I was asked the other night if Breaking Bad influenced Cura. Both involve a narrator slowly slipping down a path toward their own demise. Both involve people who work in schools for little reward. Both involve guys who get involved in illicit things in order to help better themselves. But no. Breaking Bad influences another graphic novel I’m working on, and I’ll certainly talk about it at some point in the near future, but it didn’t make Cura.

There’s no one comic or song or movie that influences Cura, but there are certainly many comics, songs, and movies that influence me and inspire me to lurch at greatness.

Of late, the simplest and most profound is, oddly, one that pretty much everyone seems to already dig. And loathe.

Star Wars.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn about the changes, honestly, because it’s about 1/1000th of the movies. What I DO give a damn about, however, is that feeling of being teleported from world to world with people who honestly want to better things and keep facing adversity in new and creative ways.

It’s strange. People who “got” Star Wars when they were five don’t really “get” it once they’re older. It’s all cheesy now, where before they absolutely loved a movie because a woman had buns for hair.

They love the original trilogy, but then they hate the new one because it isn’t as profound and magnificent as the first two movies for them. At 5. When things are their absolute best.

These people will be continually disappointed as, through life, they learn that when you sing another verse of a song, it’s never going to be as good as the first verse. Or the chorus. It’s my personal belief that A New Hope was Lucas’ test run for Empire, and after that he’d already told his story and was just riffing on the finished theme (in awesome ways, admittedly). I don’t begrudge him it. I’d like three more watered down retries, in fact, because a bad Star Wars movie, even Phantom Menace, is ten times a Transformers. An “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” A (cringe) BATTLESHIP.

I have friends who shit on pulp/serial based movies because of plot points. Holy shit, Indiana Jones survived a nuke in a fridge? Are you KIDDING ME? They will break into apoplectic fits, sweat, and curse my name when I say I liked the new one. But then, they weren’t inspired to make a comic by the visual of that mushroom cloud, were they?

It’s those kids who never got to enjoy 9/10ths of punk rock because X band wasn’t punk enough. Fuck those guys. Like what you like, and don’t be ashamed of it.

So yeah. Star Wars. I’ve decided to unashamedly like it, even the bad parts, in the same way I love Superman flicking peanuts at that mirror in Superman 3. At a certain point you stop giving a fuck about the expectations assigned to a movie, and you remember being five and watching Superman fight Clark Kent. And then you write a story with the subtext of Superman fighting his darker self from another universe.

And then you’re okay with that.