Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Graphically and Comically Speaking

Confession: I am a reformed annoying little sister. One of my annoying habits involved sneaking into my brother’s room and get into his stuff. When he wasn’t looking, I crept into his room and stole furtive sneak reads of his comic book collection. He fussed quite loudly whenever he caught me, but I couldn’t resist. What little girl could resist feasting on Disney comics, for those were my brother’s faves. He mainly bought Uncle Scrooge along with those mini-comic books (comics are actually magazines not books, if you think about it).

Uncle Scrooge made sense to me as a kid–I saw through his skinflinty ways and saw a softie. Image: wikipedia

My comic passion ignited I am hooked and remember summer afternoons binging on comic book reads with friends in our backyard. Years pass and my brother graduates and I move on from Disney to Peanuts to Archie and the gang. Flash forward and I’m in college and I’m still reading cartoons, although they are now sophisticated commentary: Doonesbury.
From Doonesbury I easily switched to Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes and Zits. I introduced my own kiddos to the joy of comics, buying the big treasury collections which I read as well. They didn’t bat an eye about their mother reading a Better or for Worse collection with her own bowl of cereal in the morning.

Cereal and comics–best times. Image:

Oh yeah, in high school my research paper was “What’s So Funny About the Comics?” I wrote about the history of the comics from their beginnings clear up to modern-day offerings. I prefer Snoopy over Garfield any day.
This weekend my youngest progeny visited for his monthly Mom Meal. I dragged him along on errands, one of which being the library. Besides picking up a couple of movies we picked up some books. Actually that’s an understatement. We staggered out of the library with mixture of graphic novels (Beowulf rocks), Herge Tin Tins, Marvel Encyclopedias, Batman, Zombie stuff, and DMZ. About twenty books. My son, who is all grown up, living on his own, and is a responsible adult, holed up on the couch the rest of the afternoon and feasted on his found treasures.

Forget surfing the Internet–surf through a comic book instead! Image:

I’m okay with that. I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I was, wouldn’t I? Reading comic books didn’t warp my mind, didn’t ruin my kiddos to read “real” books and I’m quite glad to see them legitimized and sitting on their own shelf in the library.
Anyone else still reading the comics page? I only wish I could manage to do so without feeling so silly to see how Luann is doing these days when I’m in the staff room.

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9 thoughts on “Graphically and Comically Speaking

  1. lol, Pam, I’m thinking I’d still be reading a few of the Sunday comics if I wasn’t sensitive to the ink and paper of the newspaper. There were a few I still enjoyed into adulthood, though I haven’t had the desire to pick up an actual Archie comic (I read them way back, too). Of course, I haven’t been in an area where I’d SEE a copy, but I’m SURE if I was, I’d have to at least check it out πŸ™‚ Now that graphic novels are becoming a big thing, that’s what I’m finding myself more inclined to read as far as that kind of storytelling.

    What it all comes down to, I think, is not caring what other people think. It’s no different than the condescending critics who trash adults reading YA. Read what you enjoy πŸ™‚ Hey, I read picture books ALL the time! It’s one of my favorite things in the world, speaking of which–have you had a chance to read SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE yet? It’s fantastic! And the trailer makes me roll!

    https ://www .youtube.c om/watch?v=uRZU4uXPCLQ

  2. We have both in our house. I do worry sometimes that they will rot his brain, especially Garfield. He can’t really tell me why he likes that comic strip. But I just turned him onto Peanuts, so maybe he’ll ditch the fat cat soon. I can only hope. He also loves TinTin, Asterix and Obelix, and Calvin and Hobbes. We have so many floating around out house that I’m not sure how many he’s reading at once. Sigh.

  3. I love that you wrote about comics for your high school research paper, so clever! I’m also a little sister and used to love reading my brother’s ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books (when he would let me….).

  4. Comics are great, I love reading them. Asterix and Tin Tin were both a lot cleverer than I understood as a child. I like the light heartedness of them, The medium has really taken off in recent years in regards to how authors and artists are pushing the boundaries. I look forward to seeing how it evolves throughout the years as well as retreating to some old skool classics like Dan Dare and Flash Gordon.

  5. For starters, I LOVE your bloghandle… cricketmuse is a brilliant name! Well done.. Secondly, I live in England, so our comics are political or nonexistent. Snore. How I miss the Sunday comics!! I think I have every Far Side and Calvin anthology ever produced… in my middle aged soul lurks the cereal-loving heart of a ten year old… Lovely post! xx Mother Hen

    • Thanks for dropping by. Cricket is a nickname and I do tend to ponder… So sorry your comics aren’t funny. And Brits are known for their humor. Hmmmm

      • I know, right? It is such a puzzle really. There are Beano comics and a horrible black haired Dennis the Menace (completely different from the US version), but none of it is funny, really. πŸ™‚ But when it comes to motoring shows, comic news recaps and quiz shows, we’ve got the market cornered over here… haha! πŸ™‚

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