Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Asterix & Memories


All it took was a google search 'Little warrior, french, comic, gaul, viking' and there it was. Sometimes you just don't think about how easy it really would be to find certain childhood loves. Superhero comics were either my first reading materials or so prominent in the top three that I can't remember any others. I know I must have read regular children's books. I remember Noddy and I remember Enid Blyton's Adventure Children's Series; The Famous Five,The Secret Seven.

But Asterix was something else all together. It was historical seeming superheroes; gaels and vikings and romans running around in bright colors having adventures being trumped or triumphing. Asterix the tiny, witty one and Obelix the large strong one, putting towns together, stealing food, fighting the enemy.

I loved them. Absolutely, positively loved them. Wikipedia can explain the series much better than I can. But I think after my current indulgence in Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman and Queen and Country series, I'll borrow a boatload of Asterix and settle down to laugh and until I almost pee myself.

Of course, there's always the possibility that I won't find it all as funny as I did as a child. And that's the problem with looking back and then going to find the thing you're reminiscing on so fondly. People are shorter than in memories, things don't smell as sweet, or taste as good, most of the time. And in terms of comics, DC and Marvel seem to have gone and lost their goddamn minds. I've got a list of possible essay topics and even if all I manage is two paragraphs I will have words to say about 'Civil War'.

But I hope Asterix isn't like that. I've charted how my love of comics led to a love of mythology and myths and legends. I wonder now and hope Asterix had a part to play in how easily I took to the thought of strange customs, stranger gods and very weird people with all sorts of quirks, in fiction and in real life. If you learn that everyone's different early on, and everyone's laughable does that make you more tolerant?

(( And is that what my parents wanted? Or where they just sharing literature. I can't remember or figure out who first gave the books to me to read, my mother or my father? My father was a science fiction fan. His favourite heros were 'The Phantom' and 'The Shadow' and he read Heinlin, Herbert and Asimov. My mother was a francophile. It's easy to say my father, because he's always encouraged my love of reading and my mother was far more concerned with making sure I got my school work done. My memories of my mother don't include her really reading anything. She drew, she danced, she was very active, but I don't remember her reading. Yet at the same time, she's the one who taught me to read. Huh... a puzzle within a memory, wrapped in an enigma, hidden inside the pages of a comic book. ))

No comments: