I never collected comics when I was a kid. I may have gotten a couple as gifts or my Mom bought some when we went to the drug store, but I never collected them. I remember reading the occasional Mad Magazine, Cracked and I saw the ubiquitous Superman and Batman. I was more interested in watching Batman and Superman on TV, than reading them in comics.
It wasn't until I was in high school and stepped into Fantasy World and met Norm that my eyes were opened to the world of comics and graphic novels. I fell in love with the works of Neil Gaiman - who remains my favorite author to this day. I was never interested in the super hero stories, but some of the remakes that portrayed the heroes as mortal everyday people did interest me.
My wife on the other hand grew up reading comics. She actually learned to read, much to the dismay of her parents, by reading comics. Her favorite comic was, and still is, Archie. I remember my wife purchasing an Archie's Double Digest on one of her visits to Bahrain to renew her Kuwait Visa. When she moved to the States, she brought this book with her.
It was this Archie's comic that that piqued the interest of our daughter. When she was younger, she would look at all the drawings, as she got older and started to read, she would actually read the comic strips within. There were more than a few times when I'd wake her up for school, that I found the book under her pillow. Last summer I bought a comic book for her from the library, which she has read several times.
I've been wanting to take her to a comic book store to experience the full effect of comics. When I discovered that Saturday May 7th was Free Comic Book Day, I decided it was time! I wanted to surprise her, so when we were finished with our errands that day, we went to Spandex City in Charlotte.
As we entered the store, her expression was priceless. She was certainly overwhelmed with all the selections. I let her pick out 2 books. It took her awhile and she chose the latest Pokemon and Bakugan issues.
As I was walking around, I was reminded of my many trips to Fantasy World. Fond memories, of which I have quite a few comic books and graphic novels to show for.
Since that trip, my daughter has been wanting to return to Spandex City. I'm pleased with that. I've talked with the owners and employees there and they have the same love and excitement for Comics that Norm did. I'm sure that they'll help my daughter discover new and interesting comics like Norm did for me.
I'm happy to support my daughter's love for comics just as much as I'm happy to support a locally owned business.