I Never Thought I'd Like Comics

There were exactly three incidents of comics in my life until this year.

As any child of the 90's, I lived for the funnies section of the newspaper.  It was even more special for me since my parents didn't take the paper.  The only time I would get to see those gems were when I went to my grandparent's house or they brought the paper over on their Friday night visits.  I never cared all that much for the ones in black and white, but if I was at their house on Sundays, boy was I excited.  And even better was the winter, when their house is heated with a wood stove and the newspapers are kept for kindling.  I could usually find a page or two in the bin with the week's old papers.

I don't remember when exactly they entered into my life, or from where this magical box came, but I remember spending a summer (or was it winter?) reading my dad's old childhood Scrooge McDucks and Woody the Woodpecker books.  It was unlike any story form I had ever seen, and it was equally strange that these characters from TV were so old and existed in these books.  The pages were fragile and I delighted in not only reading them, but organizing they by print date.  I think the box is still under my bed, full of treasures I can't even recall.  The oldest books are probably still on the top.  

These may have appeared earlier in my life too.  My current bedroom in the basement used to be our guest bedroom, and I have faint memories of hanging out down there with my dad reading comic books or at least some books.  I vaguely remember a game, too, where we would press on our eyeballs until we would see The Big Yellow Donut.  Obviously whomever saw The Big Yellow Donut first would win.  I promise my eyes aren't any worse off for this game.

The third time comics entered my life was around 8th grade.  I discovered a graphic novel trilogoy called Persepolis.  It was a memoir of a girl in the Middle East struggling to live life like a normal teenager during a war in a hyper religious country.  I devoured these books, yet returned them to the library without ever thinking I should explore the medium further.

I never grew up liking superheroes.  I still don't love the new movies that come out– don't tell E, but Guardians of the Galaxy was nothing that overly excited me.  I guess I liked the new Batman reboot, and Iron Man 3 was good.  As was the first X-Men.  But other than that, I don't go out of my way to enter this superhero culture that's inevitably linked with comics.  It doesn't pull my attention.  

But last semester I discovered a class called The American Graphic Novel that would count towards my major in American Studies (obviously).  I mentioned this to E, who to my estimation is a rather huge fan of the medium, and he immediately started suggesting books.  Now I've learned to listen to his suggestions, even if they don't fit in with the direction I'll instinctively go.  But what fun is walking down the same familiar path every time you put on music or read a book?  

To make a long story short, I've completely become enamored with the eloquent way graphic novels make their story known.  I've found myself drawn to the graphic novel section of Strand every single time I've stopped in there to use the bathroom.  I've yet to just pick up a book without prompting from E or my syllabus, but there are many I'm anxious to dive into.  

Graphic novels or comics, whichever you prefer, have definitely become a passion of mine.  I love to read them on the subway and watch the little kid next to me steal some very obvious glances at the page.  I love the magic a graphic novel creates, how it drags you into its world without any effort on your part.  

Don't worry, I'll be recommending some soon.


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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