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From the Cyber Den
An online column by comics legend Denny O'Neil

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FROM THE CYBERDEN for 12/01/2004

From The Den's Mrs.

Dear Friends,

I know how disappointed you must be that I am writing the December column. The Batman Begins deadline has Denny swamped, so I offered to help out. At least you know he is thinking of you and honoring his commitment to a monthly column.

So, what can I tell you? In the last three months Denny has worked harder than he did in the previous two years (of course he was recovering from DEATH then) He taught a five week course at the local community college on comic book writing, he did a lecture series on the mythology of the evolving American hero in films (Shane, Farewell, My Lovely, Billy Jack), he wrote several introductions to comic books and is writing a novel. Oh, I almost forgot his consulting work on the new video game for Batman Begins. He is also working on (shhhhhhh) ideas for a TV series with a friend.

Hero's Quest We read the gallies for the Hero's Quest Green Lantern novel so I know it is ready to be published. I think you will enjoy it. I know, as a fan, I certainly did.

Denny is adding to the movie script of Batman Returns with background stories of the villain, his own Ra's Al Ghul. I'm personally hoping Talia is in it!

We both wish you each the happiest of Hanukahs, the merriest of Christmases and the best Kwanza you have ever had!

I just found something Denny wrote about being on television that was in our holiday letter a few years ago so if I quote it, it will almost be like hearing from him.
There isn't much to add, really. Mari's hit the high points and which among you really want to know about the low points? I could mention all the camera and microphone stuff I've done this year has taught me a lesson that should have been obvious long ago, but somehow --terminal obtuseness? Denial above and beyond the call of sanity?--was not: It doesn't work. Oh, it's fun, at least sometimes, but it doesn't do what one thinks it will. When you look at the tape later, it is as though angels are trumpeting everything that's wrong: the cough drop bumping out your cheek, lending a certain depraved chipmunk mien to the old physiognomy, or the roll of chub around the waist that is nicely evident beneath your turtleneck or the Alfred E. Neuman vacancy in your eyes as you pillage, stomp and plunder the mother tongue in the process of failing utterly to articulate some sorry thought. (Ah, yes, you have conclusively demonstrated your boobery in front of 40 million citizens, how nice.) So appearing on national television does not make you feel clever, or special, or loved, as you might have hoped. The fifteen minutes worth of fame you get is probably as pointless as being married in disguise.

Here's a verse from my new favorite poet, a Fifteenth Century Zennist named Ikkyu:

Don't worry please please how many times do I have to say it
There's no way not be be who you are and where

When I become absolutely convinced of the truth in those words, I think I'll finally have some hold on wisdom.
Denny and Marifran O'Neil

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