Void Influence Hall of Fame: Peter Pan!
We’ve covered the top twelve (12) influences who shaped and molded my creative mind that eventually led to the ongoing tale of Mr. Deacon Void, the enigmatic East End Investigator of the Supernatural. But before I close the books on this segment, I couldn’t ignore the ongoing “master” influence on all my creative writings. And so, today’s final influence stands alone … the first and ultimate entry into the creative Hall of Fame for Bill Cain. That character is Peter Pan.
Created by 19th century Scottish writer J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan is symbolic worldwide of the boy who refused to grow up. Choosing instead to reside in his beloved Never Land, he leads his gang, “The Lost Boys,” in rollicking adventure involving mermaids, pirates, Indians, and a ticking crocodile.
Everybody reading this blog knows Peter Pan. After Walt Disney chose him to star in an animated feature film (1953), he’s remained one of the icons of entertainment history. His beloved sidekick, the fairy Tinkerbell, is one of Disney’s most recognized and beloved creations.
So what makes Peter so special to me and the creative effort that has resulted in such a dark character like Void? Barrie’s genius lies in the fact that one remains young and engaged in adventure only if you remain young at heart, refusing to give in to the ever charging ravages of time. The “ticking croc” serves as that reminder. The clock is always ticking. Ignore it! Don’t fear it! Instead, set your eyes on the beauty of Never Land … and remain young at heart forever!
I still vividly recall watching the Mary Martin live-action play as a pre-schooler. Remember when “Tink” is poisoned and appears about to die? Peter urges the audience to clap and cheer, for in doing so, it will prove to Tink that you believe. The light bulb symbolized Tink’s grip on life, and it continued to grow fainter and fainter. “Please clap LOUDER,” Peter pleaded. “Clap louder and save her life!” My little hands were blood red, but it was worth it. Tink’s light suddenly began to grow brighter. I screamed with jubilation as Peter thanked me for saving the life of his beloved Tinkerbell. I’ve lived in Never Land ever since.
Since then, I’ve lost many loved ones, beloved friends and family who will never be replaced. But while they no longer exist on the physical plane, I can still see them at their happiest, anytime that I BELIEVE … and look to Never Land.
In 2004, Johnny Depp starred as J.M. Barrie in a touching film telling the story of how Peter Pan came to be. Finding Neverland is a rare gem of a film that many people did not see, but it captures, to me, what Peter Pan … and the characters who inhabit the “Bill Cain Universe” … are all about. And so, I’ll leave you with this ending scene from that amazing movie. Like Tinkerbell, Deacon Void and all the characters of my tales exist in a magical world inhabited by the ones I love the most. J.M. Barrie called it Never Land. It’s there for all of us … so long as we remain young, use our talents to the best of our ability, and BELIEVE.
Now, please excuse me. I’ve got to go there myself. It’s easy to find … just orient yourself to the second star to the right and travel full speed ahead, straight on till morning! I’ll be waiting for you!