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Comics Mean Connection

The week of April 29th leading into Free Comic Book Day on May 4th, I’m asking bloggers, podcasters & artists to post something explaining what comics mean to you. (prompt courtesy of Comics Kick Ass Week)

comicskaylaYesterday I shared a bunch of stream-of-conscious memories–memories tied to comics. Tonight I’m going to talk about how comics mean connection for me.

Simply being “into comics” forms a basic connection with more people than I can possibly imagine at any given time or place. It’s an ice-breaker (or follow-up to one, anyway), a common point of interest with far more people than even necessarily the average comic reader.

I can go to a number of different conventions and interact with hundreds (if not thousands) lifeofwalt092of other like-minded individuals of all ages/gender/etc. based simply on the shared enjoyment of comics. And while entirely a topic unto itself, many conventions can hold interest simply by relation to comics, or that other convention topics also hold interest to comic fans.

For better or worse, with a number of my friends where there’s that shared interest, even if we don’t have much else to talk about at a given time, comics–past, present, future, etc.–mean there’s almost always something to talk about.

Comic shops–where I get most of my comics, virtually every Wednesday or so–mean comics connect me to Places; to a “constant.” The local comic shop is a familiar space and a regular space in my life. While a number of other things in life have changed, the comic shop has remained more constant even than where I’ve lived since 1999.

lifeofwaltspecial2010Comics connect me to fictional characters and worlds–to places of the imagination, and beyond my own imagination. Growing up, many comic heroes are not horrible role models or examples to aspire to.

Comics connect me to certain times in my life, and many of my longboxes are like time-capsules…flipping through a box I can remember the semester of college I was in when I got those issues, or the job I was working, or the convention I attended.

Comics given to me as gifts provide the connection to another person the same as any other tangible gift one might give or receive.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things–and far more detail–that I could get into on this, but I’ll stick with scratching the surface for now.

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