Many of you know that I have been a voracious reader since I was three and a half, and while I’ve always loved books, what I really loved as a child was when I got my hands on the comic books. Some of my favorite, most simple of memories, are of rainy days spent reading comic after comic.
My dad had many boxes of comic books from the ’50s to the ’70s. And before you get too excited, a) my dad was not a comic collector, he was a packrat comic reader; many of the covers were ripped off, and very few of the comics were in decent shape; and b) my mom accidentally sold most of them at Yard/Book Sale ’88.
My rankings of Dad’s comic collection were as follows:
Dad’s collection had a heavy emphasis on Archies. Good for me, because I’ve always been, and to this day am, most drawn to “real people.” And relationships, of course.
Prime Archie choice reading was anything featuring the main characters. My personal favorite was and is Betty and Veronica. Of course. Worst off the top of my head (Robb, help me out!) was Laugh, followed by its Cousin Oliver, Pep. I’d read a prime-to-bad Archie five times, but at a certain point, I’d grow weary of Archie’s being such a moron and just wanted to shake Betty and tell her she could do much better. I was always a bit of a Betty/Reggie ‘shipper. Reggie was a total dick, but still deserved better than worthless Veronica. And guys like Archie give nice guys everywhere a bad name. More on that another time. So anyway, during these bitter times, I resorted to the redheaded (so to speak) stepchildren of the Archies. These included Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Richie Rich.
Yes, that’s right. In all my intuitive foresight, Archie was in my mind superior to what would become a successful future show and movie, a successful future television show, and a — well I don’t know if it was successful, but a) had Macauley Culkin, and b) bears the distinction of first movie I ever saw alone in the theater. Strongish to weak examples, true, but all of which pale in the bright light of day to these three words:
“Return to Riverdale.”
Selling Point: “We’ve got Lauren Holly! Only with soccer mom hair! Before her Jim Carrey connection!”
Yeah. Archie is cheesy, for sure. But I guess it makes sense; I’ve pretty much been fighting against the grain from the get-go, and I maintain that the Archie comics ROCK. To this day, I cannot resist a Betty and Veronica Double Digest!
Most Read Considering, WTF?
I have remained true to my love of military throughout life. When I was little, I didn’t reject Barbies, loved them in fact, but sometimes put them aside in order to play with my toy soldiers. Which came first, the Civil War soldier set or the “Major Dad” mentally speaking, who knows. But what I do know is that my interest in war and how it relates to humanity may not exist without Sad Sack. It’s good to read about curvy girls getting permanent waves and falling off diving boards, but it’s equally good to read about skinny soldiers eating “slop” at the Mess Hall. I loved Sad Sack with a strange yet fierce loyalty and found his comics really comforting. When I was five. I don’t know.
Honorable Yet Creepy Mention
And the like. Dude. You know how most people at the coffeehouse will agree in unison that the ’70s had the best horror movies? Well, the movies had NOTHING on the comics. There was some terrifying shit in Eerie. One story that I can still picture to this day was was about this guy who plots with his friend to scam money, and he needs to get buried alive. His friend is all, oh yeah yeah I’ll be by for you after dark, and gives the guy matches and a watch to help him not get freaked out. Something about, at this time, you will be free. So they bury the guy and he’s fine, a little weirded out but fine. And he keeps lighting these matches. And the guy doesn’t show up on time. Lit match. Later time. Over and over. Then…THE LAST MATCH!!! And the guy’s all “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” and this is pretty scary stuff to read when you are five.
And Superboy. And Supergirl. Supergirl generally pissed me off though, leading to a lifelong ambivalence of whether to be her for Halloween. But good old Superman. And I thought Superboy was pretty hot. Seeing as I was a little kid, I guess that makes sense. There were a few other non-Superman hero comics here and there, but mainly it was all about the Superman.
So why isn’t Superman “my” superhero? Stay tuned!
Tell me about your favorite comics!
© May 23, 2008