When we attended TCAF two years ago, Jeet Heer was nice enough to show us a pre-release copy of the oversized Sundays With Walt and Skeezix. (published by Sundays Press, who have also released several amazing Winsor McCay books and have just solicited a book of Oz strips) When we saw how absolutely beautiful the strips looked, Sarah made a comment about how if we ever came across a cheap, possibly damaged copy, we could buy it and remove some of the pages to frame them. We had a copy on pre-order, but I wasn't going to chop up a $95 book, even one purchased on store credit.
Anyway, as I posted recently, some cheap copies popped up on Amazon, and we purchased one for the framing project. Our plan hasn't quite worked out, however, as Emily has started reading the second copy, and has sort of adopted it. Not that I'm complaining. Seeing her pore over the book kills me. She's been quoting some of the dialogue ("Well I'll be jiggered", being the line that cracks me up the most) and really enjoys reading the strips, especially the ones where Skeezix is a toddler. Emily has up until now had a strict policy of not enjoying comics that "have people in them" -- she's been reading Disney books (mostly Donald Duck), some old Disney film adaptations (mostly Dumbo), Molly and Emmett comics from Ladybug magazine (Molly is a girl but Emmett is a cat), Polo (two new volumes out soon), Johnny Boo (ghosts and a monster) and Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks comics in an old Whitman collection. She has been reading Julie and Grampa: Shark Hunters, actually, which has human protagonists, but there are a lot of talking animals in that as well. And there are monsters and creatures in Magic Trixie and Scary Godmother, which she's nuts about. But Dennis the Menace was out, as were several other comics "with people in them". But so far, the Walt and Skeezix Sunday strips have passed muster, perhaps because of the many dream sequences and strips based on Halloween and Christmas and whatnot. Who knows, I'm not going to press her on it, we let her enjoy what she likes and don't shove anything down her throat if she's not interested. For some reason she won't read Hideshi Hino comics. Don't ask me.
We never pushed comics on her, but they're everywhere in the house, and many of her children's magazines feature comics of some sort, and by osmosis or what have you, she's reading comics. It's fascinating -- to us at least (your kids are always fascinating to you, but some folks have the idea their kids are fascinating to everyone) -- to see which comics she gloms onto, and which ones she dismisses. As a parent and a geek and a cartoonist, I have to admit it's a thrill to see my daughter reading funnybooks and enjoying them. And reading in general. I did not grow up in a house filled with books, which I have always regretted. But let's not get into that. This is a happy post. It is.