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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Mayor McCheese: We Hardly Knew Ye

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: September 2014

Although as a kid I liked comics, I wasn’t a collector. Instead, I turned my sights to comic book cards, which I was convinced would be worth something some day. Every time I was forced to purge my room of toys I was no longer interested in, somehow the comic book cards made the cut, as I was sure I’d need them someday. I considered myself a realist though: I wasn’t under the impression that I’d be retiring after cashing them in, instead I had aspirations of turning thirty and finally purchasing that four-story tree fort I’d always wanted. Now however, I’m left with sleeve after sleeve of worthless cards, and my broken brain still won’t let me throw them away. My only hope is that my house will be hit by a meteor and the cards will be destroyed, going out in a blaze of glory, returned back to the Earth from whence they came.

I was reminded of my failure to select a hobby that would pay off later in life when I read
the news that an issue of Action Comics #1 sold on eBay for the record breaking amount of $3.2 million. That. Is. Bananas. According to Paul Litch from CGC Primary Grader, “The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand. It is supple, the colors are deep and rich and the quality of the white pages is amazing for a comic that is 76 years old.” First of all, let’s just all agree that “supple” is not a word that should be used in polite conversation. It belongs in the Do Not Use category along with “gingerly” and “moist.” Also, that’s insane that this comic from 1938 survived for so long in perfect condition. If anything, its existence is a good indicator that someone has finally cracked the time travel code.

Lastly, in “who cares” news, Sanrio, the creators of cartoon abomination Hello Kitty have announced that their little cash cow HK is not, in fact, a cat. More specifically, Christine R. Yano, the author of Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across The Pacific was the one who made the revelation. She explained that during her HK research, she was corrected by representatives of Sanrio who revealed that HK is not a cat, but rather a little British Girl. “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature,” Yano explained to the Times. Yano also revealed that HK’s real name is “Kitty White,” she is a Scorpio (and a “she” apparently), and is the daughter of George and Mary White. That’s a pretty defined background for something that has in the past been little more than a bellwether for insanity when found on someone over the age of thirteen. Maybe next McDonald’s will announce that Grimace is a middle-aged tax evader who has been quietly stealing the laundry off his neighbor’s clothesline to sell at the local swap meet, and that Mayor McCheese is actually just a family of wild turkeys stuffed inside an old hamburger suit.

Arielle Mullen