|Me and Jayson in his office/studio/play room.|
The upstairs bonus room in our house is filled with books, DVDs, graphic novels, records and CDs, as well as the toys of my childhood (and adulthood, such as it is) displayed on shelves and in shadow boxes. You’ll find items from 1960s Major Matt Mason and 1970s G.I. Joe astronaut figures to 1990s Starman and Doctor Strange, with more recent things like River Song’s sonic screwdriver from “Doctor Who,” Dumbledore’s wand from the “Harry Potter” films, and a “Firefly” flask.
It’s where I retreat to write in the late hours. I call it a library, or sometimes my lair. My wife calls it “a mess.”
This week I had the opportunity to gather in Lynn Haven with some friends and participate in the “Wannabe Podcast,” a look at “geek culture” created by graphic artist Jayson Kretzer as part of his Wannabe brand, which includes a web comic and a new series launching in print and digital formats.
|Graphic Knowledge's Brady and Robert with Jayson|
To borrow an in-joke, we were like a group of trees falling together in the forest where only we could hear each other crash.
Jayson’s home office is full of the tools he needs for work, but it also includes comic-related posters, a shelf-size statuette and dozens of tiny figurines of comic book characters. I asked him if his wife, Heather, gives him the same kind of grief mine does for keeping all the “toys.”
The short answer was “not really,” though she did insist the statuette didn’t fit with the living room décor when he first brought it home.
The next morning, I visited the Ark in Panama City Beach, just at the right time to catch a handful of men (and one woman) having coffee and getting back to their woodwork projects. They weren’t really making toys, but they were clearly at play.
Buddy Dalluge showed me some of his creations, and he joked about having recently moved to Wisconsin from his native Minnesota at the behest of his wife.
“She expects me to wear a cheese hat,” he said with a mock look of disbelief.
I assured him that was deeply unfair. At least she still lets him share his toys with his friends.
We might grow older, but there’s no reason that has to equate with growing bored or losing our sense of play.
(My Undercurrents column for PanamaCity.com and The News Herald for Nov. 22.)