Here’s a letter I’d like to share with you.
As much as I enjoy reading comics I find myself turning to MARK’S REMARKS first. I applaud you for turning the wasted space of letters pages used mostly for hype into a thought provoking, entertaining inside look at comics. With comics coming under fire so much in the press lately I thought a good topic for your column might be “HOW HAVE COMICS IMPROVED YOUR LIFE?”
Have you noticed that any press about comics seems to be negative press? Children corrupted by sex and or violence in comics, comic shop owner arrested for selling comics deemed pornographic, etc. Doesn’t it seem strange that all of this negative press is generated by people who don’t even read comics?
As a counterpoint, I would like to tell you how reading comics for the past 18 years has improved my life. Not only did I improve my reading skills in grade school but I also increased my vocabulary – imagine being the only sixth grader to know the meaning of the word “omnipotent.” (How many times has that word appeared in a THOR comic?) While other kids were becoming couch potatoes watching endless hours of television I would spend endless hours reading about my favorite super heroes. While other kids in high school were spending their spare time experimenting with alcohol and drugs I was busy either reading comics or working part time to raise money to buy more comics.
Now that I am married and my children are starting school, I spend every chance I get reading comics to my children (even though they can’t read yet they enjoy the stories and like to look at the pictures and make up their own stories). I am sure my children will learn as much from reading comics as I have.
All of the above mentioned benefits from reading comics and I haven’t even touched upon the main reason for reading comics – entertainment. The next time someone outs down comics maybe you can come up with your own answers to How have comics improved your life?
Grand Junction, CO
Well put, Charles, and thanks for writing. Okay, folks, I could take my usual route and blather on about how comics profoundly influenced my life, but hey, I’d rather hear from you. If you’ve got any neat insights or anecdotes on the value of comic books, send ‘em to me in care of “Mark’s Remarks” at the address above. I’ll print the best of your answers in a future column.