David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

report from the comic store

Back home from travels, for now. One of my more interesting experiences during the trip was taking an eleven-year-old girl (middle daughter of friends) to a comic book store for the first time. This actually arose through cunning and subterfuge. I love to give books to kids, but this particular kid has been a reluctant reader because of pretty severe learning disabilities. Lately, she's developed a strong interest in STAR WARS, which has been a gateway to STAR WARS kids' books. She loves to draw, though, and this naturally made me think "Comic books!" (I cut my teeth on TINTIN and ASTERIX with a healthy side of BATMAN, which explains more about me than many other formative influences.) But she tends to shy away when encouraged in something, or given it head-on. So I had to be subtle.

HER. "So what are you doing today?"
ME. "Dunno. Thought I'd go to the comic shop later."
HER. "Can I come?"

Well, THAT was easy.

The store was her local one, which -- ARE YOU LISTENING, RETAILERS? -- had a kids' section *right up front.* We walked around the store in general, too, and I showed her various things. This, I cleverly thought, is where I tell her about girl superheroes. She asked which ones I liked, and I said (because I'd had a fannish undertaking in mind involving the characters), "Well, I like Power Girl and Starfire."

"Oh," she said. "What do they look like?"

And I said, "Um."

And shortly thereafter I found myself thumbing through TEEN TITANS trades for a low-key picture of Starfire, thinking, "DEAR GOD WHY DID I NOT SAY 'ORACLE' or 'MANHUNTER?'"

(For the record, a new-to-comics eleven-year-old girl processes Starfire as "the lady with the hair." God bless you, George Perez, for giving Kory more than two one outrageous aspect.)

She decided against any of the DC SHOWCASE volumes, as their size was too intimidating, but picked up a STAR WARS comic and the first issue of SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE.
Tags: comics, life

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