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What I'm Wearing: Jacket: ASOS, Hat: FUNKO CAPS, Shirt: Spider-Man Homecoming Disney Store Collection , Flannel: Chaps, Pants: H&M, Shoes: H&M
"Time To Pretend (a tribute to Spiderman: Homecoming)"
I wanted to write you a letter and dedicate a whole page to my favorite superhero, Spiderman. Today one of my now all time favorite films was released, Spiderman: Homecoming. Spidey and Peter Parker have been a huge part of my childhood, my teens, and my adulthood. When I was 6 years old my dad took me to a comic shop every month in a small town called Benicia, here in the Bay Area. That shop closed years ago, but its effect on my life has stayed with me all this time. Spiderman came into my life when I was such a young boy. I remember reading every issue and dreaming of the day that I would see Spidey and The Avengers team up. I had this comic, Avengers issue 314. Spidey helped the Avengers on a mission in space. After I read it I always pictured a film like that happening one day. I was 6 when the original Spiderman starring Tobey Maguire was released. I was enthralled and mesmerized by that film. I was a kid and in my kid mind I always thought the Avengers would pop up. Then as I got older, I learned that at the time it was impossible. Spidey shows up in my life at such pivotal points. He is an important part of this story, because Peter Parker has a piece of him forever living in my heart. I can't wait to share with you my memories from then to now and breakdown the pieces I am wearing in honor of Spiderman being in my life for the past 16 years.
6, I was 6 years old when the original spiderman was released. I saw it opening day with my godfather and his partner. It was one of my birthday gifts from him. I remember that day perfectly. I get emotional thinking about my upbringing with spiderman because I remember it very clearly. That day was one of the last days as a 6 year old and it was one of the best. That movie, seeing spiderman swing through New York and fighting off the Green Goblin, it expanded my mind to dream more. Seeing on screen what I have been reading on page was everything to me. Peter Parker inspired me to do better and to try harder. His heart and his love for helping people live in me as well. The following week was my 7th birthday and it was Spiderman themed. My gosh, my mom and dad made that such a big party. Over 150 people, tons of food, tons of gifts, a clown, a spiderman jump house, and so many memories I still hold close to my heart today. I am very fortunate and blessed for the things I was able to have and do when I was a child. My parents made sure me, my sister, my uncle, and my cousins (my brothers) who they raised had a childhood worth looking back on. I'm 22 and that day is still so fresh in my mind. In tribute to that day, I am wearing a Midtown school of science and technology shirt from the new Spiderman: Homecoming collection at the Disney Store. I'm pretty sure my mom bought me every spiderman shirt growing up and I continue that trend as an adult. I legit have so many spidey tees and this midtown shirt is the perfect nod to the school that Pete attends in the comics and films. I love the way this shirt fits me. Usually I'm very picky with t-shirts cause I don't want it looking so baggy. As you can see I had a hefty stage as a kid, but didn't we all?... lol. I love the simple design with the school logo and I think Disney Store did the perfect job with their mini collection. I'm sure if I was 7 I would have rocked the shirt then as well. Jump forward 10 years. 17, I was 17 years old when The Amazing Spiderman, the reboot starring Andrew Garfield was released. My grandma had past a year prior and my family had to go to Washington state to attend her life celebration rosary. It is custom for Chamorros (people from guam) to have 1 year anniversaries and celebration of life for people they have lost the year prior. My little cousin who lives in Washington had been begging me to take him to see the new reboot of Spidey. So on opening day July 3, 2012, we went to the only theatre in my grandmas small town and we watched it together. It felt like some sort of full circle thing because he was 10 and I was 17 so it felt like I was in the shoes of my godfather who took me to see the original spiderman 10 years earlier. This was the year I moved to LA. After I saw this film my drive and desire to go out and change the world just grew larger. I had just graduated high school early and released my first album, "Time Is All I Have" and seeing a new Peter Parker saving lives, falling in love, and doing amazing things really inspired me to go live my life. So with the help of Pete's drive, I left the life I knew and moved into my own apartment at 17 years old in Los Angeles, CA. That brings us to the denim jacket. I had this favorite denim jacket I wore all the time in LA. It's LA, denim is like a staple there, lol. When I came back to the Bay Area for work, the jacket got way worn out and I retired it. So it took me awhile to find a good denim jacket that I can adore. I love this jacket from ASOS so much, but it needed a spider touch. So I added on some pins from the Spiderman collection and a patch from the Marvel Collector Corps collection. It gave an already awesome jacket the touch of spiderman that it needed. I love settle details, and these details were awesome for this jacket. Back to the timeline, flash forward 2 years to May 2014. 2014 seems to be the year when my past life blew up in my face. But pieces of that life carried on over to my new life. In 2014 I opened up mrdombaza.com, I released my 2nd record "Let The Music Be Your Guide", I got dropped from the people I was working with on that record, I got a severe cataract in my right eye, and then obviously I was diagnosed with Glaucoma not long after Amazing Spiderman 2 and my 19th birthday. When Amazing Spiderman 2 was released I was still reeling from my first eye surgery. My eye was sort of stable, but it was getting to the point where the Glaucoma would take over the following month in June 2014. Spidey was there to give me some sort of comfort knowing that my world was already changing so drastically. My family took me to a private screening of The Amazing Spiderman 2 to ease my mind and keep me distracted from what was going on in my life. Let The Music Be Your Guide was being released at the end of the month and it was all a little to much for me to be juggling. The shoes, the red shoes from H&M. I purchased those that year. They were for one of my earlier outfits on mrdombaza.com. I never really wore them after that year. I guess when everything came crashing in my life I let it be and didn't want anything to do with it. Peter Parker has to own up and face things he does not want to face sometimes. But in order to save the world and make an impact, you must own up to it's struggles and heartaches. "With great power comes great responsibility". The red shoes are a reminder of that disastrous year. The shoes you wear make a statement because they are apart of your superhero costume you wear walking forward to move on and change the world. Your weakest moments make you stronger, and if anything out of all the lessons Peter Parker has thought me and all of us, it's that right there.
22, I am 22 when Spiderman: Homecoming is being released today July 7th, 2017. It's been 16 years since the original Spiderman was released. I feel like my life goes in circles. It may be new locations sometimes, but one circle completes and then another one begins, just like a story, that's life. In the past 24 hours I have seen Spiderman:Homecoming twice. I saw it last night and was mesmerized and enthralled just like my 6 year old self back in 2001. But that's just my personal experience, my second screening is the one I will always remember. My nephew is 6. He loves everything his Uncle DD loves. I feel right now that my story with spidey has come to another complete circle. I was 6 when I saw the first spiderman, knowing that my nephew is the same age is so special to me. I took him along with my whole family to see it at the same theater I saw the original Spiderman 16 years ago. As the opening Marvel credits began and that iconic spiderman theme played, I looked down and saw that same mesmerization I had when I was 6 and through my dark glasses that shield and protects my Glaucoma, I dried the few tears I shed from my eyes as my story expands in that moment and as a new story began in my boys eyes.
Thank you for going down memory lane with me and celebrating the legacy of my favorite superhero. Somewhere in the timeline of my life a 7 year old Dom Baza is smiling brightly knowing that Spidey and Peter Parker finally made it home where they belong, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Today was one of those "Mr. Blueskies" kind of days. It will forever be a special memory to me.
Happy Release Day, Spiderman: Homecoming. May you inspire kids like my nephews to grow up and become something greater, as you always have inspired me.
Photographer: Dom Baza & Joanna Wheeler
Book 2: Chapter 2