Fault or feature—I am a "here and now" kind of guy. I rarely reflect on my previoius life experiences, although I am proud of all my accomplishments and have few, if any, regrets. So, feature? I am simply happy with where I am and excited to be a part of what the world is doing around me. I eagerly await new life experiences and innovative technology and social change the way someone in a Friday night line anticipates the opening movie release. Also, I hate 80s music.
But then again, fault. I tend to not revere previous connections, even good friendships. I can often forget or gloss over memories, as they sort of blur together. I have to be reminded of the stories such memories can become, and sometimes get the details wrong. And like that 80s music thing I mention, anything that feels dated to me can be easily dismissable.
So it is somewhat funny that Robot 6, this comic blog, sparked an interest in me to do the same—to “try and remember a slew of Septembers”—but it turned out quite differently. I just wanted to do a bit of commentary on comic books and instead found myself intrigued by the context of my own biography. I had thought Pee Wee Comics in Canoga Park, CA, was just opening when I was buying my first comic books. But the dates say that Pee Wee opened in 1984 and the comics were published in 1986. I suppose the association of the two facts got mushed together, and my discovery of a comic book shop became equated with my experiencing the opening of a comic book shop. Weird.
And I had thought that reading my first comics all happened at about the same time, including my less-than-enthusiastic first readings. After all, my very first comic book I can recall was an X-Men comic featuring the villainy of the sorcerer Kulan Gath. Looking up the cover, it turns out it was issue #190--
And who can forget such a disturbing cover? The withered forms in the foreground, the looming and ominous villain in the background. I was about 10 or 11 at the time, and the image was vivid and searing. The comic, however, was unfortunately incomprehensible; it was in the middle of a three-issue story arc, featuring characters who were transformed into alternate versions of themselves, and had everyone speaking in clipped but profound phrases (a hallmark of the author Chris Claremont.) I actually remember forgoing any comics after that. Who would want to enter a reading experience like that regularly, let alone become a fan of it?
But 1986 was coming soon, and with it, sixth grade and a host of new experiences and changing tastes.