Comic Fodder

Art Imitates Life and Vice Versa

Okay, this one is more pop culture in general than strictly comic-related, but bear with me (this will also let everyone know why my posting has been negligible lately, and why the regular reviews haven’t been posted – and might be sparse for another couple of weeks still). I sprung a surprise proposal on my girlfriend Christmas Eve 2009, and life has picked up speed ever since. I noticed something happening, and tried to dismiss it, but finally couldn't ignore the consistent pattern. No matter where I turned, there was marriage stuff all of a sudden. For certain things, like targeted ads on Facebook as soon as we changed our respective status to "engaged," some things were to be expected. However, I did not expect everyone and their dog on television to start getting hitched.

It started with a couple shows that I normally watch alone. My fiancé will sit and watch with me if she's around, but many of the sci-fi and dramas, she doesn't have much of an interest in them. I tend to watch later on my DVR and erase them. Instead, I had to save them and show her parts now. On Castle, the major plot point was a murder at a wedding. On Fringe, the opening scene was a wedding cake being pulled out of a van. On Lost, it was the alternate-fiancé of John Locke, getting off the phone and complaining about something like "If I never have to talk to another florist or caterer or JD again..." This was right when we were going through all this stuff, and I found it a fun coincidence, made sure to show each one to my new betrothed, and she agreed it was a fun coincidence.

Now, I know enough about TV to know that writers want to have big events where they can shine a focus. Murders are great fun, and funerals work too, but a wedding can be a backdrop for everyone. It provides hijinks for your comedies, and can add gravity to a death or add suspense. And don't get me started on child births! Sometimes an entire movie will have a wedding as the main setting. For a cast as large as Lost or FlashForward, or any show with a decent ensemble, you've got to have a wedding or two over the years, and sometimes another cast member is pregnant at the same time. It's not used as much in comics, but it's there sometimes too. I know all this. It's normal.

But it didn't stop.

It seemed unique to all of the shows I watch, specifically. Sure, at some point there was going to be a wedding, but how in the world did weddings get mentioned within two weeks on Lost, Castle, FlashForward and Fringe, all after I made my proposal? And what about Gary Unmarried? The whole point is that he’s divorced. So for the season finale, they do a wedding! Meanwhile, Lois Lane got a little kooky on Smallville (at last, a comic book tie-in!), and next thing you know, she’s dancing around in a wedding dress. Yet another show I had to pause and wait for my lady to come see me so I could share it with her. At this rate, my DVR’s going to overload before I can share all of these scenes.

Okay, ‘Til Death should be a safe zone from marriages, right? The two lead characters are already married. Plus, the show is going to be canceled. Before that happened, they had the daughter get married, and have already announced she’s pregnant. Numbers is the show that took the cake, though (pun unintended). They had Charlie Epps engaged to Amita, and spent several episodes highlighting their event planning. No sooner than I had started as the official organizer for my own wedding, I started seeing those two characters muddling through the seating chart for the reception, and other little things that made me think Hollywood had bugged my home for story ideas. The series finale went one step further than everyone else, and had one brother get married while the second one proposed to his girlfriend!

So, I’m a pack-rat, right? My fiancé is always tidying up when she’s around. I had a piece of paper that had all these shows written down… and she cleaned up the area. She knows I love her, so when I become aware that another data source has become irretrievably trashed, she just smiles at me, knowing she went a little overboard again. I actually had more examples, but I can’t remember them right now.

Finally, the single most memorable marriage event has been occurring simultaneously with my journey. For the first time in literally decades, I picked up an Archie comic book. Archie was proposing, and they explored the possibility of him marrying Veronica first, and then Betty. I might not have picked it up, but it happens to be the only comic book I can get my fiancé to read in the first place. When I saw that the plotline was about marriage, I thought the serendipity was pretty cool. My better half would read it and remark that some of the stuff reminded her precisely what we were doing. It’s taken Archie about seven issues, seven months, to get through that storyline, and in four more days, on May 8, I will complete my journey and marry the love of my life.

…Oh, and the next issue of Archie is about married life.

What it all means, I’m not exactly sure, but I suspect that my pop culture hobby is being used by the universe to send me a message, endlessly confirming and approving of my choice. At least, that’s the meaning I choose to give all of this, and it feels very comforting. Probably the next time you’ll hear from me is when I get back from the honeymoon. Thanks to all the regular fans for visiting all the time, and we’ll return to our normal routine before too long.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.