Friday, August 22, 2008


Some really quick thoughts before the main story:

Both the men's and women's gold medal games are this weekend. I don't particularly care who wins, but as an NBA/WNBA fan, here's the players I'll have an eye on: Sylvia Fowles, Tully Bevilaqua, Lauren Jackson, Rudy Fernandez (yes, still!), Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol. Ok, we get to see Lauren Jackson play all the time, but I'll enjoy watching her match up with Lisa Leslie. on the topic of Spain, I hope the best for the families of those who were aboard Spanair Flight 5022.

A hearty congratulations to Darius Miles for signing with Boston. It's not guaranteed, and he still may never appear in an NBA game again, but I'm holding out hope because I still remember how much I enjoyed watching him play with the wacky Clippers several years ago.

Ok. Now on to the important stuff: Kobe Bryant is a big nerdy comic book fan (via freedarko):

Kobe happily replied, "I'm into that dark shit. I've got a 13-hour flight to China and need something good to read." Immediately I recommended my favorite author Garth Ennis and “Preacher” to him, explaining the intricacies of the faithless Reverend Custer, his assassin girlfriend Tulip, best-friend/Irish Vampire Cassidy, and his quest to make God pay for abandoning humanity. Kobe's eyes lit up as I told him the tale of Jesse and the reasons why Preacher would change his view on comics forever.

Yeah, I know Kobe has made clear that he identifies with Batman, and John Rosenberg has pointed out in conversation that Kobe and Batman share traits of extreme sociopathy, loneliness, and, for an outsider, sadness:

Batman's hella depressing, that dude was born rich and could spend all day buying coke and hookers and instead he hides in a cave and dresses up in tights to fight with a guy in clown makeup named Joker. That's like Kobe . . . Kobe probably has a dark room set up in his house where he sits by himself every night, reading stories that say negative things about him and seething with anger.

So we already knew Kobe = Batman. But there are a couple of newsworthy items here. First of all, we never know anything of Kobe's taste. His clothes are picked out by other people, he claimed to be a fan of Harry Potter, Nutella, and various other bland things (if we did try to read into things, the love of Harry Potter might fit with Kobe's persona of aloofness -- off in the corner, dreaming of dragons and magic schools, while Dwyane Wade dreams of being wooed by Mr. Darcy). But recently, his armor has shown little cracks. First, we found out that he's a master of jeet kune do:

Now, we're finding out he's into "that dark shit." This is no innocent love of Harry
Potter and other children's fantasy fare. For instance, the story claims he is an "avid fan" of 100 bullets. From Wikipedia:

The initial plot of 100 Bullets hinges on the question of whether people would take the chance to get away with revenge. Occasionally in a given story arc, the mysterious Agent Graves approaches someone who has been the victim of a terrible wrong, and gives them the chance to set things right in the form of a nondescript attaché case containing a handgun, 100 bullets, a photograph of a person, and irrefutable evidence that this person is primarily responsible for their woes. He informs the candidate that the bullets are completely untraceable: any police investigation that uncovers one of them will stop.

Is Kobe sitting in his batcave, packing a suitcase full of ammo and muttering to himself, "Oh yeah Shaq? Let's see how your ass tastes when it's filled with lead . . ."

That's perhaps not giving him enough credit. I mean, reading a dark comic book doesn't make a person a homicidal sociopath, right? But what else can we gather about Kobe's personality?

These comics are pretty intricately crafted, the result of long and solitary hours of work and meticulous attention to detail, much like Kobe's game, so maybe he's just recognizing a kindred spirit. Or perhaps, as a perpetual outsider (a black American in Italy, an Italian soccer fan in Philly, a teenage rookie on an adult Laker team), he's just identifying with the alienation inherent in dark comics. It's enough to make me wonder whether Kobe might also be a Kafka enthusiast (Kobe has also once said "I wouldn't mind being Jewish," perhaps to have more in common with his favorite author?), and what are Kobe's thoughts on Kafka's taste in porn, which has also been described as "quite dark."

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