Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Sitting here babysitting while I write this, actually. It kind of makes me think.

You ever stop and consider how much of the stuff we’re interested in comics and science fiction and fantasy is really just an extension of those bizarre, crazy ideas you had as a kid??

I’ve never been a huge Carl Jung fan, as far as psychologists go. As I get older, however, I'm more and more mystified by his ideas. If nothing else, they’re just so DIFFERENT than any other way of thinking. Just this idea that somehow--genetically or through some kind of unconscious psychic transmission--we just sort of inherit these ideas and symbols from previous generations.

It’s hard to deny the merit of this. To every child mother is an inherent symbol that you just GET. Mother=compassion, being protected.

Still we had other ideas as kids that were just so bizarre, but kind of made sense to us in a three year old way. If you spend enough time with a three year old, you start to remember what it meant to think that way.

For the child in question a big, cardboard rocket ship made for the ideal Christmas present this year. It comes loaded up with pictures all over it for your kid to color in.

In one particular bout of imaginary play this morning, my three year old companion stated that we were lost in our rocket ship. He directed our attention to a map on the side of the cardboard ship. Earlier in the week, he and his mother had colored in half of the space and stars on this map black. The other half remained a pale white.

When I asked where we were, he pointed to one side of the map and said that we were in the Black Base, but that we needed to fly to the White Base. From there, the rest of our adventures spun out in some really bizarre ways. We landed on a giant cow earth which had flying cows, just for an example.

There was something in this exchange that just stuck out to me. I don’t know why. It’s such a bizarre thought, that one part of space could be one color but another part a different color. Yet it sort of makes sense in that weird, three year old kind of way.

I would contend that a lot of what we love about science fiction and fantasy is that it gives us a chance to go back and revisit this kind of bizarre, childlike fascination with things like this. We can think the kind of creative, ‘no limits’ ways that we did as a kid. Only we deal with it in this really adult, "what if something like that really existed" way.

I already wrote my own treatise on the Fantastic Four’s Negative Zone a few months back. It’s a bizarre concept, but somehow it’s appealing, in that childlike ‘how could space be different than the way we know it to be’ kind of way.
The long point I’m trying to make here is this: I can only wonder how many of the things that appeal to us, now, are actually ways of thinking that appealed to us as a kid.

How many of these new and weird concepts did we actually touch on during imaginary play, just goofing around? Now, whether or not these kind of things represent Jungian symbols are archetypes and so on I have no idea. Still, it’s fascinating, isn’t it?

Maybe there really AREN’T any new and original concepts. Maybe everything is just sort of dug up from when you were that young and repackaged. It isn’t new...we just rediscover the kind of stuff we dreamed up when we were three.

Weird, right?