Sunday, March 23, 2014


I assume everyone has this quirk, to some extent, and as the winter turns to spring around here, I find myself thinking about it more: There's something in the realm of entertainment that you like, or even love, but you only want to enjoy it in certain weather or at a certain time of year. I'm not talking specifically seasonal things, like watching HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS in December. I mean something along the lines of, to use an example I've provided before, only wanting to read Batman comics in the winter. Batman just feels like a character you should read when the trees outside are dead and the weather is miserable. Bonus points if it's raining (or even snowing, but that's not something I ever encounter where I live).

I assume part of this feeling has something to do with repetition. I find that hour-long dramas are better when viewed in the fall than almost any other time of year, which makes sense since that's when the TV season traditionally starts. But I've found that cable dramas, like GAME OF THRONES, MAD MEN, and JUSTIFIED, feel more correct to me in the springtime -- again, because that's when most of them premiere. But even if the series isn't currenlty airing -- say I just want to pop in a Blu-Ray to watch an episode -- I still would favor the springtime weather. I also prefer to watch most of my cable dramas while it's still light outside, and again I'm not certain just why that is.

But another part of the feeling, I think, is based simply on your first experience with the material. I've mentioned many times my love of Roger Stern's Spider-Man comics. I would read them any time you handed them to me, but my first preference is to read them on a warm summer's day. I suspect that's because my oldest memories of reading Stern's Hobgoblin saga involve sitting in the back of the family minivan while on summer vacation from school when I was about twelve years old.

I tend to prefer animated cartoons during the summer months as well. Whether it's the shows of my childhood, such as TRANSFORMERS or G.I. JOE, or more modern fare like AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES and CLONE WARS, these series just feel right to me when placed in a warm weather season. Again, it's probably due to summer vacation memories, when you could watch cartoons all day if you wanted. But at the same time, I feel that BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES is best viewed in the fall or winter. Apparently my belief that Batman is a cold-weather character extends to all his various media formats.
Then there are the things I'll enjoy any time of year. Give me some Chris Claremont/John Byrne or Scott Lobdell/Fabian Nicieza X-MEN, and I'll read them no matter what time of year it is (though I prefer the time of day to again be during daylight hours. I'll watch STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE regardless of the season or the time. And any of the STAR WARS or James Bond movies will appeal to me as much in the spring and summer as they do in the fall and winter.

I realize I'm just sort of babbling on, but this sort of thing is very interesting to me. What makes a person enjoy certain things more depening on the time of year and the time of day? And in some cases maybe even the day of the week? Certainly past experience and good memories play a part in it. But that can't be all. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I will literally enjoy a Batman comic less if I read it on a hot summer's day, regardless of whether it's an issue from one of my favorite runs, such as O'Neil/Adams or Englehart/Rogers. Are our memories really that powerful and influential, or is there more going on here?
The other possibility, of course, is that I'm just nuts.

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