Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Catching Up Is the Only Thing New

Ask me what's news, and it's mostly the same refrain: school, comics, and in the past week, being ill. I'm really looking forward to a new verse.

I recently picked up Adrian
Tomine's Sleepwalk, a collection of stories from his comic Optic Nerve, that Jason once passed on to me. The pathos in the story telling is devastating. One piece about a widow who eats lunch in her driveway, in the car her husband courted her in, made me a little weepy.

Another story, of an ex-hippy dad taking his teen twin daughters to a comics convention as a family trip was equally evocative for me. It reminded me of when I got really into comics, my mom would drive me to a shop in Valley Junction, an old part of West Des Moines, so I could pick up new ones. Could we have done this every week? Probably. For how long? I don't know.

Part of what is compelling is how it conveys a shift in parent-child relationships. Like when the child forgets how accommodating the parent has been and continues to be. The parent is left in a lurch just getting used to this new phase in their kid's life. The kid no longer needs the parent for or wants to share this part of their life with the parent. All this stuff happens without words being exchanged. The reader may feel sadness for the parent and frustration at the kid, but it's tough, no one is expected to have that conversation, or be well equipped to say, "I need independence, but I don't know how... yet.

Anyway, thanks mom, for keeping interested, for trying stuff, for being a really great mom. And thanks dad, for keeping interested, for trying stuff, for being a really great dad.


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