Wednesday Comments – Christmas Memories

Christmas is just around the corner so I thought that I’d share some memories I have of comics as gifts, both in terms of giving and receiving.

One of my fondest memories as a kid was getting a handful of issues of Who’s Who in the DC Universe for Christmas. I’ve always been a bit of a comic geek, so I loved Who’s Who. I would pour over issues, reading the character bios and the detailed explanations of their powers. I even loved the last page, where it hinted where the characters profiled would be appearing next. It was awesome.

But my mom didn’t really have a clue what comics I was looking for or missing. So, she took me down to Fantasy Comics and I hand picked the issues of Who’s Who that I wanted for Christmas. For some reason, I didn’t get the issues in chronological order. I picked up random issues. If I recall correctly I selected the issues based on if they a) had a George Perez cover and b) if the prominently featured a character I wanted to know more about.

Of course the only thing worse than having Christmas presents under the tree, is knowing exactly what is wrapped up under the tree. It was torture. Every time I looked at the presents I wanted to rip them open. I picked out those issues and they were right there, but I couldn’t have them.

And so, when the parents went to bed, I would carefully open the side of the package and slide one issue out. It was the issue with Cyborg featured prominently on the cover. I would flip through it and then put it back before anyone noticed what happened.

Yeah, it was wrong, but that’s what kids do when they’re tempted with Christmas presents. They find a way to circumvent the hurdles and get what they desire.

Another year I remember going to the late and lamented Haunted Bookshop with my family and getting a first printing of the Batman: Year One trade. It wasn’t even a DC edition, it was a Warner trade. But it was so cool, because it was 1988, I was a kid and I was reading Batman: Year One. Batman: Year One is so awesome that the only way it could get any better is if it were the first time you read it, and that was the first time I read it. It was a pretty sweet Christmas.

I guess my last gift memory wasn’t so much a Christmas gift, it happened earlier this year. I gave my best friend’s daughter the trade for Batgirl: Year One. I guess on some subconscious level, I was trying to recreate my experience with Batman: Year One, only do a female version of it. Also, my best friend is way into Marvel and I wanted to my part to show his daughter how cool the DCU is. She literally devoured the trade.

This year I gave a couple trades out as gifts. I’ve got a cousin who is quite a lofty thinker and has a grand imagination. Wanting to foster that, I sent him the first trade for Global Frequency. And because I know that he’s uber-literate I also copped him a copy of The Unwritten.

For another cousin I got the first Criminal trade. And in the past I’ve given Human Target trades out as gifts. I guess I just like giving comics as gifts.

So yeah, I hope you get some comics as gifts and even more than that, during this holiday season I hope you give some comics as gifts.

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