“Turn back the page, to the Golden Age…” — Seduction of the Innocent
When I was a kid, it was a very different world for the geeky child or teen. All the things we loved weren’t cinematic juggernauts dominating the pop-culture landscape. The San Diego Comic-Con didn’t get features on every TV show or magazine looking for the next coolest thing. If you loved comic books or sci-fi or fantasy or other nerdly pursuits, you were kind of out there on your own, looking for kindred spirits and a sense of acceptance anywhere you could get it.
And some of that acceptance came at conventions. For me, specifically it was Wonder-Con in Oakland (so long ago that the show was called “the Wonderful World of Comics”), where I first got to go to a comic-book convention and really bond with my people. And it was at one of those early shows where, down on the dealer’s room floor, I happened to look up at one of the windows to an upper-level conference room and see Miguel Ferrer (fresh off his breakthrough appearance in Robocop) on drums and Lost in Space’s Bill Mumy on guitar, rehearsing for their show later that night. I couldn’t hear them, but I could see them, and they were rocking out.
I had read about their band, Seduction of the Innocent, in the Bullpen Bulletin pages of Marvel comics, being billed as the first all-comic-book-creative rock band, consisting of Ferrer and Mumy, who had written a Marvel series called Comet Man, along with inker Steve Leialoha on bass and writer Max Allan Collins on keyboards. And when I heard the band, holy shit. They were good.
Around about the same time, and I don’t know where I saw it, a photo was published in some comics fan magazine that blew my mind. It was a shot of Ferrer and Mumy and their friend Mark Hamill, hanging out with Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel and Bob Kane. It’s a pretty amazing photo.
All of a sudden, it was an epiphany. You could be a fanboy and be cool. You could be into comics and be a movie star. You could be in a rock band and go hang out with Jack Fucking Kirby. It changed the way I carried myself, the way I talked about the things that I loved, the way I thought about myself.
I got to see Seduction play a few more times in the ‘90s before the San Diego Comic-Con morphed into the other thing it would eventually become and could no longer be bothered to find a place for a kickass band of comics creators to play some rock and roll. But it was those nights where I fell in love with the San Diego Comic-Con, watching fans and creators share the dance floor while Ferrer and Mumy, Leialoha and Collins blew the roof off the joint.
I met Miguel Ferrer a few times over the years at conventions and events, and he was always a cool guy, funny and cordial, generous with his time. I enjoyed his film and television work, and always looked forward to a project if I knew he’d be in it. But I’ll always think of him first as “one of us,” a guy who loved comics and didn’t care if anyone knew it. And I have him to thank for teaching me to be that way.