On Spiderman

The Tangled Web We Weave

By Lou Anders

When I was a kid, my folks bought me a Spider-Man web shooter. It was a dart gun that strapped on to your wrist, and it fired a suction cup-tipped plastic dart that trailed a few feet of white string. The suction cup didn’t stick well, and the string was too short, and I don’t think the whole of it lasted very long, but I ran around the house quite happily with it and a red ski mask we’d drawn webs on with a black magic marker. I loved Batman as a kid– I read Batman, I watched Batman, I collected Batman toys–but I always wanted to be Spider-Man. I would blow out all the air from my lungs (so I wouldn’t float) at the deep end of the pool, and then crawl up and down the wall pretending I was scaling a building in New York. I’d jump in and, as I sank, try and recreate a scene from the 1977 television show The Amazing Spider-Man, where Nicholas Hammond was thrown off a building and only managed to catch onto a gargoyle at the last second before he smashed into the ground. I could hold my breath for minutes more than anybody else when I was young (Writer’s Note: Don’t smoke kids, I can’t do it anymore!), and the only reason I practiced this was so I wouldn’t have to interrupt my imagination with the need to constantly breathe. And I think I knew even back then that Silly  …

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