On Sunday I attended the ComicCon convention in San Diego to promote my memoir, Take Your Shame and Shove It, with none other than Flesh Gordon himself, Jason Williams. Being surrounded by thousands of “superheroes” instilled me with a feeling of security; no criminal or terrorist would ever dare attempt an anti social act in such an environment. They would be destroyed.
Not so much the fear of sex. I could see immediately as I entered the convention hall that the attendees were there to role play a fantasy that they were fantasy superheroes from Batman to Pokemon and when I tried to place postcards I had made up that had the sexy cover of my book on the front and information about my website on the backside, on a table that had over a thousand other free promotions for various products, I was asked – very politely – to remove them, ComicCon was a family show and despite it being rumored that Flesh Gordon being an inspiration for Lucas to make ‘Star Wars’ and the fact that his special effects team was led by Dennis Muren who honed his craft while working for me on Flesh Gordon, wasn’t enough for my book to be promoted at the show. Muren tested his theories about computer animation when he shot the Amora Swan Ship scene in Flesh Gordon. He went on to win an academy award for ‘Star Wars’ and seven more films down the line among them Raiders of the Lost Ark and Terminator.
But ‘Flesh Gordon’ was about sex as was my memoir and sex is not something suitable for a child to be exposed to in America. I felt out-of-place walking around the various rooms with a t-shirt that said on the back in bold red letters. “HowardZiehm.com” Adventure, Freedom, Rebellion, Sex. That many girls paraded around in sexy superhero costumes showed that the fear of sex was slowly waning but it was apparent to me that removing the stigma of shame when it comes to sex still had a long way to go in America.