I apologize in advance. This is really stupid.
Last summer, I woke up one morning with the idea of translating Michele de Montaigne's "Au Lecteur" ("To the Reader") into the type of English employed by legendary comic book creator/ oversized personality Stan "The Man" Lee. For those of you who don't know much about Stan, he co-created some of Marvel Comics' most popular superheroes, including The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk. He's also famous for his rather bombastic manner of writing and speech when he promotes Marvel Comics. You can find plenty of videos of Stan on YouTube-- I recommend the "How to Draw Comics-- The Marvel Way" video from the 80s, if only to watch Marvel artist John Buscema actually do all the instructional work while Stan mugs away and waxes hyperbolic.
This "translation" work took a lot more time than it should have, and-- of course-- in the end, the result was way too esoteric to be published (although the one editor I sent it to told me he liked it, personally, but just couldn't imagine the audience for such a thing). I wound up posting it as a Facebook note back in July, but it dawned on me that if there is an audience for a Montaigne/ Stan Lee mash-up, that audience would be the reader(s) of this blog. So, here it is...
True believer, you can bet your greenest gamma rays that what old Michele the Man is about to tell you is as reliable as Spider-Sense. I’m telling you from the get-go that these words profoundly penetrate the personality of yours truly. I remain as humble as Cap on the Fourth of July, seeking neither the glory of Asgard nor the approval of a world that hates and fears me. Who do you think I am, Terrax the Tamer with the Power Cosmic?! I scribe these words for the sole benefit of the Merry Marvel Marching Society, so that when I have joined Bucky and Gwen Stacy in the realm of Thanos’s would-be lady-love, I will remain somewhat like Immortus!!!
You know your ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Montaigne wouldn’t write for his own benefit—why, if he had, he would make himself look like a brilliant Tony Stark or Reed Richards-type. I want you, the reader at home, to see me as transparently as the Invisible Girl, for that is The Mighty Montaigne Manner! Heck, if it wouldn’t get us in trouble with the Comics Code Authority, I’d present myself as naked as The Silver Surfer!!
So, True Believer, this book is about Michele the Man. Face front!
Montaigne, March 1, 1580 (cover date May, 1580)