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Match to Flame 32

posted on November 26, 2016

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At one point my good and gentle piano teacher, Mrs. Bemis, became the first to be confronted by my dual affections for music and comics. On the way to a piano lesson with my sister, my dad had stopped to pick up something at the drugstore. As was my habit when an opportunity like this presented itself, I headed straight for the comics spinner rack. In those predrivers license days, this was the only way for me to procure the precious superhero comics that I sought. If I wanted comic books, and boy howdy did I, the price I had to pay was tagging along with my folks on their weekly excursions into Elyria where I could hit the comics racks in the Rexall drugstore, in the Acme supermarket, and on the newsstand at Captain EZ’s Confectionery. If I simply told my parents to pick up some comic books for me, I risked having them bring back a copy of Casper the Friendly Ghost or Little Lulu. No, this was something that required my personal attention. If a haircut was on the agenda, I could also peruse the comics at Looper’s Barbershop. I once (ahem) “liberated” an issue of Strange Adventures from Looper’s that contained a hard-to-find Atomic Knights story. It was an older issue that I had missed on my rounds, and I knew that it would eventually become ruined and ratty from rough handling by other kids who didn’t appreciate its importance. Kids who would (I can barely think this, let alone type it) fold a comic book in half to read it. I’m not kidding. So I kind of took it with me to give it a good home. I looked on this as more of a rescue mission akin to keeping art from the Louvre safe from the Nazis. I don’t mention this incident now out of any sense of guilt, but more out of a sense that the statute of limitations has probably long since expired.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Two