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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Comic Books

Comic Books

I never thought of myself as a geek, but then again we didn’t have that word in our vocabulary when I was growing up. In 1956 my parents had just separated and were going through a divorce.  My sister and I stayed with our mother and we moved from California to Texas.  All my thoughts were of my parents working out their differences and coming together as a family again.  As I’ve said many times before, this is a subject for another posting.

I needed something to take my mind away from my everyday problems, and it was then that I discovered Comic Books.  Comic books at that time were the equivalent to the game systems of today without the interaction.  However, to be most effective the reader had to have a very active mind.  You see, the comic book storyline was merely the spark that made the mind take over and go beyond the images that were on the pages you were reading. 

I remember vividly that while I looked forward to getting my hands on the next issue, I dreaded finishing the comic because I knew that I would have to wait a whole week before the next issue arrived at the store.  The cost of a comic book in 1956 was 6 cents, I didn’t understand finances back then but I am glad my mother loved me enough to give me a 50 cent allowance per week.  My mother kept busy with two jobs in order to maintain a home in a nice neighborhood where we could be safe while she earned a living.  

Our house was close to school, and about 7 blocks away from a community park where my sister and I regularly went swimming especially during summer vacation from school.   Looking back I can’t get over how much society has changed.  My sister and I could walk anywhere we wanted to without fear of predators, or bullies, but then again neighbors looked after each other.  Our local store where I purchased my comics was a block away from my house, and I would walk there by myself to get my weekly fix.  I had three or four comics that I followed, some were weekly issues and other like Batman was bi-monthly, amongst my favorites; Superman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and the Flash. I remember that at times I arrived so early at the store that all the publications were bundled, and I was often told that I was the stores best customer.

It’s funny that so many years had to pass by before realizing that I was at the front end of something big.  One of my sons became a fan of comics at an early age and he now attends annual conventions.  I used to take my comics with me when I visited my grandmother and would read them to her; we spent many afternoons together sharing comics. 

Today’s cost of a comic book is prohibitive, for many of the young people that need the distraction the most.  I was lucky that I found an outlet for my challenging times that not only was entertaining and often took me to fantasy land, but it also was instrumental in making me an excellent reader.  I don’t know that everyone would agree, but I feel that reading ability is the key to great performance in the classroom.  There is so much more that I can share about the comic books and my early life.  You can expect a future post on Comic Books part 2.  Just a reminder the best is yet to come….

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