I’ve been thinking about comic books these past few days. I know, I know, it’s what I do for a living, so I’m always thinking about comics—but I’m thinking specifically of the incredible impact they’ve had on my life.
As a kid, comics (and I include the comic strips that were my introduction to the form; reading the New York Daily News comics section every Sunday was a Weekly Event of Major Magnitude) entertained me, nurtured me, provided an escape from family dysfunction, exploded my imagination, inspired my creative self, and helped transform me into a voracious reader. For that alone, the gods of comics deserve my eternal gratitude.
The icing on the cake is that, as an adult, they’ve provided me with a still-flourishing career, introduced me to an extraordinary group of friends, fans, and collaborators, opened doors into creative opportunities in television, film, and
prose—and so much more.
Not bad for a form of entertainment that, for a good part of my life, was looked down upon with mockery and disdain by many, if not most, adults. Of course, comics have gone on to completely conquer the worlds of film, television, and video games, absolutely dominating our pop culture consciousness; but, for me, it all comes back to a kid sprawled out on the living room floor in his Brooklyn apartment—eyes wide, mouth agape—so entranced by those colorful pages that, like Alice down the rabbit hole, he fell headlong into other worlds and dimensions that quite literally transformed his life.
So I raise a glass and give thanks to Dondi and Dick Tracy…Casper and Hot Stuff… Superman and Batman…Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury, and Sad Sack…Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and, well, the entire population of the Comic Book Cosmos.
What a wonderful place to live.
©copyright 2023 J.M. DeMatteis