Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Rattling the Brain Cage

Bubba Murray

My copy of Sin City

My copy of Sin City

As the semester rolls on, I think about all the assignments and papers I’ve completed in the last few weeks. It’s a lot. I’m pulling my dreads out trying to come up with something new or original to say. That’s when I think about what motivates and inspires me. What rattles the old brain cage? Now that is a real head-scratcher. I decided to reflect on a question or event that may shed light on what is it that makes me tick. One question a classmate of mine asked was that if I were a superhero which one would I be? Cool question, right? Well my answer was simple. Blue Falcon.

Who is the Blue Falcon? He’s none other than the coolest millionaire turned super hero who also happens to have a trusty bionic dog side kick named Dyno Mutt. So what does this answer tell you?  I love 70’s camp.

Cartoons and comics are an amazing source of inspiration. I know what you’re thinking. Is this guy really going to talk about cartoons? I am. What I love about cartoons, new and old, is the visual contrast and imagery.

For example, the use of black and white imagery in Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels is surprisingly effective. The bold contrasts make the stories literally pop off the page. The fact that this was turned into a feature length movie shows that people are interested in the work.

Now if you want action, any Anime cartoon can provide you with that. But my recent favorites include Afro Samurai and High School of the Dead. You can’t help but love Afro. I mean you’ve got Samuel L. Jackson voicing a lanky Afro wearing killing machine that fights a cyborg teddy bear. Did I mention the action was amazing? And High School of the Dead was a great Netflix find. It’s about a group of prep school teens that fight to survive a zombie apocalypse. There is lots of gratuitous cartoon violence, so enjoy the gore bath.

It does not matter where a person derives inspiration. What is important is that they are prepared to receive it. You have to keep your eyes and ears open. It can come from a flash of a poster in the corner of your eye, or the barista pouring milk in your coffee. Just take it. The expiration date on inspiration is yesterday…so move.

Rattling the Brain Cage

…if I were a superhero which one would I be? …simple. Blue Falcon.

Film & Video - Cinema Directing MFA Bubba Murray, james.murray2@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605