I survived the addiction, I crawled through No Man’s Land and now I have a new outlet to keep the fun alive, but does that now make the books I once held onto and sold off irrelevant? Now, I can with the click of a mouse of the flick of an App, download dozens if not hundreds of comics at a fraction of the cost now in the digital age and I’m only limited by the use of my memory cards and monthly budget kind of makes having a comic collection obsolete. Did I really waste the money and the time for something I could get at a fraction of the cost? The answer is no.
It’s been over thirty years since that fateful day I was told about the first Green Lantern and when you think about it, it does sound like a long time ago. Yet, in a way it feels like it only happened yesterday. Where does three decades go in a such a flash? It makes you wonder if I’m the obsolete one. Comics are a much different entity then they were at the time I picked up my first issue at the corner market. They’ve become a much larger and dare I say it, a lot less innocent than they once were. They say when you’re a kid, time marches slowly and we keep an innocence that in a heartbeat comes to an end and soon time flies by in a flip of the pages of a book.
Am I in a certain case of dare I say it… comic nerd? Which would mean there is a truth to being called a little kid as I explained a few chapters ago. Of course, as I explained then, we all have a nerd factor in our own right. Some of us prefer cartoons, others classic cars, come people can’t pass a spoon in an airport gift shop without getting it for their collection. So, in our own right we have that “freak” factor in all of us so we shouldn’t judge a person who keeps their autographed Ryne Sandberg baseball in a safe hidden under a bed. So, being the fan of something isn’t obsolete. I am much of an adult now with a wife and child to be enjoying something like this.
I don’t think I have felt more in tune with my favorite characters since becoming a husband and father. Many of us look for that special someone and while we don’t always succeed because of chemistry, age or divorce. You have that partner you feel you can console in even if nine times out of ten they just smile and nod their head at you. The fact is you share a life with someone and its real and not a step out of reality with Hawkeye or Savage Dragon. I know you can return to that fantasy world, but know that your better half will be waiting for you when you step back into reality. As I explained in the previous chapter, I now share in that joy of sharing with my son the same awe and wonder I was shown all those years ago with my grand father. I hope my son will do it for his child, or niece, or nephew some day with the same joy. That’s not being obsolete either, if you anything its being a teacher of the old for the next generation.
Then the true question is have the stories and characters all these years have become obsolete? No, they haven’t. No matter how many times you relaunch the characters with a new number one issue or deage the, reboot them from scratch. Kill off or resurrect them, who they are and what they mean are always the same. If it wasn’t for Peter Parker I would never have been able to laugh my way through dark and troubled times.
If it wasn’t for Captain America, I would never have known to stick to my ideals and know what was right and what was wrong. Daredevil taught me that no matter what problems life throws at you, you can find way out of them. Green Lantern taught me to over come great fear and gave me the courage to propose to my wife. Superman made me feel I could always put a smile on my face. Invincible showed me nothing endures, but change and Iron Man showed me it was ok to fall, you can always find a way to get back up and do better.
It’s those values in life shown by fictional characters in a fantasy universe that my made know that my life mattered. No matter, who pushed you down, made fun of you, or made you feel small. They were the villains and you were the hero of your own story and it was up to you to find your own happy ending. Times change, children grow, people come and go like the seasons, but who you are is what matters. Sure we might all want to put on a cape and fly or strike fear into the hearts of evil.
We all have our own books to write and live by and that is the something that remains unchanged. To quote one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite plays I had the honor of being a part of:
“Our dreams are beautiful. Our fates are sad, but generally day by day our lives are pretty funny,”