Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Comic Books

As a child I did not own comic books.  Money was very short, and reserved for more serious things like food and mortgage. There were many books in our lives selected each week at the public library, books my mother read out loud, books we read ourselves, but no comic books. 

Most of the other children in our working class neighborhood did have comic books and whenever I was in their homes (which was often) I would greedily examine their comics page by page over and over. 

There was a specific type of comic book that I loved. They were called "Classics Illustrated Junior" which rendered classic fairy tales from the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and other sources into picture formats. 

I did not crave these comics for their stories.  We had beautifully bound volumes of the classic fairy tales on our shelves and my mother read from them frequently. By the second grade I was reading from them myself. It was the illustrations in the comics that enraptured me. The maidens with their lovely flowing hair and gowns.  I wanted to draw just like that. 

Much of my early art practice involved painstakingly copying the pictures of princesses from the pages of Classics Illustrated Junior.  Later I went on to invent my own princesses. 

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