Sunday, May 14, 2006

Atom heart mother

I wasn't planning to write anything special for Mother's Day, but this post by Ragnell inspired me to make a quasi-political statement about my mom.

My mother turned seventy-one nearly a month ago. The most recent comic book she read was the latest issue of All-Star Superman. She liked Watchmen a lot. (I've told her League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is much superior among Alan Moore's work...but adult-onset diabetes has messed with her vision and she needs to get new corrective lenses before she's ready to tackle any more text-intensive Moore comics.) She was a fan of The Tick before I'd ever even heard of it. Sure, these days I recommend comics to her that I think she'd enjoy...but I didn't introduce her to comics. She was reading them back in the Forties, and was a big fan of Captain Marvel. When DC first revived the character in the Seventies, I read the copies she bought, not the other way around.

I should add that she bought them so my dad could read them too. Before he became a surgeon, he had wanted to be a cartoonist, and avidly read comic books and comic strips. In subsequent years he did all the illustrations for his own medical papers. Neither parent discouraged me from reading comics, any more than they discouraged me from reading their collection of Kurt Vonnegut novels when I was nine years old, or any other books I wanted to read. Both parents borrowed my comics.

So, that's my mom: geneticist, cell biologist, medical school teacher, left-wing political activist, science fiction geek, fan of Farscape and Doctor Who and Deep Space Nine, Usenet addict...and superhero comic reader. Erik Larsen will just have to deal with it.

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