Comic books live deep in the nerd psyche. I didn’t really grow up with them. My dad was a big fan back in the 1950’s, but my brother was not, and girls did not do such things, as far as I knew. I did like superheroes, but in the seventies, you could get lots of superheroes without ever opening a comic book. We had Superfriends, Spider-man, and Wonder Woman on TV. We had board games and Underoos and lunch boxes and action figures galore. We even made up our own superheroes.
In high school, I got interested in Asterix when I had to translate it for Latin class. (I know–best teacher EVER!) My family took a trip to England and I found out that Asterix is a thing in Europe, and I was able to collect a few books. Later, I learned about Elf Quest and other books that showed me the world of comic books was bigger than I thought.
Many parents when I was a kid thought that comic books were a waste of time. I suppose some parents think that still. There is some truth in it–generally, they aren’t high art, although sometimes they are–but that doesn’t mean comics are bad. I think it’s important that kids read literature, too, of course, but we all read things just for fun, and there’s nothing wrong with kids doing that. And for an artistic kid like mine, seeing the work done by comic book artists can be an inspiration. Or a career.
We started visiting the local comic book shop a few months ago. It’s become a thing we do sometimes on Sundays. We walk there, sometimes stopping for an ice cream cone on the way, we browse, and then we walk home. Kid buys Adventure Time comics or Star Trek action figures. I buy Simpsons or Buffy books. Husband just seems to enjoy visiting a place that he loved as a child (he was big into comics, and went so far as to subscribe secretly because his parents didn’t want him to read them.)
Part of being a nerd parent is sharing things you love with your kid. And I love it when Kid enjoys my stuff. But another part is just showing her the nerd world in all its glory and letting her explore. Kid might get into comics and she might not. She already enjoys some graphic novels. I don’t know where her love of art will take her. But I know that when she’s spending her allowance at the comic book shop, she’s getting something made by an artist who thought about the symbolism of what he or she made.