By | Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Leave a Comment
Today is, of course, October 31 -- when most of the United States celebrates Halloween in some form. Children dress up in costumes and go knocking on neighbor's doors looking for handouts. Adults dress up in costumes and go to parties where they drink too much and act obnoxious. The opiate of the masses that is television is filled with old movies starring Boris Karloff and re-runs of Peanuts specials we've seen every year since 1966.

I've never been terribly keen on Halloween, as you might've guessed. As a kid, the free candy (and, more importantly, the parental waiver to eat it in excess) was enjoyable, but that's long since fallen by the wayside. A fair portion of my childhood was spent pretending I was a cowboy or Batman or a ninja or whatever already, so the Halloween tradition of dressing up and playing make-believe didn't hold that much additional allure.

Not to mention that my costumes always were left wanting. They were almost always kit-bashed with things we had around the house, and required more than a fair amount of imagination to complete. Something which became plainly evident as soon as I started knocking on doors and received a "Now who are you supposed to be" greeting.

Then, as I got older, the candy lost it's allure since I became in charge of my own life and could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. And dressing up in costume has taken a new air -- it's more accepted, but only if you spend more money to put together an almost Hollywood-style get-up. I can't bring myself to justify dropping $75 to get a costume for one night.

Also, my "responsibility" for Halloween has changed from being the child asking for treats to the adult handing them out. On the whole, I have a lot of difficulty relating to or understanding children. Consequently, I don't really like them. I'd just as soon never deal with them -- I'll wait until they're at least in their late teens so I can hold a somewhat reasonable conversation with them.

That's my preface to Halloween. It's not a holiday I tend to get excited about at all -- despite it reportedly being the second-most popular U.S holiday next Christmas. And herein lies my dilemma: it is a PRIME opportunity for attracting kids to comic books.

It makes an absurd amount of sense to me to hand out comic books to trick-or-treaters, rather than candy. There's absolutely no danger of poisoning (intentional or otherwise), it's healthier on the whole, and you can keep the comic indefinitely. It sounds brilliant to me! I make a point to get a good mix of comics that I can give out every year on Halloween, and we're known in the neighborhood almost exclusively by that. (We don't get out and talk to the neighbors much.)

So, starting at 6:00 tonight, I'm going to have to sit near the door, watching some dreadful television program because I can't stand the repeated doorbell interruptions while I'm reading, and hand out comics to kids with an artificial smile on my face. The Wife refuses to hand out comics because she... well, I'm not wholly sure why she refuses to hand them out. She claims that she doesn't know which comics would be appropriate to give to which children, but I think that's a cop-out answer. I suspect she's embarassed or feels awkward handing out something that no one else in the neighborhood does. So if I want to make sure comics get handed out in my neck of the woods tonight, it's got to be me minding the door.

And with that said, um... Happy Halloween.
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