I wonder sometimes if being such a big comic-book nerd messed me up for life. Have I become the Comic Book Guy, who feels ill at ease in the real world and is obsessed with heroes of ink on bristol board?
Well, when I put it that way, yeah.
It wasn't just comics, though. It was television ("couch potato" is a thing) and it was perhaps seminally "children's books." I read Barrie's Peter Pan when I was really much too young, I think. Maybe I tried in my mind to connect to that constructed childhood of children's books, in a paper world without the difficulties of real life, and didn't seek out adulthood, with its responsibilities, until late. And parts of it scared me, and scare me still.
But super-hero comics, specifically, worry me in their influence on my mind. My love of secrecy ("secret identities") and my tendency not to see my life as a finite pass through the world to be exploited with a plan and schedule, but as something open-ended--those come from Spider-Man and his ilk, a little bit. And to be honest, the latter is true of Archie, and Steve Canyon, and good ol' Charlie Brown.
I have at times become the contrarian comic book fan, wishing that characters aged more (as in, at all) and supporting versions where a "secret identity" is absent or taken less seriously.
But my real life self is still someone who uses online identities disconnected from his real name and face, and tends to let the years slip away without being used as constructively as they should in order to be something great.
Should I, "let comics be comics and real life be real life"?
Perhaps I let something silly become my pretend life, and lost sight of my own life's potential.
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