The Clark chronicles — Chapter one

When you are born into this world, no one is ever fully prepared for the magnitude of the surrounding aspects of which it entails. But with guidance, love, motivation and determination I have developed my skills to counteract the negative sphere of influence that pushes back against what I stand for. My name is Clark, and these are my chronicles detailing
my life growing up in the midst of global change.

My earliest years growing up mainly consists of stories my parents told me. I was born in January, right before one of the biggest outbreaks in this planet’s history took a foothold on the world’s population. I obviously don’t remember any of it, besides what has been passed down through tellings and the information I read from newspapers during that time, along with clips and newsreels from reporting agencies.

My dad explained to me it changed the literal landscape of our cultural collectivity. And while I never understood what that meant, it would take decades for me to grasp its overall meaning.

They called it the worst pandemic this world has ever seen, impacting everyone and immune to any social demographics. I was born into a world on fire, and it didn’t impact my mom and dad until the month after my birth.

The nation, the world was on total lockdown, and all aspects of social interactions came to a literal standstill. As my dad explained, “what once was a normal way of life: the casual greetings and the friendly handshakes, compassionate hugs, along with meetups and hanging out with friends, transitioned into a disconnect that widened the gap between all manner of people and their daily lives.”

I was only a month old if that, so naturally I had no clue what any of this even meant in the grand scheme of things, not to mention on face value alone. But I know it had a profound effect on many lives around the world, especially my parents. Hospitals were overrun with the sick, dying, and desperate.

The economy fell so fast, and so far, it would take years to recover that which was lost, Dad tells me that his passion for collecting comic books, and reading about the many heroes that graced their pages offered some kind of solace in those uncertain times, but he explained “even that felt the blow of this pandemic and the local shops I once passionately visited closed, and remained that way for fear of having contact with someone who had this plague, this sickness, or as it become known worldwide as COVID-19.”

Looking back, it became a blessing in disguise as my father tells me. The city was on full lockdown, and only essential businesses were left open for the general public. Dad was an administrator at that time, and the school system where he was employed was closed, and all the kids were left to their own devices to stay home with loved ones, isolated from the rest of the world and their friends.

Technology was the only form of communication, speaking to one another through the various screens of whatever one could manage to use to see someone in the other window — devoid of human contact.

It must have been difficult, knowing mom and dad couldn’t share me with the world that surrounded them. I’d imagine they would have enjoyed taking me to any number of places, to see the beautiful surroundings the city had to offer.

However, what would I know, I was merely an infant. But it was more to their benefit, than to my
own.

I was merely a couple months old, and this worldwide pandemic had outbreaks everywhere.

What once was a community of bustling people, flying planes, public transport, had become silent — void of all comings and goings.

This confusing state of affairs felt to me more like a plot to a movie, comic book, or a fictional novel set in a dystopian future but again, what did I know at that age, and I am happy I was unaware — due to the sheer volume of sadness it must have entailed around the planet.

My name is Clark and these are my stories that have been passed down to me over the years of my life, which have taken root in my consciousness in such a way that I was determined to set forth on a path to effect change on a global level.

No one knows who I truly am, and to be honest, I still have yet to figure that out.


About the author

Phil Bova and his wife, Denise with their son, Clark

My name is Phil Bova.  I have been an avid comic book reader since 1981, I was 7 years old when I was hooked on the genre.  While I have my favorites just as much as the next person, I thoroughly enjoy story depth, complexity and artwork that reflects the prose.

I finished my Masters degree in 2012, focusing on historical studies, special emphasis on the cross section of popular culture and feminism. My project delved into the character of Wonder Woman and her creator William Marston as the catalyst for a pro-feminist movement on the range of comic books before, during, and after World War II.

I became an educator, and taught elementary school for two years before pivoting into high school where I was able to focus on conducting my elective courses on Comic Books as Literary Merit. I produced my own curriculum on my courses, and selected all the reading materials that helped focus on the genre, primarily books that display the ever changing landscape of our world culture in the writings. 

I now work as an administrator, and devote my time to being married to my beautiful wife, Denise, and taking care of our lovely little boy, Clark Tiberius Bova (on which my writing prompts are based). We have two amazing dogs, Penelope and Myrrah, along with two annoying cats, Indy and Lois. We live in the city of St. Louis, Mo. 

I am co-host of an ongoing podcast titled the Podcast of OA alongside my good friend, Myron.  

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