Welcome back. It seems that we took an extended commercial break for a bit. Got two or three posts coming in the next week to get back on track, but to get everyone excited for the return of regularity, I wanted to share with you what I am currently reading as I finish up both Koko Be Good and The Photographer, which will both be the subject of the upcoming posts. As tends to happen, there are characters that will catch my eye as I’m doing research for posts. I’ll go on small tangents looking up history for The Flash or Green Lantern and today is no different.

The Question.

Aside from Spider-Man, The Question may be Steve Ditko’s most famous creation. Pictured above, The Question could’ve been another stock character. A vigilante detective, Vic Sage could’ve been Batman with a fedora and a face. But in the mind of Ditko, he became much more. More ruthless than other heroes, The Question was also known as a staunch Objectivist, a philosophy established by author Ayn Rand.  According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know the research of Four Colors is quite extensive), the name “Objectivism” derives from the principle that human knowledge and values are objective: they are not created by the thoughts one has, but are determined by the nature of reality, to be discovered by man’s mind.Rand stated that she chose the name because her preferred term for a philosophy based on the primacy of existence—”existentialism”—had already been taken.

But all of this is merely prelude to the meaning of this post. During the 80s, under the direction of well-known comic writer, Denny O’Neil (known for restoring Batman’s dark knight identity in the 70s and the socially conscious series Green Lantern/Green Arrow), The Question found a new audience at DC Comics. And as part of this new book, which lasted 36 issues, O”Neil had a reading list in the letters page of the book. As a slight departure from the direction of Four Colors, I wanted to share that list here (as compiled from Vicsage.com). Hope you enjoy the light Christmas reading (maybe there are some present ideas on the list) and stay tuned for some posts on some great books in the coming week.

  • Zen Without Zen Masters by Camden Benares
  • Zen Driving by K.T. Berger
  • The Users of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
  • Iron John by Robert Bly
  • Jane Brody’s Good Food Book by Jane Brody
  • The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  • The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
  • The Tao of Peace by Diane Dreher
  • Gateway to a Vast World by Deng Ming Dao
  • The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany
  • Through a Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Be Your Own Detective by Greg Fallis and Ruth Greenberg
  • Chop Wood, Carry Water: Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life by Rick Fields
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  • Carry Tiger, Return to Mountain by Al Huang
  • Zen and the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams
  • Movements of Magic: The Spirit of Tai Chi Chuan by Bob Klein
  • Any of the Eighty-Second Precinct novels by Ed McBain
  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons
  • Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  • The Curious Case of Sidd Finch by George Plimpton
  • Gumshoe: Reflections in a Private Eye by Josiah Thompson
  • Shambala by Chongye Trungpa
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tse
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Crone by Barbara Walker
  • The Philosopher’s Diet by Richard Watson
  • Grijpstra and deGier detective novels by Janwillem van de Wettering
  • Zen to Go by Jan Winoker

Picture taken from Vicsage.com as well