Lagniappe: Comics Go to College
Abstractor many of us, reading comic books is a formative childhood experience. Indeed, we can “read” comics pictorially before we can actually read. Comics are often the first reading material we select for ourselves and buy with our own money. The small-town newsstand where my brother and I bought Archie comics in the mid-’70s is etched into a corner of my brain: the ring of the bell as we opened the wooden door, the mingled smells of newsprint and tobacco, and the furtive glances towards the counter whilewe read as many comics as possible just out of the proprietor’s sight. Since the 1930s, comics have been an integral part of the American scene. They have both influenced our collective imagination and reflected the eras in which they were published. From movies (The Matrix) to literature (Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) to art (Roy Lichtenstein), the footprint of comics on the culture at large is a deep one.