Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Literary research… That’s FUN!!

Dustin Seelinger

What I'm reading

What I'm reading

I am a total geek. I love comic books and science fiction. Now, I’m going to justify writing about this for the blog: Comic books and works of science fiction are the main informers of my work. You know the old saying, “do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”? I’ll go a step further. Find a way to incorporate your favorite type of entertainment into doing what you love… and… I don’t know what, but its awesome.

I have been reading a lot lately. Last week I mentioned that I was reading the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Adams’ the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A member of my student cohort told me after class one day last week that if you’re reading the Silmarillion for research, you are doing it right. I suppose I am.

My work involves telling my story as a father in the form of a creation story. I’ve been reading Tolkien’s work to see an example of how one can use their life experience to create a rich and vibrant world. Plus it’s fun. Though, I will warn you, the Silmarillion is very, VERY thick. That’s why I have taken a break from it and am currently falling through space with the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

My father in law gave me this book after he found out that I had never read it. It is very special to me. In between outbursts of laughter on the L, I’m trying to find an idea of how I can incorporate humor into my story. When I got the chance to crit with Zak Smith, he mentioned that my concept was very funny while it tackled the serious issue of parenthood. He called it “Dadness”, which is a term that I happily use now. More often than not, I focus on the serious. Reminding myself to let my fun-dad self come out in the work is crucial.

Then I got word that Marvel Comics had announced at SXSW that they were releasing 700 issues for free via their app! Seven hundred free comic books!! And there amongst them was an issue of Spider-Man that I have been needing to read, “Amazing Fantasy #15″. As a Spider-Man fan, I know that this issue is important because it is his first appearance. Even more important to me is that it contains a figure that is very crucial to the myth of Spider-Man: Uncle Ben, his father figure. So, to say the least, I was very excited about this news. But in classic geekery, the app has crashed, and they had to take down the free issues until they improve their servers. Now, I am stuck waiting. At least I have a good book or two to keep me occupied (and researching!) until then.

Literary research… That’s FUN!!

I am a total geek. I love comic books and science fiction. Now, I’m going to justify writing about this for the blog: Comic books and works of science fiction …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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