We’ve all, at one point or another, faced situations in life that seemed massive and near impossible to deal with. In those moments we failed or succeeded because we took a chance to cope the best way we knew how. We leaned on something to keep us going, namely our own unique comfort food.
THE WONDER YEARS
When I was a kid I had my differences from other people. To put into perspective this fanboy was an overweight child with speech issues that spent a lot of his time delving into fantasy worlds even as people made fun of him for it. From television to video games I had my distractions but it wasn’t until the day that I first opened up a comic book that I felt like I found my escape.
There was something about Spider-Man that instantly spoke to me. Maybe it was the fact that Peter Parker was made fun of and ridiculed by the world around him. Or, on a deeper level, even on his worst day he still donned his trademark tights and went into action. He’d save anyone. Friend or foe it didn’t matter to our intrepid wall-crawler.
As I got older I was introduced to animated versions that drew me into other properties such as Batman, Superman, X-Men and Justice League. Each show gave me people that were different but still striving to find their place in the world.
I like that these serialized tales taught me a lot in regards to the type of person I want to be. They even highlight the traits that I want to pass on as a future generation takes over and does their thing.
THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
The personal problems mounted and so did the many comics that helped me deal with them. As most teenagers I went through a lot of issues (and that is what they call a double entendre). Whenever life got tough and I had to face football practice, class, my time in the school orchestra and the pressures of my first job I ran to a corner and read the latest releases. These stapled pieces of paper became exactly what I needed.
My favorite title had to be Witchblade, because when I saw the TNT original movie something about this spunky cop with a kick-ass gauntlet instantly spoke to me. Next to Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Parker: Spider-Man it was the only other one I bought monthly. I had no subscription so I paid attention to my local shop’s official website and waited for them to appear week in and week out.
When I played on Varsity football, in order to earn my pads I had to run a mile run under a certain limit. I failed. I trained with my dad, shaved down my time but I still didn’t get the job done. Needless to say I was upset, then I got home and grabbed a pile of comics. At this point I did not bag and board, I simply had them at the ready on one of my shelves. I kept reading until I felt better. Titles from CrossGen, Top Cow, Marvel and DC lead the way until I finally started to come out the other side.
And that’s why I’m writing this.
WRAP IT UP
We exist in an age where fandom on face value is largely accepted, but plenty of it isn’t. Ask any fanboy or fangirl out there and there’s still judgment going around. More than anything I want to offer some simple advice: go out and find what makes you happy. Watch an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, play with your My Little Pony, become engrossed in a comic book movie, journey through a video game or play a round of Dungeons & Dragons. Be yourself: go find your niche!
And don’t listen to what others say about it!
Case and point: Comic Books are my Comfort Food!