Not too many folk know one of my deepest secrets – it’s time to let the cat out of the bag! So, lest I be accused of harboring a secret life, here is my true confession:
1. I like comics.
2. Specifically, I grew up wild about:
1. Legion of Super-Heroes
4. misc. super pets (and yes, B, there IS a SuperMonkey, SuperHorse, and SuperCat…)
5. Lois Lane
6. Jimmy Olsen
3. I still own a TON of comics (from #s 1-6) – which, yes, from time to time I (secretly) reread.
I just wish the digital camera had come along a few decades earlier: what I wouldn’t give for a photo of my suave-yet- nerdy high school self sauntering down the halls of higher education with a Supergirl comic in one hand and Nietzche’s philosophical tome THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA in the other, backpack humming with Herman Hesse’s Eastern philosophy novel Siddhartha hugging the banned-and-controversial (and thus much-read) black power classic SOUL ON ICE with both incestuously snuggling gently next to the GIANT comics edition of Lois Lane, Superman’s (unheralded) girlfriend.
They taught me that ANYBODY could feel ‘super’. If Clark Kent, ‘mild mannered reporter’, could be ‘super’ in his off hours – so Diane, avowed and proud dweeb and nerd, could likely light a fire under the Bunsen burners of the school lab and cook up a memorable moment right under the nose of the science teacher (who never once suspected that an innocuous ‘independent study’ secret scientific experiment was in actuality an analysis of the changed properties of candy when heated to its overflowing and explosive conclusion.)
(Just blame that one on Home Economics, which never strived for anything more interesting than Popcorn Balls or Cinnamon French Toast…)
Comics taught me to ‘reach for the stars’. ‘Cause you just never know when an alien spaceship containing a Super-being would come crashing into your own back yard .
They taught me that under the mask of ‘nerd’ often lies the heart of a lion with aspirations of ferocity, power, and strength.
They taught me that a girl could be beautiful and super all at once, and could perform random acts of kindness with full anonymity (they didn’t call it ‘random acts’ back in those days – but they were; as Supergirl was required early on to keep her powers a secret…)
They taught me that even a nosy girlfriend who sees the unheralded ‘super’ in her boyfriend can harness powers of her own, independent of romantic associations.
And they taught me that EVERYONE – no matter how super and independent – needs good friends. They even taught me how to BE the kind of friend who keeps secrets, offers anonymous aid in times of need, and cooks up memorable experiences for all – saving the day when times get rough, and knowing the wisdom of when and how to use ones powers.
So YES – I like comics! They helped make me who iyam.