When I was a child, I saved all my money to buy comic books! Not just any comic books but the ones called Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Junior. The former were condensed, comic book versions of some of the greatest books ever written, and the latter were the greatest of fairy tales. At one time, I owned them all and I am so fortunate that one of my sons, a serious comic book collector, has preserved those of these treasures that survived my growing up and many household moves over the years. I credit these comic books for my love of books today. I was only about 5 years old when I began collecting the fairy tales—some well-known—and others just as wonderful but lesser known like The Penny Prince, The Wild Swans and Silly Hans. When I was in grade school, I moved up to the Classics. Can you imagine a second grader reading The Last of the Mohicans? In comic book form they were readable for a young child and I loved them. I later made it a goal to read the entire book version of each of these classics.
We all know the benefits of reading books—especially when starting at a young age. However, sometimes we get stuck on the style and form. Many people began their love of stories by reading comic books and graphic novels, once an inexpensive way to read a story and capture the often limited attention span of younger readers.
I still cherish my “comic” books; they bring back amazing memories of falling into a fantasy world full of adventure and imagination. One of our indieBRAG readers whose post you can read (An interview with Jack Graham) reminded me of these great comic book stories and sent me off to read many of them again. My grandchildren will soon be arriving for the holidays and I will share some of these stories with them—no touching however— to do that they will have to save up and get their own!
Don’t underestimate the value of books (and comics!) for your friends and loved ones, old and young. You may give them hours of escape into worlds unknown!
I hope your Christmas is full of happy memories and moments to visit the adventures and imagination of your childhood.
I still remember reading Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and Robinson Crusoe in Classics Illustrated comics. Some of the panels are still clear in my mind. Bought comics every Saturday with money I made delivering newspapers. Lots of Superman and Batman too!
My boys (grown!) are still comic book fans. Great how such things bring back such memories, isn’t it?