January 8, 2002

I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned it here before (I write about a ton of things here and can’t always remember what I wrote about :p) but I’ve loved comics since I was a kid. In fact, I learnt to read because of comics! I haven’t seen them here but in Sri Lanka comics mostly appear in the form of papers instead of books – they have a weekly sixteen or twenty page paper with a different story on each page in serialized form. So you have to buy the paper each week to see how the story progresses. They had only one such paper when I was really young (about four or five I guess …) and I loved looking at the pictures and making up my own stories because I didn’t know how to read <vbg> Of course, needing an adult to find out the actual story irked me to no end and I think that’s why I learnt to read as fast as I did :p

Of course, from there I progressed to books and was surprising most of my teachers by the time I was in second grade because I was reading the books that they read and really fast too :p But my love of comics remained – in fact, it entered a second stage when I came across Marvel comics when I was about six years or so old since I didn’t know how to read in English, only Sinhalese (the main language in Sri Lanka …) But I still remember those early comics (and I vividly recall that one of them was Thor though I don’t think I knew it was Thor at that time ..) I’ve continued to love both Marvel and DC comics since then though I prefer the Marvel universe to DC’s most of the time – in fact, when I get together with another comics lover, it sounds like a school reunion because we’ll talk about comic book characters as if they were real people like “How’s Matt Murdock doing these days?” or “Did you know that Peter Parker got married?”

Again the above situation arises because of the comic book situation in Sri Lanka and looks pretty funny I guess to somebody who’s from the US. We don’t get comics the same way you do here – you’ll find an issue here and an issue there and some of them might be from the 80’s or the 90’s and be available there only now. Of course the situation might have changed now but that was how it used to be when I was growing up. So we’d know only a little bit about each character and miss entire storylines and so pooling knowledge and talking about our favorite characters was the only way to find out about stuff that we’d missed. All of this changed when I came to the US because now I had access to all the comics I could want and could even get all the back issues – in fact, I think I got more comics in my first year here than the whole of my collection through my entire life before then back in Sri Lanka :p

So why the heck am I writing all this? <g> It’s because yesterday something great happened – something that happens rarely to me but when it does makes me feel as if I have come about full circle :-) It’s not a bad thing – in fact, it’s a great feeling. It’s when I find out something that I have done has helped (or been useful to …) somebody who’s work I’d enjoyed. The only other time I can recall at this time of this happening before was when Terry Pratchett (who writes the Discworld series that I enjoy so much …) asked about an Arabic phrase on Usenet and I was able to answer (though he did not use the phrase I supplied him with :p) Yeah, I’m getting to what happened yesterday … <g> I had been talking to a Blog user about some issues he’d had with Blog when I discovered that he had been (and still is … I think …) a writer for Marvel on some of my favorite comics! The feeling was fabulous!!

To be honest, I can’t say that I recall the name Christopher J. Priest from any of the Marvel comics that I used to read but then again, I don’t think I paid much attention to who wrote or drew a comic till I came to the US. Before then, I remembered only a few names and even those mostly because they stuck in my mind from Stan Lee’s Bullpens. But CJP probably wrote some of the stuff I used to read and enjoy and I tell ya, it feels great to know that he finds my software useful :-) In fact, if you are a comics lover, you should probably read some of the stuff he has on his site about the books he used to work on – I love Marvel history and boy does he have stuff there that is interesting! I found it absolutely riveting but then again YMMV if you are not a comics book fan :p But if you can’t get enough of the inside dope on comics, by all means go here and check out the comics section!

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Posted by Fahim at 8:10 am   Comments (1)