Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bringing young kids into comic books

It was cold and wet outside, sitting in my truck I look over at Cj, my oldest son, he looks excited, yet very curious. I myself am nervous, I haven't stepped into this place in over ten years.

Cj shifts in his seat with anticipation, asking me a second time if we are going to go inside. Leaning over I explain to him the rules for going in. How to handle the merchandise, to be quite and try to point to what he wants to look at. I try to explain that the items in this shop are not just colorful stories but so much more to some people.

He nods his head silently glancing from me to the store fingering the button on the only thing left holding in him his seat. Grinning proudly I tell him to hop out and we walk up to the store...

Yeah it seems silly now but have you ever gone back to a familiar haunt? Some place that you loved and cherished for years, enjoying the feeling of the space, the familiar sounds, and the smells? That first step after years of absence that first taste of the excitement, the familiar scents assaulting your nose drudging long lost memories, once forgotten.

I found that old haunt, that one place that I have driven by so many times over the course of ten years, but refused to visit. The one place that I walked away from attempting to grow out of my childish desires. Your going to laugh at the place I mention. Your going to laugh and point, and say "How silly is he?" "How is this blogger going to write, as if, he is comparing this place to finding his long lost love?"

Then something will happen, you will stop laughing, your thoughts will shift, and you will find that one place as well, that one memory, that one thing that you have longed for secretly but set aside believing it to be childish. At that moment you might understand how I felt stepping back into that place.

So why now? Why after all these years did I decide to start anew? Well the short answer, for my son, I want to show him the joy that I got from them the stories, the adventures, the magic that can be found in their pages. Ahh so I have given you a hint. Yes pages, heroes of all shapes and sizes, adventures both long and short. Evil villains, nasty creatures, and horrible events so amazing they could only be found in those pages.

Ahh now you see, the classic media, found in the Sunday newspaper and even the most prestigious of magazines, the New Yorker. The comic, specifically I am talking about the comic book. I was a comic book geek back in my youth. HA, my youth?! I was Marvel fan and proud of it, following the heroics of Spider-Man, the X-Men and my favorite gritty character...The Punisher. I spent many Saturday afternoons sitting in my room turning the pages and following my favorite characters through their amazing adventures.

Then I got a bit older, and I would say a lot dumber. I stopped collecting them. I thought they were childish, something I was almost ashamed I was collecting. Also I have found other avenues to spend my money, video games, table top gaming... women...

With recent movie releases, cartoons and toys, my son has taken an interest in the comic book heroes of the past, but they are so much different then I remember. The new Iron Man is a child, in the Iron Man suit?? Not the drunk, womanizing, crazy inventor that I remember from the books.

Ok I have to say it! Yeah I watch the show when it is on..and I love the opening theme song!

Then you have movies like Spider-Man and Batman, movies that have grabbed his sense of adventure and wonder. I would like him to see the characters in their original medium. To follow them as they embark on adventures, not over 12 episodes on the TV, crammed in between ads for whatever hot toy he will ask for next.

No! I want him to at least experience how amazing the written word combined with a simple image can bring a character to life. To teach a quiet lesson of great power and the responsibility it holds. How team work can win the day, and the breaking down of the "fourth wall" between reader and character.

We scrambled home with our precious cargo, I allowed him to pick out two comic books, anyone he wanted. He choose Star Wars: Clone Wars, modeled after the cartoon show, and an Iron Man. I being so unsure of where to start, I grabbed two comic book magazines that give some insight into what has been happening in my self induced absence. I want to do a wee bit of research before I go diving back in.

Pericouos Cargo

Funny thing, in the last week I have wrestled with numerous urges, different geeky desires begging me tp make a comeback. Maybe it is time to indulge some of those desires, or maybe I just getting to old...

Anyone else indulging a long lost geeky desire or hobby?