Sunday, October 1, 2017

31 days of nerd heaven #1: The day the Unknown Soldier taught me how to read

Most of the greatest moments of my life don't involve comic books and movies and TV shows, but a lot of them do.

Of course, the best days were the ones where I met my wife, and courted her, and won her fair hand, and all the days since, and all the places we've been, and all the weird shit we've seen together, and all the love we've shared. Nothing compares to that.

But I've also been a total fucking dork my entire life, and there are days I still remember with tremendous fondness, because that was the day I first read some comic that made me think new thoughts about the world, or watched a film that moved me beyond words, or just really fucking enjoyed some piece of pop culture bullshit.

Even though I had a huge crush on Ms Marvel from a very early age, it really starts with the day I realised I could understand every word in an Unknown Soldier comic. I was only five or six, and still already deeply invested in comic books, swapping out a grocery bag full of everything every Tuesday down at the second hand bookshop where my Nana Smith worked.

I was still earning to read - shit, I learned a new word yesterday, so I don't think you ever stop - but I would try to understand every word in all the big boy comics like Sgt Rock and X-Men, not just the easy Whizzer and Chips. And I still remember finishing off the latest issue of the Unknown Soldier while driving to the store one afternoon, and the brilliant realisation that I could follow all the words.

Like a junkie, I'm still chasing that rush of such an intellectual breakthrough. And like a junkie, I've come close a couple of times, while never quite matching the original high.

There is going to be a lot of this kind of trite sentimentality at the Tearoom over the next few weeks, but that's par for the course. I'm on holiday, and I'm all about the trite sentimentality.

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