My son turns seven at the end of the month so I thought it was about time to introduce him to the time honored tradition known as the comic book shop. He loves to read (takes after me) and he loves superhero movies like The Avengers and Spiderman so it seemed like a foregone conclusion that I should help to facilitate the connection for him. So off we went to The Comic Empire located here in Tulsa. We found a few cheap Marvel ones and a Sonic The Hedgehog and another whose name escapes me at the moment. We were just looking for something to get him started. I got The Walking Dead volume 19 as well as a few Judge Dredd issues from the 80s.
Truthfully I am out of my depth with comics. I read them a lot when I was a kid but that was a long time ago. A really long time ago. In the last five years or so I have gone to the library and read The Walking Dead volumes 1-18 and whatever they have by Kevin Smith. Tulsa County has a really good library system. I'll have to take my time getting back into this because I need to educate myself. Collecting comics isn't really something I'm interested in doing. I only want to acquire stuff that I'll to read multiple times, basically I'll just like I do with books.
I did also have an ulterior motive to going to the comic book store. I've had a story idea running around in my head for a while now and at first I thought of writing it as a movie script but lately I've been entertaining the idea of making it a comic book. Problem is, I don't know any artists that have experience and/or interest in doing something like this. I had a good conversation with the owner of the store and found out from him that while there seems to be a lot of writers in this area there is also a dearth of artists. Still, I think it's a good idea and I'm going to try and see where it can take me. At the very least I can gain some knowledge about the whole process. Maybe the next time I get to go to Peru I can find some artists there because that's where this story will take place.
Afterwards we ended up going to the movie theater to see what was showing. As it turns out Captain America: The Winter Soldier just came out yesterday so we ended up spending way too much money to see it in 3D. I will say however that the seats at the AMC theater were pretty awesome even though we were in the front row. Basically it's rows of recliners attached to each other so it's like watching the movie with the comforts of home (and a lot more people). We had a pretty good time to say the least. Then it was off to get something to eat where my son could play and I could use free wi-fi to write this. All in all it was a pretty good time for a father/son hang out day. Every time we have one I try to do something different, the last time was laser tag and with summer coming I foresee more outdoor types of things.
However I also get the idea that going to the comic book store will be something that we'll be sharing fairly regularly. Some of my fondest memories from childhood were walking from the 9th street projects in Ironton, Ohio to the downtown bookstore where I could buy and trade comics. It was a more innocent (some might say ignorant) period in my life. Those days can never come back but I can take every opportunity to make this time in my sons life as good as it can get. Making these trips to the hallowed ground of the local comic book store is one of the best ways to do that that I can think of. Who knows, maybe later in the summer I'll also actually be able to make the pilgrimage to Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank, NJ. A boy can dream can't he?
Written and Published by Don Leach.
May not be used without permission from the author.