing their own shows for some Marvel favourites; Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. 
I tended to stick with what I knew, the bigger heroes; Spider-Man, Iron Man and the like, but discovering these new people was just exhilarating, a breath of fresh air. I learned there was more to being a hero than wealthy parents or an expensive suit, and I fell in love all over again.

We (Dan and I) started attending comic cons and I learned that there were others like me - lots of them - with a deep passion for adventure and seeing the world through a different set of eyes, and I felt free. We could discuss plot theories and shop merchandise until our hearts were content. We'd dress up (or cosplay) and photograph the pure skill and effort people put into these events. 
I had often thought of comic book readers as lonely - I think there's a kind of stigma around like that, but I was oh-so wrong. This is a welcoming group of people. People who can become friends in a matter of hours and who are accepting, people who will encourage you and lift you up without judging. I think thats what made me love this world even more and I cant wait to attend our next con in October.
Im still relatively new to all of this, and thats whats exciting; there is a never ending amount of stories left for me to discover. Worlds I haven't yet touched and people I haven't yet met.

Whether you love comic books, novels or even home decor books; I encourage you to read. It is such a beautiful form of escapism. You can use your imagination to delve into an unknown place and really explore it. You won't regret it!

The Addams Family Musical Comedy

Friday, 21 July 2017

Prepare for a night of ultimate spooky kookiness when you take your seat to watch the spectacular Addams Family Musical Comedy! I was recently invited along to the Mayflower Theatre Southampton to enjoy this visionary show along with the wonderful Southampton Bloggers crew, and I seriously could not have loved it any more.

We took our seats. Dim lighting. The stage set for mischief and quirky adventures galore. Towering walls surrounded the stage, aged to perfection with eerie light creeping through fallen slats, the ultimate stately home complete with intimidating gate. Every detail of the set was immaculately thought through. The only way to top such an atmosphere was when the orchestra broke out into that oh-so familiar Addams family theme tune. Smiles spread and hands clapped and snapped along - we were well and truly ready for action!

Well loved characters made their way onto stage; Morticia (Eastenders own Samantha Womack), Gomez (Cameron Blakely), Uncle Fester (an almost unrecognisable Les Dennis), Pugsley (Grant McIntyre) and Wednesday (Carrie Hop Fletcher) - every inch of them dressed for the occasion in some of the most gorgeous and somewhat flamboyant costumes I've seen. They sung with voices oozing west-end power and had us hanging on every word. The songs were infectious, vibrant and full of feeling - and have already made their way onto my Spotify playlist! There's just something about hearing a grand orchestra playing live music; it pumps through your chest and makes you feel so alive.

The story is set around everyone's favourite little princess of darkness, Wednesday Addams, who is all grown up and has fallen in love for a normal boy from a respectable family! No way! She confides in her dearest daddy, Gomez, begging him not to tell his treasured wife before they throw a dinner to help the two families successfully mix - but do things go to plan? I wont spoil it for you!
Of course, in true Addams family style, the story is full of twists and turns, and plenty of hilarious one liners! The audience were involved in every scene, I sat on the edge of my seat, and clapped my hands to my mouth numerous times, and as the curtain came down at interval I just couldn't wait for more.

Gomez was a standout to me, his character was incredible; pure crazy, but brilliant! His songs were catchy and, sometimes, raw. He was full of one liners - he had us laughing from start to finish, but he also showed his family man side, constantly torn between the two loves of his life; his daughter, and his wife - he just couldn't win, but it was so funny to watch him try!

The show was just an all round heart-warming, feel good piece perfect for people of ages - it would make a great family night out! Produced with the audience and their love of the original Addams family in mind, it was everything you could have hoped for and more. You can catch a performance at the Mayflower until 29 July before the show moves on, continuing its tour right through November. You can also find the full schedule on The Addams Family - A Musical Comedy website.

I had such a fantastic night with the Southampton Blogger Girls, and want to thank The Mayflower Theatre so much for putting on such a brilliant show! You can check out what else is coming up through the Mayflower Theatre's website, I know I will be!

*Tickets were provided in exchange for a review of this show but all thought and opinions are my own. Some images also courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre.