Catching Up

By | Saturday, January 10, 2009 Leave a Comment
When I was first really getting into comic books -- in my early teens -- I was amazed at my dad. He was an avid reader and always kept a book in his car, another in his briefcase, a third on the bedside table, and a stack of at least a dozen or two next to his chair in the family room. That way, he'd always have something readily available to read wherever he happened to be and had some time available. What amazed me, though, was that despite this practice of always having something on hand, he was perpetually behind in his reading.

My responsibilities back then were minimal (largely homework and a few household chores) so I had loads of free time, and it was insanely easy to keep current with the few comics I could afford at the time. So after I read and re-read and re-re-read the latest issue of Fantastic Four a dozen times, I'd start combing through my dad's comics to see if anything was worth reading. Most of what he got was over my head at the time, but I'd pick out a few titles whose basic plot was engrossing enough for me. Even if I lost any social commentary that might have been present, Judge Dredd still kicked some serious butt!

But, from time to time, I'd run across something in one of those issues that I didn't understand. Maybe I could tell there was some sub-text or a political message or something, but just couldn't discern exactly what it meant. So, as they were my father's comics, I naturally went to him to ask about it. Not infrequently, though, the response was...

"I don't know; I haven't read that issue yet."

What? How could he have NOT read it? It's not like it was the latest issue he just bought; it was months, maybe years, old now. If the question I had was about issue #32, and the latest one may have been #35, his response might be...

"Yeah, I'm a bit behind on that series. I think I've only read up through issue 20 or so."

This weekend, I'm trying to play catch up myself. I spent a good chunk of the day on some really good long-form online comics that I was at least months behind on. I'm still almost a year behind on Buck Godot though and, after that, I need to catch up on Purgatory! I finally saw the Status Anxiety documentary I'd been meaning to see since before Thanksgiving (and I've got the same author's Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness series queued up). I'm also working my way through Dr. Who season four, and have got Torchwood season two on standby. I've got Suze Orman's latest book on my PDA, and my MP3 player is loaded with some readings of Jules Verne. Not to mention the Golden Age All Winners Masterworks and Masters of American Comics books that I got for Christmas.

Except tomorrow I'll probably spend most of the day taking down the Christmas tree, then I go back to work, and we've ramped up our band practices in preparation for a gig at the end of the month.

Hmmmm... Dad being behind on his reading doesn't look nearly as unbelievable as it did 20 years ago. When, exactly, did that happen?
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