Origin Story.

2 Dec
By Darryl Ayo

According to my calculations, I read my first comic in the summer of 1987. The Sunday newspaper was laying flat on the radiator in the kitchen and my mother stood over my shoulder and read this aloud with voices:

Thanks mom!

I was born in 1981. So for many people my age, I was just about Calvin’s age when Bill Watterson started Calvin and Hobbes in 1986. And like many people my age, I fought back nostalgic sniffles on December 31, 1995 when Calvin and Hobbes took their final sled ride.

I haven’t seen the above strip in years, friends. Today (Thursday, December 1st 2011), I finally discovered which volume  of the black-and-white collections that this particular strip was compiled in and I promptly purchased that book. Whenever possible, I think we all owe it to ourselves to look our origins right in the face. Everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve been striving to do all my life stems from this strip–and moreover, stems from the direct memory of my mother showing me something that she thought was really cool.

A lot of people don’t really understand my need to talk about and discuss comics. Since comics are printed literature, many would prefer to read and absorb the work privately. For me, the discovery of comics was very tied in with the idea of a shared experience and even performance (since my mother loves to read things dramatically). Comics, at their best, are an integrated part of a wider cultural experience; no different from films or novels or music.

For me, comics have always been a something one shares–as well as part of a larger tapestry of daily experiences. Now…how about them Yankees?


3 Responses to “Origin Story.”

  1. Jacqueline Brathwaite December 2, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    As the mom, I am tearful at this moment. As a retired teacher and librarian, I am happy to say that the, “Read Aloud” has always been part of the purposeful practice of engaging readers.
    I’ve used comic strips with my early and emergent readers throughout my 32+ years in the profession. Who better to practice on but a captive audience member– Darryl.

  2. madinkbeard December 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I think my comics origins say more about what I work against in my own comics… I’ve got a copy on my hard drive of the first comic I ever bought in anticipation of a “nostalgia” post, but the comic is so bad I’m not sure I can bear to discuss it.

  3. L December 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I’m afraid to say that my first comic was JTHM, but I quickly moved onto better things… like Watterson.

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