A Well Read Child.

Being an English Major I can safely say that I enjoy reading almost about anything and I am pretty well-read in the classics.  For most of my courses I had to read a lot of stories: short, long, prose, and many books that I probably would have never known about.  One semester I took a Young Adult Literature course and I had to read about 30 books for the semester, which seems like a lot, but those books were pretty short and quick reads.  Nowadays, I still try to find time to sit down and read something, but I’m mostly reading a lot of children’s books to my little girl.

I read to her almost every day because I want her to also have a love for books.  I try to find a half hour to sit with her and read her board books and just watch as her eyes scan the pictures.  It’s fun just sitting there and hearing her make noises as if she’s trying to read along.  At times she touches all the objects on the pages and looks up at me with this look of fascination that just touches me.  I love that she gets excited when I grab a book for her and I want her to continue that, but I’m afraid that as she gets older things are not going to be that way.  I say this because with everything that she is going to be exposed to she will have a tough decision to make when she gets older: Marvel or DC.

That’s right, who is she going to pledge her allegiance to?  Which comic character is going to be her favorite?  Will she have an appreciation for the art form like I do?  Yeah, I know these questions sound a little geeky, but I’m a Fandad and I want my little girl to share in my interest.  I already exposed her to the comic scene and since she is still too young I don’t know what was going through her mind, but she did go crazy when she saw Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba.  That experience wasn’t that bad and I think she had fun the next day when her mother came along.  Let’s see how she does when Wizard World rolls around in August.

Now I have always been a fan of comic books since I could remember.  When I was younger, my babysitter always gave me a stack of comics to take home and I would just look through them like water.  I was still learning to read, so I mainly skimmed the pages by looking at the pictures.  A lot of the books were Marvel and DC, but there were a few EC comics in there that would scare the crap out of me.  I mean I’m a five/six-year-old looking through Tales from the Crypt, like that wouldn’t scare you at that age?  Out of all those comics, that I wish I still had, I remember the Spider-Man ones the most.  I think it was the art that really drew me in and I would get the gist of the stories from that.  As I got older I kept buying and reading comics and couldn’t wait for Thursday every week.

There were a group of comic book stores that I would hit all the time: Variety on Western, Titan Comics on Milwaukee, Comic Kingdom on Irving Park, Windy City Comics on Addison, a couple of the Moondogs stores, and Chicago Comics on Clark.  Most of these stores are no longer around and I tend to just hit one or two stores, mainly Chicago Comics or The Comic Vault on Montrose, when I get the chance or just wait for the conventions to roll around.  I tend to buy a lot of trades now because it’s a lot easier if I can’t make it to the stores on a regular and trades are easier, at least for me, to display on a bookshelf instead of having it stored and bagged in a box. That’s just my opinion.

Now with technology constantly changing I wonder where my daughter will get her comics from.  With Marvel releasing an app for the IPad to download comics, is she going to go to stores to buy her books or will she just download them?  I really want her to enjoy and experience the interactions and friendships that evolve in a comic book store.  It always feels great to talk to someone that is passionately excited about the same titles you like or have a friendly debate about who was the better _______ (fill in the blank.)

When it comes to deciding between the big two it will have to be her decision.   I’m a huge Spider-Man Fanboy(dad), but I also like Batman and Superman, although I never really read much of their comics.  Another of my favorite Marvel characters is The Punisher, who should get a decent movie made of him already because he doesn’t follow any rules and doesn’t have superpowers.  Lately, I’ve been reading some Image stuff and really like what they are doing, but that’s another story.

So, as I start to see it, my daughter’s decision will not only include the big two, but also the many different companies that are out there.  Maybe she will read something entirely different than the stuff I used to read and expose it to me.  Either way, no matter what she chooses, I would like to have something that we both love and can share together until she finds something else and deems going to the comic book store with her dad not cool anymore.  So until that time comes, I’m going to cherish every minute of sitting in her room and re-reading Rainbow Fish for the millionth time.

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