As a kid growing up in the 70s, I have fond memories of pocketing my weekly allowance (a whole quarter! A fortune in those days), running up to the nearest corner store and picking up a couple of floppies (mostly “Fantastic Four” and “Captain America and the Falcon”), as well as a big bag of candies. Then I would run back home, sit my derriere on the front porch and whittle away the hours by getting caught up in the latest adventures of my favorite superheroes.
Around the age of 10, it was decided (not by me!) that my entire comic book collection should be thrown out to cure me of my incessant nightmares. It didn’t work, but the damage was done. After that sad day, I got interested in other things and my relationship with comics was put on hiatus.
Jump to the summer of ’86. As was my routine most weekends, I would bike to the quaint little town near my home to have breakfast at my favorite dinner and then browse the stores along main street. On one such morning, I chanced upon a rack of comics in a hobby shop of all places. I decided to browse the selection just out of curiosity, and then it caught my eye : the first issue of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I immediately realised that this was a vastly different book than the ones I read as a kid. As I was slowly turning the pages to admire the art work, a strange feeling came over me. It’s as if I was transported back on that front porch. I felt like a kid again.
Needless to say, I have been an avid comic book reader since that fortuitous day, as I could attest to by pointing out the countless short boxes that “litter” our house. But I will always have a special place in my heart for this book which gave me back something very special : that sense of wonder and amazement that kids often take for granted and that adults wish they could recapture.
P.S. : for more Batman goodness, see How the Dark Knight should have ended.