The first in a year long series of articles depicting the exciting life of a comic book creator — these are tales of High Adventure!
FUTURE PERFECT PART 1: INTER DIMENSIONAL TIME TRAVEL PHONE CALL
Comic book creators are known for their sedentary lifestyle: Working at their desks, playing video games and eating. This is all true, we do do that, but there is more to it. You see, our lives are also full of mystery, romance, imported cheeses and yes… adventure. I mean, how else can we write what we write unless we have lived it?
2009 to me feels like a year where a lot of adventure can happen. In fact, I knew it was going to be. It started a few days ago when I got a call from this guy while I was at home, relaxing and reading an old Alan Moore Swamp Thing trade. You know, the first one — when he reinvented everything. He used to do that a lot back in the day. Anyway, the static on the other line made it hard for me to understand him at first. He was calling from the future, you see.
“I’m from the future and you need to listen to me,” the guy said.
I thought he had said he was on Ventura with my pizza. It made no sense, as I don’t order out. I tend to go to Robano’s in Toluca Lake if I want a good slice. LA isn’t known for its pizza, but that place stands up to anything in New York. Go ahead and call me crazy, but it can’t be denied. You can throw stuff at me too. Ok, feel better?
So I made the guy repeat himself.
“Yeah, I’m from the future.”
Normally I would have hung up, but I had just got done reading the part in the trade where Dr. Woodrue aka The Floronic Man sprays flexi-flesh to cover his skin. I felt sick and needed a diversion.
“Ok, pal. You have two minutes. And please don’t make any South Park references. I love that show and I feel as if you may be ripping it off with this phone call prank.”
“Thank you, Mr. Beranek. Let me get right to the point then: In the future… comics no longer EXIST.”
I almost spit up my drink after he said this — freshly squeezed orange juice from Trader Joe’s and that stuff isn’t cheap!
“Look, dude, I gotta go–”
“Wait! You said you would give me two minutes. I had read you were a man of your word. Is this not true?”
I suddenly perked up. “People talk about me in the future?” Then I came to my senses: “You’re pulling my leg. Fine, I don’t know how you got this number. I don’t really care, because I’m just going to listen to you, make fun of you and then tell my friends about it and make fun of you again.”
“You people from the past are so cavalier. You don’t know the danger you’re in!”
There was a pause while he waited for my response. I took a huge swig of the orange juice and then cleared my throat.
“Tell me exactly what kind of trouble we’re in.”
“Ideas. In the year 2021 comics will officially run out of new ones! After ideas run out the readers that are left will eventually become disinterested and stop buying comics altogether. This in turn creates a downward spiral: The economy crumbles, world leaders get nervous and then World War Four breaks out.”
“World War Four? Lots of people talk about World War Hulk and stuff–”
“World War Hulk is on it’s twentieth printing when The Collapse happens. But that’s beside the point!”
“So what can we do to stop this… what did you call it?”
“The Collapse. It can be averted, but change has to happen now!”
“Now as in now, or now as in the future?”
“Now as then. I mean now. No.”
“You mean now. As in 2009. Count me in.”
I could sense a sigh of relief on the other end of the line. What did I care, the guy could be a crackpot, but at least this was an interesting conversation. Might as well take it as far as it could go.
“Thank you, Mr. Beranek. I’ll have to let you know exactly where comics started to divert from its present course so you can warn the others.”
“Sounds good. I want to know everything. By the way, what is this phone call from the future costing me? I have an unlimited plan but it doesn’t cover international, let alone future-to-present communication…”
TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR PART 2 OF FUTURE PERFECT!
Here is an exciting preview:
Somehow I was at the comic shop, drunk and looking for a back issue of DOOM 2099. In it was a code that could help unlock the mysteries behind why comics are 3.99 these days.
“Can I help you?” the store owner asked.
“Do you have any issues of DOOM 2099?”
His face turned serious.
“Not here, but I know where you can find them…”
Christian Beranek co-founded and runs Disney’s Kingdom Comics alongside Ahmet Zappa and Harris Katleman. CB has a first look film/tv deal with Disney/ABC. He has several projects in development around town including Dracula vs. King Arthur, based on the graphic novel he co-wrote with his brother Adam Beranek. He is currently working on his first novel and an album. CB is never late for dinner and invites you to add him on twitter: www.twitter.com/beranek