I’m just a 47-year-old woman who discovered comic books and her inner geek.
What’s a 47-year-old woman doing blogging about comics? A lot of people my age are facing a mid-life crisis; some of the men buy sports cars and woo younger women and some of the women go shopping and have face lifts. Not me. I turned to comic books: I’m in a comic book crisis.
It all started when Ian Clark, one of the reporters at the newspaper where I work, started writing a column that was to be about pop culture, but is actually a weekly report on all sorts of geekery. Some of it sounded kind of interesting. First he got me watching “Battlestar Galactica,” then he lent me the graphic novel “Watchmen.”
Things accelerated from there. First I thought I’d just take a peek at “Blackest Night,” after Ian wrote a column about it. Next thing I knew, I had all six issues (number 7 is due out this month and don’t think I don’t have Feb. 24 circled on my calendar.)
Somewhere in there I found out about the lantern rings that you got for free when you bought certain comics in the “Blackest Night” series. I became obsessed with collecting all eight of the lantern rings. I did it (OK, credit to Ian, who helped). Here they are:
Aren’t they yummy? If you want, you can wear a different one for every day of the week (with one left over – probably the back one, since if you’re wearing that, it means you’re the undead) and I gotta say, they’re way cooler than those day-of-the-week panties I had as a kid.
Each one, of course, has a different power: Red = rage; orange = avarice; yellow = fear; blue = hope; indigo = compassion; violet = love; green = willpower; and black , as I’ve already said, is worn by the undead.
I’m quite sure if you wear all of them at once, you will burst into flames.
Things progressed from there. I knew I was in trouble when, not only did I actually go to my local comic book store and order a comic (‘Stumptown’ – if you haven’t read it, you should), but when I came back two weeks later, I didn’t even have to say anything when I went to the counter to pick it up. They guy just handed it to me.
I was a regular.
“You might as well,” he said as he eyed the pile of envelopes stuffed with comic books that had arrived in the mail that week. He was just kidding, of course.
At least I like to think he was.
Fortunately, I have a partner in crime, as it were: My 16-year-old son Geoff has embraced the whole thing quite enthusiastically and accompanies me on my regular forays to the comic store. At first, we were a little nervous about going in, having never actually gone inside such an establishment. We must have been quite a sight that first time: It was like we were entering a crack house to make a buy (ah, there’s that drug analogy again.) “You go first,” “No, YOU go first,” we said to each other, standing on the sidewalk outside the store (Double Midnight Comics – if you’re ever in Manchester, NH, check them out.)
I think we both went in at the same time.
It was like in “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy lands in Oz and the movie goes from black and white to color suddenly. A whole world had opened up before us and it was full of comics. The best part was, the guys at the store didn’t snigger when a 47-year-old woman asked about a particular comic. They acted as if 47-year-old women came in to buy comics for themselves all of the time. Perhaps they do.
But I’ve never seen any of them there.
So that’s my story. This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long and interesting expedition into the world of comic books, which I will chronicle here. I am certainly not expert on the subject – I’m just starting to dig in – so my observations will be flush with the joy of discovery.
Hopefully, a few people will come along for the trip.