Monday, March 30, 2009
When I was a child, one of the things that captivated me the most were comic books. And frankly I would be lying if I said that I don't read them any more because I still haven't gotten over them. It has been one of the most gratifying relationships, the one between a child and a comic.
Frankly I wasn't the kind of kid who hung around his buddies playing hide and seek very much. My world instead revolved around the latest exploits of Asterix the Gaul and the adventures of the boy reporter Tintin.
My dad says that's how I got my glasses in the first place. But I don't mind, its been worth it.
Vis Comica in Latin, literally translates into the power of comedy or rather the sense of humour.
As a kid I had one of the largest comic collections ranging from Archies, Tintin, Calvin and Hobbes, Asterix, you name it. And I would spend many a rainy evening feverishly following their exploits and exploding in peals of laughter.
The association with comic books has precious little to do with age or for that matter maturity. Just because you are older doesn't mean that you are not entitled to some mirth time and again. Besides the creators of some of the worlds most famous comic books are adults, some like Hergé continued creating Tintin scripts well into his seventies.
Sometimes, people of late are so concerned with their outward appearances that they eschew the very humour from within their lives.
Frankly I do not give a damn. What is the point of giving up one of the things that bring a smile to your face now and then? Life can be at times far to dreary sometimes, and there is nothing like your favourite character to brighten your day.
And truth be told I learnt more from comic books than I did from school.
Many a narrow minded individual consider comics to be a collection of mindless comedy suited for the likes of six year olds. But in reality if you wish to probe within they are actually quite witty (for those who understand the concept of wit).
As far as knowledge is concerned, take Tintin for instance, in the comic "Explorers of the Moon", Hergé had scripted an idea for a moon rocket a decade before the America launched the Apollo mission. The blue print had striking similarities to the design of the Apollo 11 rocket and even explained the principle of nuclear fission.
While on the other hand, reading Asterix I got curious about Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and the Gaulish race that once occupied what is now know modern France.
Oh and moreover the comics used some of the most eloquent words from the English vocabulary. Ask your snooty relative who says comics are for kids what the words anacoluthon, corsair and harlequin mean (courtesy of Captain Haddock and his colourful vocabulary).
So basically I learnt science, history and reinforced my knowledge of English as a child, which is something those god awful teachers back at school could never do.
Its always easy to dismiss something as ridiculous and immature without having to actually go through its contents. Nevertheless mark my words, they are way better than the stuff they show on television of late.
I have a great deal of gratitude to comic books. There cannot be a better way to enforce knowledge and humour within a child (or an adult for that matter).
Even as a medical student I have not given up on them and frankly neither will I do so when I reach seventy. Like I said, age has precious little to do with it.
And to those who still follow the exploits of your favourite comic characters I urge you on to continue to do so. Never mind the snooty glances from your friends and your colleagues.
May the sense of comedy prevail.