Wednesday, November 27, 2013
As a kid, I loved rock n' roll and comics with equal abandon. Both were gifts of escape; the comic books came from my older brother, the rock n' roll records were left behind by an American draft-dodger my parents had offered sanctuary. In both cases, I don't remember my first contact; the coloured pages and the black grooves were things I began picking up and exploring long before my permanent memories were formed.
By the earliest and most awkward phase of adolescence, comics and music both dominated my attention; I recall one summer that revolved around my love for both The Doors and The X-Men ("People are strange...").
But girls. As girls went from being bewildering remote creatures, to close but still bewildering creatures comics became a mark of immaturity that I could ill afford to bear. I never stopped reading comics entirely but I poured so much of my obsessive nature into music that there wasn't much left over. When I did visit comic shops, I was often put off by the gimmick-driven garishness of the nineties glut and then again by steroid-and-revenge addled comics of the post-9/11 era.
Things have changed, though. Nowadays, the women who matter to me consider comic books and rock n' roll albums as equally quaint. Rock n' roll, as I love it, is at a low ebb (and I survived the late eighties!) not dead by any means but still short of a few invigorating scenes or sounds. Comics, on the other hand are in a particularly strong phase with Marvel, Image and the always-dependable Fantagraphics putting out a fairly rich array of material. Plus there's the massive trove of material I missed since the eighties ended!
I'm a phase driven man, my obsessions wax and wane, so I think of this as just another of the never-ending shifts in my cultural proclivities. But the comics are back for the long run. So, dear readers, (are there any of you left?) you can expect some comic coverage on here from now till when I pack this blog away. But, worry not the life-ruining power of music will never be neglected here!
Now it's your turn, MRML readers, do you read comics? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section!
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