Too Easy

There wasn’t much to say, honestly. We’d seen tornadoes and tidal waves, we’d seen crashing cars and The Smashing Pumpkins. We’d seen the best thing since sliced bread, and we’d seen the greatest tragedy yet. We’d seen FREE IPODS and HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA. We thought about where it would end. We like zombie films, but we don’t have very high hopes where that’s concerned. Let a boy dream?

We’d heard about wars in the East, and those Japanese beer-vending machines. And we’d also heard of drugs to try, of music to listen to, shows to watch. We’d heard of dirty politicians and asshole news anchors. Crystal Skulls and Charles fucking Darwin. We like the Hubble Space Telescope, but we don’t know where they take astronaut applications. What kinds of references should we be acquiring?

We’d read about all sorts of cool stuff.

And, honestly, with tired eyes and ringing ears, we decided there wasn’t much left to contribute. Towel thrown.


About two months ago i caught my girlfriend doing something surprising.

To Preface:
Danica is among the smartest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and she had never really taken comics that seriously during the course of our relationship. She is a literature person, always trying to get me to borrow Dostoyevsky and Steinbeck books so we can talk about them. I borrow them or buy a copy and get a few chapters in. And then i get bored or lose the book, that's just the kind of person i am.

And every time i do this it becomes more and more probable that i'm the dumb one. I'm the comedic, dim-witted male who the intelligent, nuanced female puts up with on the family sitcom. My passion is tolerated and, past that, not really thought of. I understood why, and trust me: if I weren't at peace with that I would have given up a long time ago.

So it was the one of the hottest days of the summer and my apartment doesn't have air conditioning. It was late in the evening and I knew that Danica had been in my room napping for quite some time.

I usually don't feel the need to knock on my own door, but i did anyway and called out her name. There wasn't an answer, just a mumbled "humph...". I said her name again. She replied.
"you're still here?"
"yeah, come in."
The air in the room was warmer than any of the other stiflingly hot rooms in the apartment. Why hadn't she moved to a cooler place?

Danica was laying on her stomach on my bed, legs bent at the knee and feet crossed in the air, reading a comic book. I can't remember which one, but it was apparent that she'd picked through my shelves/stacks of books to find it.

So a few things went through my head in the next two seconds:
1) I was bracing, ready for the coming judgement for passing up the books she wanted me to read in favor of... this.
2) I wondered what she thought about the fact that i wanted to one day draw picture stories for other people like me.
3) I thought that maybe she taken the day trying to understand and be fair to me, trying to get her head around why anyone over 14 would enjoy and be moved by anything in my collection.
4) I got ready for the moment she would lose respect for me.

I was awaiting and dreading what was about to come: my brilliant girlfriend's judgement of the thing i love.


This was when I noticed that, when i knocked at the door and interrupted her, i'd actually pissed her off. She was involved in the story that was being propped up by my pillow. She liked.

And then, seeing that she was annoyed by my presence, only one thought was glowing in my mind.

"This is the happiest i have been in years."

So as i type this in my chair, she sits on the couch and reads the last few pages of Maus. A week ago she was reading one of my Clowes books. She jumped right into the middle of Sandman and enjoyed it. She recommends Scott Pilgrim to people now. She's read books that i own but haven't even gotten to yet. She's gone off and gotten books about comics for herself that i've never heard of.

Now, I'm not saying that she's a "Comics Person" now, I'm not saying I've somehow saved her or re-structured her passions. She still nags me to read The Brothers Karamazov and I'm still too lazy to do it. Not much has changed.

What i am saying is this: As i look back through the past few years, not only have most people reacted the way i feared Danica would, but i've failed to plant that seed in people. I haven't stirred up an interest, haven't inspired a relationship with comics in anyone. And it felt good to finally do it for someone the first time. And, on top of that, someone for whom i care so deeply.