Sunday, March 20, 2016

365 True Things: 357/Comics

Somehow, I missed the comic book craze when I was growing up. Very occasionally I'd walk the six blocks to the Brentwood Country Mart's news stand and buy an Archie comic book—which, I am half amused, half horrified to see, are still being published, under various series titles, including "New Riverdale," "Archie Action" (Archie action? seriously?), and "Archie Horror" (horror???? this does horrify me)—but I never even knew about the DC and Marvel Comic series.

That is, of course I knew about Superman and Batman, for example: they were TV shows. But I didn't know they started out life as comic book characters. And only recently have I learned how very many comic book superheroes there in fact were. It's mind-boggling!

Comics came up the other day when my howler buddies and I decided to read the first volume in Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels together—and discuss. And it got us to reminiscing a bit about what we read as kids. Archie was all I could come up with.

Though I'd argue that MAD magazine counts in a certain sort of way as comics. Certainly "Spy vs. Spy" was a comic. But more appropriately, MAD was a humor magazine. Even my father liked MAD. He often jokingly parroted the magazine's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman: "What, me worry?"

More recently, I was a huge fan of the newspaper comic strips Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side, both sorely missed. Though of course I have a few of the compilation books of each. (Currently packed away in boxes. I really need to finish going through the garage, if for no other reason than to be able to spend a few odd moments now and then visiting with my old pals.)

For now, though, I'm looking forward to the visual, intellectual, and storytelling pleasure and challenge of reading Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes. What little Gaiman I've read, I've greatly enjoyed. And with this excursion, I'll finally have my own personal entree into DC Comics. Better late than never.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't read comics, either, growing up, so this endeavor is going to be interesting. I'm curious to see how much emotional depth these kinds of books can achieve.