Monday, February 6, 2023

What if I never read comics?

I've always been absolutely obsessed with comic books, right from the start. I was reading them before I could read, and will keep reading them until my eyes fall out. Music can make me feel things I can not find words for, and movies can thrill with spectacle and tear at my soul in equal measure, but comics are my thing. 

It's just the way I've always been. But what if?

It's taken a while, but I've come to that point in my life where I wouldn't do anything over again, because I deeply love where I'm at. And yet, I still can't help wondering how different things would be if I'd never read a comic in my life.

It's not just that horrible smug superiority that I get when I recognise the dopiest fucking characters in the background of the new Marvel nonsense (a feeling I usually keep to myself), I wonder about the big stuff, and all the dumb and obvious life choices of an ordinary person unencumbered by a comic addiction.

Unfortunately, when I think about the comic collection in this way, it's as an anchor, with the physical weight of collecting piles and piles of comics weighing me down.

I came from a working class youth, where every comic was precious, and I straight-up hoarded every one I could get for two decades, before finally breaking the habit. By the time I left home, I had thousands and thousands of comics, and dragged them around all the different places I lived. 

But maybe I would have been more willing to travel freely, to be a wanderer in the world, without this hoarding mentality .Without all those comics, I could have been free.

Maybe. Maybe there would always have been some excuse.

What I do know for sure is that without comic books in my life, I would have missed out on so many wonderful art and stories. I know the industry is a nightmare, Alan, but I've had more joy and wonder in the comic books I've read that in any other medium. Nothing is better than Jaime Hernandez's Locas comics, nothing is as monumental as Judge Dredd.

I read comics on anything and everything, and learn lots of new perspectives, new ways of telling stories, new ways of seeing the world. And I dread the thought that I could live in ignorance of all the greatness it's given me over the decades.

The idea of any change in my personal timeline is obviously horrific now, because now I've got kids that mean more to me than life itself, and no matter what mistakes and wrong turns I've made, I could never live in a world without them.

But if we are going to get all multiverse on it, there might be plenty of mes out there who never read a comic in their life, and were all the happier for it. 

I only hope that they have some kind of passion, some kind of thing to get excited about, because less people getting less passionate about the things they like makes all worlds everywhere a little more grey.

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