Lovefool 04.27.15 | Let’s Talk About Talking

Lovefool rekindles her love of reading comics just for the sake of reading them.

 

 

Ah, the traditional here’s-where-I’ve-been column. Hello! I am still here. Sort of. I really hate writing these and they seem kind of boring for you, this whole thing.
So I’ve been having writers block that’s prevented me from writing this and has made me miss out on, like, the last two Ink & Drink books. But I’ve started going to the meetings again, here and there, in keeping with my general trend of restarting relationships with people and things that I’ve pretty much been ignoring in favor of sweet, sweet hermitage. I seem to be going to Prom with Mr. J and his mother next month, in a weird and incredibly hilarious turn of events. We binge-watched the hell out of Daredevil, like everyone else, and I confirmed that all of my fictional spouses are def people who Get Shit Done. I mean, I’m into Pepper Potts and have made zero secret of that, but I also found myself pretty into Daredevil’s James Wesley. I guess I’m just really into competence, no matter what side of the light or dark it serves. (Mr. J gave me ALL THE SIDE-EYE when I mentioned that little tidbit but whatevs.) We saw Sleater-Kinney. I’ve joined a ladies’ comic discussion group at Fantasy Books (Belleville location FTW!) led by pretty much the greatest comic shop employee I’ve ever encountered. I’ve purchased a bunch of comics. I got tickets to a Thursday showing of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which has me feeling all kinds of vaguely smug. (#first #unlessyouliveinEurope) I sent JG,FE a Kanye-style reminder that Kill Your Boyfriend is the best British comic ever, though Phonogram was quite good.
Seriously, though, if you haven’t read Kill Your Boyfriend, I cannot recommend it enough.
But let’s go back to the part where I bought a bunch of comics. I haven’t been a serious comics purchaser for a while. I mean, I’d pick stuff up here and there but, for a long time, I read a lot of comics. There was a certain satisfaction to popping into the comic book shop and picking up a stack of books and then heading home to camp out on my couch reading comics for ages that I’d missed. Not only that, but comics seem like they’ve been getting awesome for a while and I didn’t want to miss out. I wanted to fall back in love with funnybooks for real.
I wanted to enjoy reading comics for the sake of reading comics, not for the things that can happen around comics, and I wanted to enjoy, sincerely, writing about them again. Because I haven’t been. But I probably don’t have to tell you that, I think you’ve recognized my desperate attempts to try to recapture the magic we had, you and I. And, frankly, they’ve fallen flat. They’ve seemed a little pathetic, haven’t they? You know it, I know it, it’s been kind of sad and incredibly bluster-y. Like if I said it enough, that I was back, that I was reinvested, I’d believe it. As I told JG,FE the other day, if you’re bored, you’re boring. And, yes, I was sideways-quoting Harvey Danger but it’s been so true of so much of my life, including this. But never mind “boring,” I felt marginalized and irrelevant to the conversation. It’s hard to write about something you love when you don’t feel like what you like or think or say matters. And, eventually, it gets hard to love that thing.
So, yeah. I guess one could say I was missing a certain sense of community so I joined a group of like-minded nerds and bought a lot of comics that would probably be labeled, depending on if I’m talking to friend or foe, “more my speed” or “really exciting comics.” And you know what? They’re pretty easy to love and I’ve already had my good decision rewarded with a hug from a dude when I got all squeeful about his Princess Sparklefists t-shirt at the Sleater-Kinney show on Friday night. And I guess that’s the big difference and definitely why I want to come back – my idea of the comics community I belong in has changed. I remember, very vividly and with no small amount of shame, asking one of the comics purveyors I’ve had a chance to befriend if I was their very best lady customer and feeling all aglow with pride when I was reassured that I “was more like a normal customer” and that “the other girls just come in to buy an Anita Blake comic every once in a while.” I was delighted to hear that.
I feel so gross admitting that. Like maybe I was part of the problem instead of part of the solution, which happened pretty much without me. In fact, there’s very little “maybe” involved. I wanted so desperately to be accepted in the cool nerd crowd that I def probably fake geek girl-ed some people. I mean, I hope I did it indirectly but it doesn’t matter how it happened but I’m sure it did. I used to talk a lot of shit, you know? And I have definitely turned away from some hard conversations with people I think I like and who claim to like me because I, ridiculously, didn’t want to be labeled a Social Justice Warrior or, worse, “no fun anymore.”

 

Well. I have been called “no fun anymore” and you know what? I got over it. So I’m going to buy all the lady comics I want to buy because they are fun and relevant to my interests and experiences and I’m not going to feel like I have to “balance” them with anything. And I’ll probably want to talk about them, both here and with people I see out in the world. Maybe, eventually, I’ll start talking about them with my secret nerd cabal again and, this time, I’ll stand up and say something when I feel like someone should. I’m no hero but I read somewhere that they’re just people who try to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. So maybe I’ll get a little closer to that, to the person I want to be and your friend and Lovefool again, and read some awesome books while I’m at it. | Erin Jameson

 

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