I Take Off My Glasses When I Read Comics Now... (A Brief Reflection on 30 Years)

in comics •  8 months ago
"You take off your glasses when you read comics now... What the hell does that mean?" I can hear you asking.

What that means is that I am getting old. The crystalline lens within my eye which previously could flex and accommodate to clearly see objects at any variety of ranges has now begun to lose its elasticity and I face the beginnings of presbyopia. Soon I will find myself in a world of bifocals... and not too long after that canes, walkers, and most likely undergarments designed for incontinence! Ah, the feeling of old age washing over you! (If you think perhaps I was bored tonight and decided to read information about the structures of the eye on Wikipedia... you're wrong! I work as an Optician, so that knowledge was already within my grasp... I wasn't just bored tonight, I'm bored 40 hours a week!)


Old age brings more than just presbyopia, arthritis, and incontinence... it also carries some contemplative reflection with it. As I've done in the past and will do in the future, I often contemplate things through the frame of one of the constants in my life... comic books.





I've been trying to get back into a regular habit of buying and reading comic books again, as I've been lacking recently in that regard. As I did the "old man" thing and took off my glasses to settle in and consume a few issues, it struck me that I was reading some recent New Mutants comics. This was significant only because New Mutants is the title I credit with getting me into comics many years ago.


The three topmost comics pictured are issues I bought as a kid, straight off the comic rack at a local mall bookstore. The three on the bottom, were recently published and purchased at a local comic book store. As you can probably tell, I was already feeling somewhat wistful about all this... and as I was checking the dates on these issues just now it really hit me, something I hadn't even considered before... That New Mutants #65 that started it all, my love of comics and creative ambitions, was published in July of 1988. It was exactly 30 years ago this month. Holy. Shit.


I've got a feeling I'll be thinking and writing about this anniversary a bit more over the coming weeks. Suffice to say, right now I just recognize the strange dichotomy of comics that perhaps fellow fans feel as well. I'm amazed by the way that they've simultaneously both grounded my life with consistency, while also allowing my mind to explore things that are as inconsistent and ungrounded as you can imagine. That is after all, the magic of comics, entertainment, and the human imagination.





That panel from a recent issue of New Mutants cracked me up. After all these years the banter between characters like "Boom-Boom" and "Rictor" is still going strong. A new issue is like visiting an old friend. You may not have seen them in a while... but every time you get together it's just like you were never apart.


Wistful rambling over... for tonight. I have a feeling there will be much more to come. Consider my mid-life crisis fully engaged. 30. Years. Holy. Shit. Panic. Now. Lucky you, if you follow my blog you have a front row seat to either see a man achieve the dreams of 3 decades ago... or spectacularly crash and burn and spiral into madness.


Either will be entertaining.


-Bryan "the Imp" Imhoff

Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://bryanimhoff.com/2018/07/09/i-take-off-my-glasses-when-i-read-comics-now-a-brief-reflection-on-30-years/

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This ones for you @blewitt, for nudging me to write a new post!


Fantastic post brother!!! Should I use larger font here or can you see ok!!??!? Lol

My first comic was GI Joe vs Transformers #3. Weird one I know but it was. Or at least the first one I remember buying.

New Mutants was a good solid run. What’s your thoughts on the upcoming film?

Glad you popped another post up. Looking forward to your next as always.


Amen to that.

It's not "old" Bryan it's "vintage"... at least that's what I've been told and I'll take it. ;)


I like the way you think. I’m simply getting to be more rare and collectible...

I totally understand you. Soon the 90s will be 30 years ago, that makes me feel old as well. That and some really annoying health issue. But, don't worry about anything, you maybe be getting older, but you are young at heart.

Aging is inevitable and it is normal that we go through those moments where we are affected think about it, clearly are passing stages the important thing is to use the time while you're young doing what you like!

Strange early memory from possibly the late fifties or, more likely, the very early sixties: after reading comic books, I ate them.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


So what are you saying is that you were a literal bookworm? Nice.


Ha! Well, I don’t think child paper eating is that uncommon... but given that time period, you may have eaten thousands of dollars worth of prime comics!

My earliest comics, from the age of 4 or 5, I would actually strap to my feet and use as “skates” as the glossy covers let me slide around on the indoor carpeted floors. Needless to say, they did not survive. I’ve since managed to track down and repurchase those from the vague memories, and those images give me probably the strongest nostalgia effects of anything in my life.

The comic that got me started collecting was X-men #177, which I think corresponds to about New Mutants #11 (the one where Amara first becomes Magma). I'm having similar eye issues, which reminds me I should probably see a doctor. My issue though is that my eyes are each focusing at a different distance. Instead of reading glasses I may need a reading monocle... which is actually pretty cool.


Just a bit earlier than me, but it wasn't long until I discovered the concept of "back issues" and started working my way backwards in time, so I still encountered the earlier stuff at a fairly young age. Such a great time to start reading... but then again, I have a feeling every era was a great time to start comics!

Nostalgia and comics definitely go together.

One day in the not too distant future I’m going to have to go back and re-read the old Transformers Marvel series from 1-80. It’s been eons since I’ve done that. I can still remember the first comic I ever really read was Transformers #14. I saw it in a 7-Eleven and begged my Dad to buy it for me. I still have that issue. Bob Budiansky came to the Edmonton Expo where I live here and he signed that issue for me. I told him the story of how that was the first comic I ever read. He seemed to like that!


It's been on my "to do" list for a while now to go back and do some massive re-reads! So awesome that you got to have that connection with Budiansky around your intro to comics! After writing this article last night, I went down the "online rabbit hole" on Bret Blevins, who did that first New Mutants issue I read and whose work I've enjoyed ever since. He was never very active online, his site was stagnant and social media almost non existent... but coincidentally in the past couple weeks it's all come alive and he's launched a KickStarter for an online instruction course he's teaching. I'll be pledging for sure and probably writing a dedicated post or two about it. So glad I might have the chance to connect with such a childhood inspiration.


There are a lot of really good local comic writers here in Edmonton. I’ve always have been a bit of a writer, but marriage, life, and my son get in the way.... of love to write a comic one day. It’s easy to self-publish these days!

Hats off to you for sticking to your passion!


I'll have to give it credit for sticking to me! It's been a hard addiction to shake and I wouldn't have it any other way.

HA! This is fantastic. I enjoy reading your wistful ramblings.

Just last night I was reading a very well-loved, yellowed Spider Man comic book (that my husband bought in 1991) to my son as his bedtime story... And as I was trying to align a torn piece, so I could read the script, wee man assumed I was having a different sort of trouble, looks at me and says "ah, maybe you should wear your glasses..." Thanks, dude. He was also very upset by the fact that he wouldn't be able to send away for a pair of Spidey sweat pants... because I'm fairly certain 27 years is probably going to be a little too long for supplies to last. 😂


You never know... maybe there's a guy sitting in a warehouse somewhere who's been drawing a salary for the past few decades just waiting for the last few hundred pairs of those sweatpants to sell!

Ooh, 1991... that would have been some prime territory for good McFarlane Spider-Man... chances are I have the issue you were reading tucked away somewhere! So great to have that as some bedtime reading. I can recall doing similar with my mother, with one of my favorite comics from youth, "Quasar."


LOL! Hey, anything's possible.

He has 2 special Canadian Spider-Man comics, where Peter Parker comes to Canada on special assignment from the Daily Bugle. One is part of an anit-drug campaign, and one is for bicycle safety. lol This is the cover of the former:

A couple weeks ago we went to a local comic book shop and I picked up a couple new comics, one Avengers and one Justice League... They're so much more intense and dark than these early '90s PSA comics, and he loves them.


Oh man, I can totally understand his reaction. Fairly early in my comic collecting I got Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. I was perhaps 9 or 10 years old. I didn’t understand half of it, but it was so intense & visceral that I just loved it.


That's awesome! And what a great age to discover the Dark Knight. I feel like he's a little young yet (5, nearly 6 years old) for some of it, but he seems to be really into the darker stuff... he definitely comes by it honestly, (I've always been more than a touch morbid) so I can't really say much. haha

Hey @ bryan-imhoff but it's not like you're 50 years old or older, really 30 years it does not make you too old ... you talk as if you're already chewing water, now you have many more years left to keep trying to get your dreams and The truth is that from my seat in the front row I will see how you will achieve those dreams that you promised to reach long ago. 😘👌


Thank you for the sweet encouragement as always! I know I'm really not that old... but I like to have a good sense of humor about it. And honestly, thinking about age can be motivational. It is important for me that I acknowledge just how much time is passing, otherwise the urgency to achieve those dreams won't be strong enough.


Something like ... Better I hurry because I'm very old hehehehe

If you use it in the form of humor, it is not bad, in the same way, what will be yours will come at the exact moment. 👍

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