My Life as a Comic Book Reader Chapter 5: Missed Oppurtunities

As we venture away from the romantic life of comics and head into the other big spectrum of what books did you miss and kicked yourself later for not getting them. These are the books that are talked about so much but you missed the initial bandwagon. Sure you get the trades at a later date or grab the complete collection on Ebay or Amazon, but why them to begin with?

The number one reason is pretty obvious, money! Back in 1994-1999 comics were regularly cheap compared to today’s price but when you are so fed into your love of one type of book of series, you stay with what you know. Now that is being pretty closed minded but when you buy and read what you enjoy how can you imagine you are doing anything wrong? Hindsight is truly 20/20 when you realize you should have dropped those two issues of Spider-man and New Warriors for Batman: The Long Halloween.

Truly the best Batman story in fifteen years. I watched every month as people raved and reviewed the series and I was like: “Oh it can’t be that good.” One year later I got my hands on the trade and I was hooked myself and then kicked myself for not getting the series during its initial run. Here was this fantastic story and while I was reading it in the trade I realized I could have found a new type of entertainment and love for a great story but I decided to go with what I knew.

A few years prior I would have gone with my gut and I would have picked up this story instead of just reading what I knew. It’s a lesson I have needed to relearn time and time again. Sometimes the head does think things through first but you have to sometimes listen to that inner voice and first instinct that tells you without a doubt what is right and what is wrong.

It has nothing to do with an addiction or a crisis of conscience. It’s that above all feeling where you need to listen to your inner voice and to believe in your choice. Sad to say, I didn’t listen to that voice enough during that time. I decided to think things through, which is just as sound of a life’s goal but in a split second decision, where you are taking a test or something similar to it. You need to know when to listen to that voice. Because as life tells you, your first choice is usually the right one.

“Take a chance” they say. Don’t flip the coin like Two-face or look for the right day to come like the Calendar Man. The simplest truth to the matter is usually the right one. Speaking of our favorite former district attorney of Gotham City. The Long Halloween was about the origins of Two-face and the fall of the organized crime families of Gotham and the rise of the “freaks” as it is put in the series.

The story tells of a new serial killer known as Holiday who is killing members of the Falcone Family on a holiday each month. The under all theme of the story is how far would you go to achieve your goals. What sacrifices would you make for the greater good? As the story goes, Harvey Dent becomes so enthralled in stopping Carmine Falcone, it leads to him being a suspect as Holiday and by the end of the story he has lost himself in his vendetta against the crime boss and becomes disfigured and just as bad as those who intended to stop through the law. While the story is extreme in the telling, the moral holds true. How many of us have done the same to hold a job, date someone, fit in with a group of cliche? I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I made those same sacrifices. You’ve read in the last few chapters of being true to myself in reading comics or trying to have a happy life isn’t always shared by others.

So, we hide who were are and what we smile about what we hold as parts of the whole to please someone else. We don’t need to share everyone bad habit with the world and of course we need boundaries between what we enjoy and what we obsess about. As they say, leave your problems at the door. Don’t bring your favorite TV show or book up at a job interview. Don’t bounce your leg up and down in public and now how to restrain yourself and be calm, relaxed and presentable but we don’t live in a society where that’s all you need.

We live in one where others see themselves as a perfect example of how everyone should be. If you don’t fit their style, you’re an outcast and while being you isn’t a crime. People can be very vindictive. As mentioned earlier, just because I read comics, I was considered a little kid but if the CEO of a company would read them, it would be charming. However, if you would bring a puppet with you to do the talking at a meeting with investors they would think you are insane or how you got put in charge in the first place.

What if you explained that you have social interaction problems and the puppet gives you a crutch a way of reading out what you truly want to say because you can’t seem to muster the ability to speak the same way. Then others might view you in a different light and say that you are being both brave and original instead of doing a snap judgment. As it’s put, don’t judge a book by its cover. Then don’t judge someone you don’t truly know or understand. Stay open.

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