It's been well over a year now since that pic was taken and to tell you the truth, it hasn't been that much shorter a time that I even thought about that amazing experience.
For just under 4 years prior to the release of 'Ghost Rider' staring Nic Cage, Eva Mendez, Wes Bentley, Peter Fonada and a host of others, I was addicted to the point of obsession of the Marvel character named Ghost Rider. Well, in actual fact, it was an obsession that started in my early teens but the true expression of that came many years later as talks of the movie being produced began to surface. It was during this surfacing of news that ol' Flamehead took a hold of me and in turn, me of him.
As 'Ka' (see 'Dark Tower') would have it, shortly after this news came about I happened to stumble across a message board dedicated to talking about SuperHero movies. Of course, the first thing I did was search for 'Flamehead' (which by the way became my handle on the boards) and was surprised to find only one thread about the fire covered, motorcycle riding, walking skeleton. Don't get me wrong, I knew that Ghost Rider only had a small following (hence the 2 cancellations of separate comic runs... so far) but that doesn't mean I have to understand it. I mean, read what I just typed there: "Fire covered, motorcycle riding, walking skeleton". How can you not want to check that out?...
Anyway, don't get me started. Where was I?
Oh yes, for nearly 4 years I dove into the character, was consumed by him in fact; collecting images of him, buying all the comics featuring or appearing him and even spent tonnes of time wasting all kinds of money on the character by buying collectibles I just did not need. What's worse (for others), I could not stop talking about this guy. Honestly, it's a wonder that I still have friends after that time. I was all Ghost Rider, all the time, '24/7'... as they say.
By the time the movie was set to release, my anticipation was at its max. This was after nearly 10, 000 posts on the above mentioned message boards, after being promoted to moderator in fact; after being sent official movie memorabilia directly from the director which eventually lead into being asked to go to the premiere in New York by the director. Can you believe that? Probably not, but it's fairly understandable how excited, mystified and gloriously happy I was... even in my shock of it all.
I wont recap what happened at the premiere or before it more specifically as it's all posted here already. I will however flash forward to the now. A time that as of late is confusing with regards to this beloved character. Confusing to me because I no longer think of him the way I used to. No obsessions, no late night surfing for information, no websites being built around the character, not even so much as reading the comic anymore. What's even stranger is that I no longer post on SuperHeroHype any longer. Nothing. My life around Ghost Rider has all but ceased to exist... and only now as I sit down to type this am I trying to understand why. In a previous post I mentioned an obsessive compulsive 'disorder' and I guess that truly explains the lack of Ghost Rider in my life. I must have delved into other things... but maybe it's more than that. Maybe my experience with this movie and everything that came out of being a fan was a conclusion for me. Or maybe the fact that I no longer had a big movie to look forward to, nothing substantial was out there keeping me interested.
Now that I sit here typing this, I can't help but remember the fond times though. I met some really great people on that message board and in all honestly one of the main highlights about going to New York was meeting 2 of them, after chatting with them for over 3 years. How often to you meet a net pal? Hardly ever. Of course, how often do you get invited to the premiere of a Hollywood movie? Never. Well, once...
In a related note; Thanks Mark (Steven Johnson), again, by the way. Not that you'll ever read this but my good vibes towards your kindness and absolute awesomeness will surely resonate through the universe. You'll feel it. I'm sure of it...
Now that my mind has had this little shift, I think it's time to pop in that movie for a ride again or perhaps even dig out some of those comics. Either way, I'm sure that deep inside, the Ghost Rider in me is always ready to break though.
Obsessions never die.
ghost rider, marvel, nic cage, mark steven johnson