Gotham Chopra is the co-author of “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change the World,” with his father Deepak Chopra. At his Lit Crawl reading at Laszlo Bar, the first 20 revelers in superhero costume will receive a free drink, and the top three costumes will win a signed copy of the book.
How did you come to co-author a book with your father? My father and I are very close, so it was a natural evolution. The idea is adapted from his perennial bestseller the “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” and his introduction to Comic-Con, where I exposed him to the madness of the Batmen and Spidermen of this world. It made him realize that to some extent the ideas he’s been talking about for years have been chronicled in countless comic books and the audience resonated with him. The concepts are filtered through the prism of these characters that have been around forever.
Why do humans yearn for superheroes in all of their various incarnations? I think that once you get beyond the capes and tights, that superheroes embody some of the most aspirational qualities that we all yearn for, and they represent those higher ideals, but also the darker aspects of our shadow selves. Superheroes and gods of ancient traditions are all different pieces of us in embryo. I think there’s a natural mythic connection.
Do you remember your first introduction to comics? I grew up in Massachusetts but we visited India every summer, and my cousins and I read Indian comic books, which covered all of the gods and goddesses going back thousands of years. I grew up feeling more American, and into Batman and Superman, but comics were my connection to the cultural heritage of India. The synergy of the two traditions nurtured my fascination with comics and superheroes.
Why do you think it became a passion for you? Culturally I think it just fit. India is one of the most technologically advanced countries but it holds on to an ancient culture. You see ruins mixed with a modern metropolis, and when you think of the traditions and rituals, like our weddings and funerals, everything is exaggerated, mythic, larger than life, and celebrated, and that’s the world of comics. Everything is exaggerated, and I think humans connect to that.
IF YOU GO
From Buddha to Batman: Gotham Chopra and ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes’
Presented by HarperOne
Where: Laszlo Bar, 2526 Mission St., San Francisco
When: 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 15