Growing up, reading was forced upon me. My parents were those fanatics who believed free time equated to book time. However, I was never really fond of books that were too wordy, relatively speaking. As such, I always managed to slip some “books” filled with appreciable amount of pictures. Perhaps the first comic book series I recall picking up as a child was Calvin & Hobbes. There’s just something about a tiger and a kid doing something hilarious on the front cover of every volume that always grabs my attention. Furthermore, not only were the stories hilarious and witty, but they were also easy for my eyes to digest. The tiger talks too! Sadly, Calvin & Hobbes is the only comic book series I remember reading.
While Y: The Last Man created a feeling of nostalgia for me, it also deepened my appreciation for the realm of comics. In terms of reminiscence, this year was the first time I’ve picked up a comic book since elementary school. The comic book feel sure did bring back a lot of childhood memories, good times filled with lots of smiles and laughter. In terms of appreciation, I feel that Y: The Last Man provokes the imagination and creativity of the mind. To say the least, this comic book was cerebral. For instance, the fall of a traditionally patriarchal America has never really crossed my mind, but the ramifications of this hypothetical event bring about a deeper appreciation for both male and female gender roles. Perhaps the biggest messages that hit home were the power of working together and the resilience of man.
One day, I would like to read A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, the award-winning comic book cartoonist Josh Neufeld. Specifically, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge follows the story of five real-life New Orleans residents during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Neufeld’s comic book is fascinating not only because it parallels with Hurricane Katrina, but also because it adopts a comic-reporter artistic style in telling history. This book is especially appealing because it connects the complex perspective of the human experience psychologically, socially, and visually. For more information, check out this dedicated website by Smith Magazine.
Overall, my prior comic book experiences were all very pleasant. I have more appreciation for comic books because although picturesque, this medium also visually amplifies social and cultural issues, relevant to all humanity. Though I haven’t touched a comic book in ages, I intend to pick it back up again as a hobby. Perhaps I should reread the Calvin & Hobbes as well!