“All we needed was sunshine, friends and a comic book!”
The moment summer would arrive as kids we would want to spend every minute doing something fun. The evenings would be spent running free with our friends playing one game after the other. Frisbees flying, racquets would be out, and never miss a round of gully cricket.
Most afternoons though would be spent reading. We had our very own neighbourhood library just a few steps away from our home. We would run to Betty Aunty to refill our stock of magazines, books and yes comics. We were crazy about comic books and could not get enough of The Archie’s!
We would always hide our double digests from our friends until we had read them twice over. My best friends who lived close by had a huge collection of Archie Comics which they gladly lent to us.
I was also introduced to MAD magazines. They were the most interesting, quirky, and yes mad thing that I ever read. Once my friend was reading one of the MAD magazines I had and she told me how the last page could be converted into a message with the centre folded. It was the coolest thing.
The newspaper comic strips were something to always fill our Sundays with. Tintin took us on a series of adventures and we had a pile high of them in our school library. Tinkle comics and the character of Supandi were something I loved browsing too and enjoyed.
I feel comic books really encourage reading at a young age even though it has a fun element. It took us deep into a book like no other and made reading pleasurable in the summers when all we wanted was fun. It is a great idea to inculcate reading in a child who does not quite enjoy it. Even asking children to create their own comic strips requires a bit of thinking and creativity and is a great activity for a classroom.
I still throw in a comic book to my yearly reads to remind me of those days where they meant so much a wholesome part of growing up.
As an adult I love Pearls Before Swine an American comic strip written and illustrated by Stephan Pastis. The humour is always so relevant and clever.
There are so many things that might remind you of the summer when you reminisce about it and comic books were an integral part of our growing up. They can be addictive and quite the craze but if you look back they were one of the reasons behind your love for reading.
So can I borrow your double digest?