Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Thoughts

A bit of a later post for today, since Nathaniel did the unthinkable yesterday and posted on a Sunday--which, as we all know, is a National Weekly Blogger Holiday. Ah, but, to Latveria with tradition, I say. On that note, please do make sure to check out Nathaniel's GameCola work this month--it's good, good stuff.

Preamble aside, just a little head's up that I have a bit of a different (editor's note: he means "thoughtful") topic for my post today, so please forgive the sappiness of what I'm about to write. (Don't worry, it's still about comics!)

Being that this past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day, I'm in a very comics-friendly mood. More so than normal, even. And, while FCBD is certainly a part of this "even the fanboys that weigh 300 pounds and dress up like Ms. Marvel aren't so bad" feeling, there's something else, too.

I had an encounter with a fellow comics fan a couple of weeks ago, and we got to talking a bit. He was telling me how he had just recently gotten into comics, and how, in a very direct way, comics had become a huge and important part of his life. This new fan told me that he struggled with some serious personal problems in his very recent past, and as part of his long and difficult climb back from these troubles, his parents started buying him comics.

And he got into them in a big way. And now he has a job and buys comics and trades once a week, and he told me how much of a positive influence this has had on his life.

And this made me feel good--for him, because his life seems to be back on track, and for our little hobby in general. Now, certainly, what I've related is a unique case, and it would be insane (and irresponsible) to think that comics alone helped this fan through a tough time.

But, they helped. And that's something. More than something, I'd say.

And this encounter got me thinking about my own experiences getting into comics, and while I view what I went through as being nowhere near as arduous as what the fan mentioned above had to endure, I think there are some similarities there.

As I've mentioned on this blog in the past, I played baseball in college, and pretty much ever since I was able to walk. By the end of my Junior year of high school, baseball got a bit more serious, because I had several colleges offering me scholarships and suddenly the notion of playing ball for a living crept into my head.

Granted, even before I sustained a career-ending injury in college, the chances of me playing beyond college were slim, other than an outside chance of being a (very) low round pick in the professional draft.

Still, baseball was truly my first love, and to this day I miss playing.

Those feelings have subsided quite a bit since I walked off the field for the last time in 2001, and I can honestly say that I have no regret whatsoever about what transpired. That wasn't necessarily the case eight years ago, mind you. But I'm at a place right now where I feel very comfortable with what happened, and it's not something I think about anymore.

And I know that you're asking at this point, how in the world does this relate to comics? Well, I got into comics in 2003 and I can honestly say that the medium has filled the void left by the abrupt end to my playing days (see, I told you this post would be sappy).

Talking to the new fan, with his life problems (hopefully) in the rear view mirror for good, made me think of all these things. And how happy I am that I found comics. Or, more accurately, that comics found me. Nothing more profound than that.

But, it's certainly enough to make me smile.

*Oh, and now that today's sap-tastic post is done...I just want to reinforce how much I don't like the 300 (or 200, for that matter) pound fanboys dressed as Ms. Marvel.


No comments: