Trouble with Comics

On Being Ten

I turned ten in early 1991.

I would have been in Grade 5 at that time.  I remember our initial classes that year being interrupted by studying some of the history of the Middle East, but I also remember reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, working on Greek mythology, something about Bloom’s taxonomy, and my teacher telling a story about hiking along the Bruce Trail, coming across an abandoned car, going into a trap door, and refusing to tell us the rest of the story until the end of the semester.  Some random facts about the year:  1991 started on a Tuesday; my birthday was on a Wednesday; the Gulf War broke out, changing the face of news coverage of such events, amongst other things; the Soviet Union collapsed; Gene Roddenberry passed away in October; Jeffrey Dahmer was apprehended; the first free elections were held in Poland; the Super Nintendo was released; South Africa repealed the Population Registration Act; the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, and; X-Men #1 was released.

To me, it’s kind of frightening that people who were born that year are now legally allowed to both vote and drink in Canada, but I guess that’s the price of getting older.  I suppose also, the sight of seeing teens wearing Nirvana shirts born after Kurt was dead is kind of akin to my generation wearing shirts of The Doors.  Gradual cultural shift, some uneasiness in regards to it, and a wondering about whether or not you’re still relevant.  As I prepare for my own third decade, I may be particularly steeped in this than most people; getting ready for my own Logan’s run, as it were.

As much as I can remember, ten is an interesting age.  It’s the first time that you hit double digits, yet you’re still essentially a child, more independent than you were before, but by no means mature enough to look after yourself (I’d argue that there are many within their twenties that still can’t).  You’re starting to form an identity more independent from your parents, but still highly influenced by your friends, and you still often play with “childish” things.

A decade.

That’s what’s gone by since the initial launch of this website.  Many good people, many strange people, many intelligent people, many funny people, have come and gone, written good things, written bad things, under its banner.  A few of us remain, possibly because we’ve just got nothing better to do, possibly just because it’s something we believe in and can’t stop doing.  You take your pick.

In September of 2000, I was starting my second year of university.  19, with my whole life ahead of me.  Some would say, more impetuous, brighter, maybe a little crazier (I would debate that, I’ve just refined my insanity).  It has been an interesting ten years to say the least, at some points I’m actually kind of surprised that I survived through it.

Comics have changed quite a bit since I started doing this, something I’m going to go on about more at a later date, but it has been interesting, satisfying, and I’ve felt quite privileged to be able to comment and critique on the art form over this time.  Proud to have been one amongst many shining lights.

In that time, I’ve gone through many personal changes, I’ll not recount them for fear of boring you, but it’s interesting to see some of the contributions that I’ve made past, starting with eddy currents and i bent my wookie…  Part of me misses being able to do that every week, but life gets in the way, and I also don’t think my wallet could handle the strain.  I still don’t know what I was thinking when I started doing d.’s daily diatribe, I was always jumping into one ambitious project (like the entire Made in Canada era where I was trying to produce enough content for an entire site by myself), or another hare-brained idea every other day.  Masochism, maybe?

I want to thank Chris Allen, Chris Ryall, Rob Vollmar, Jason Marcy, Marshall O’Keefe, Loren Di Iorio, Nick Capetillo, Ken Cuperus, Paul Weissburg, Logan Polk, Ed Douglas, Tom Beland, and countless other that I’m probably forgetting (not intentionally, it’s just that when you get old these things happen), for encouraging me with your own work for the site and not turning on a fledgling, foolish writer like a pack of dogs.  (Also I should note, I’m also thankful to all of you at the right, who I’m currently writing alongside.) 

Above all, I’d like to thank Alan for setting the entire thing in motion, for giving a chance to some idiot who used to post reviews on usenet, and for putting up with a lot of my mad ideas.  It’s a testament to Alan that out of all of the comics sites, Comic Book Galaxy is STILL here.

It’s 3:33 in the morning.

The skies outside have grown dark.  After weeks of nothing but sun and hot weather, clouds have finally started rolling in, the temperature has dropped and it is about to rain.  I’m pummelling my eardrums with Muse and Head Control System, trying to find a rhythm.  I’m thinking of old ones and elder gods, having just read the first issue of Alan Moore’s Neonomicon.  A romance writ large against the heavens.

A sense of wonder.

That’s what I miss.  That’s what I think everyone has forgotten.  They get caught up in the mundanity of every day life, that they forgot that sense of awe they once had at fabulous stories.  I’ve always been a firm believer that some of the most important, most profound revelations that we’re ever going have can only be presented in the form of fiction, but it’s hard when many of the works are presented simply as male power fantasies.  The greatest stories can be enjoyed purely on a surface level, but have something deeper that you can sink your teeth into, find meaning in, and worlds that you can go back to again and again.

It’s 2010.

29 now, I’ve gone through a lot over the past decade.  Moved house and home from the centre of the country to close to it’s furthest reaches west.  I’ve seen good things, done worse, dropped off the grid for awhile, tried to start a new family, failed, and came back again.  “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger.”  This year has seen the Winter Olympics come to Vancouver, my home, as the entire world descended upon my city; the year started on a Friday; my birthday was on a Saturday; Spain took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union from Sweden; scientists have created a functional synthetic genome; heavy monsoons have caused massive flooding across Pakistan; a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti; Ihsahn released his third solo album; Kate McGarrigle, JD Salinger, Harvey Pekar, Frank Frazetta, Ronnie James Dio and Dennis Hopper have all passed away, and; X-Men #1 was released.

It seems as though the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Oh, and goatboy says hello.

Be seeing you.

d. emerson eddy