As I sat at home the other night, chatting with Carly (the girlfriend, for any future reference in this series) while putting together a pile of comics for a friend and his children, I felt pretty pleased with myself - This was a solid collection of stuff for his kids, plus some stuff he really SHOULD have read by now….and then it hit me:
Have I become what I swore I would never be?
Am I a comic book elitist douche?!?!?
My mind raced as Carly rambled on in the background about how pretty the cats look at night (Seriously woman? They are BLACK CATS for God’s sake!). No, I thought, I can’t be that guy...can I? Was I being condescending to my friend for having not read certain books? The man has a successful career, beautiful wife and kids, and is always working on his house or someone else’s. Why SHOULD he have read Civil War and all the tie in issues? When SHOULD he have read Sandman or Hellboy or Scott Snyder’s recent work on Batman? The simple answer is that there is no logical reason my friend SHOULD have read these books other than, in my twisted and elitist world view, that these books are more important than other things in his life.
Carly had switched to telling me about why I shouldn’t like...something, but I was barely half-listening at thsat point; That may come back to haunt me later. More importantly, my mind searched feverishly for a way to justify my previous thoughts. I meant nothing by it: those books are just great to me, and I think people SHOULD read them to enjoy them, and be happy or learn something. People SHOULD see the art and the attention to detail and the long-term story-planning genius of great comic books. So in thinking my friend SHOULD have read these stories, I am simply being his friend and wanting him to be happy and enjoy these books like I did! I’m no douche, I am a HERO, dammit! YEAH ME!
Carly was saying words that were usually associated with being hungry, which was cool because all this thinking has worked up an appetite. So which is it gonna be there, inner judgement? Am I the elitist douche, looking down on my friend from on high because he SHOULD have read Gail Simone’s Secret Six run? Or am I the valiant friend, providing him with Luther Strode because he SHOULD enjoy that excellent story coupled with the unbelievable art? At the end of the day, isn’t it a little bit of both for all of us? Equal parts desire to have a shared experience of story, and wanting your friend to know you read this cool thing before they did and yeah, that makes you pretty fuggin cool. The reasoning really doesn’t matter as long as more people end up reading comic books and sharing those comic books with friends and kids! We’re all just people helping peopl...
I turn and look at my confused girlfriend.
“The pizza I ordered us for dinner is here.”
And that’s how I ended up paying for dinner.