Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"The Hero That Was"

I must have read a whole lot of comic books between the years 1966 and 1970, because I keep running into ones that I remember buying and reading. One of them -- Captain America #110, dated January 1969 (but probably in my possession a month earlier) -- struck such a strong chord with me that I bid for it on eBay when I saw it there. It came in yesterday.

Rereading this comic book was a whole Proust kind of deal for me. Not only did I remember and instantly engage with the plot, much of which was lifted for the recent CAPTAIN AMERICA movie, but I also remembered and relived the feel of the cheap paper, the odor of the newsprint, and (what I certainly did not expect) the content of many of the small-print ads, which I must have perused very closely indeed. I met my eight-year-old self as I turned these pages.

I'm doing a lot of plot work this month for my National Novel Writing Month project, JIHAD COMIX, which may end up incorporating a Captain-America-like dream thread through which the hero (coincidentally, a reformed comic book fanatic like myself) fantasizes about events in his "real" life. So yes, this all counts as research.

The winning eBay bid I placed set me back fifteen bucks. Back in December 1968, I paid twelve cents for this issue. I believe I was living in San Francisco at the time. My dad would have left us by then, and my mom, my brother, my sister, and I would have returned from a brief stay at a commune in New Mexico to live in the City with my Aunt Tina.