Never mind Europe’s schizophrenic opening and slamming of doors to the Serbian refugees or the latest hijinks of Hillary and The Donald.
There is real news circling cyberspace: after 25 years, Berkeley Breathed and his Bloom County have returned.
When I was growing up, my family had a deep fondness for the comics in the newspaper. They were read as faithfully as the editorial section, which some might find surprising, considering my father’s Masters from Princeton and my mother’s graduate degree in English.
I remember trying to decipher the cartoons in my parents’ New Yorker magazine as a child, and my bliss at finding whole volumes of Charles Adams in our library in Arlington, Virginia.
I have fond memories of visiting my Aunt Dottie and Uncle George in Connecticut where we would spend hours on the beach, or drive over to Madison to see Aunt Nell and Uncle Ed and eat cherrystone clams in the summer twilight. But best of all was the giant box of comic books at the top of Aunt Dottie’s attic stairs. My cousins Tommy and Camp had long since grown up and moved away and the box was mine, all mine. I sat up in that hot and musty attic, lost in a Looney Tune world.
When my mother, sister, and I moved to live with my grandparents, I was disappointed at the comic pages in the Tulsa Tribune – meager compared to the princely four pages in the Washington Post. Still, I hit pay dirt when I found my Uncle Sam’s (doctorate, 35 year career as a college English professor) old stash of thick Pogo paperbacks in a forgotten cupboard.
Comics are the most condensed form of escapism, demanding only a few moments of your time. When life feels messy, I still disappear into the alternate world that a novel can provide, but for a quick trip to somewhere else, I recommend a few minutes with the back pages of section C.
I still miss Prince Valiant.
And whatever happened to Brenda Starr?