Friday, January 29, 2016


So Anna has been bringing home Asterix and Obelix comics from school for me to read the past few weeks. 

Turns out she's been pleading with her her teacher to borrow them, saying "Asterix is my mum's favourite!" (Last year, she similarly implored her teacher to let her bring home three Barbapapa books.)

Interestingly, these books aren't from the school library. They're from the teachers' personal stashes, which are in the classroom because they've included them in their home reading collections.

They're used copies, often with penciled-in prices. Which means that her teachers have spent more time looking for them in second-hand bookstores than I have—and that's saying a lot, given that I worked in one for three years—to have found these copies. 
That means something because Asterix comics A) aren't that common and B) are in high demand amongst French Immersion grads like me. (The Barbapapa books were actually ex-elementary school copies from the 70s, which I sort of like...)

Reading Asterix comics, in French or in English, reminds me of being in elementary school and sitting on the floor of the library with stacks of Asterix and Lucky Luc and Les Schtroumpfs, and Barbapapa. It reminds me that my mum used to send me to the NFB theatre downtown on Saturday afternoons to watch screenings of French cartoons.

I also like that my daughter has turned herself into my French comics-pusher...

Like most kids of my generation, I spent my allowance, most weeks, on Archie comics. But I also borrowed Elfquest anthologies from a friend and snuck looks at the comics (and everything else) in the Playboy magazines my uncle had at the family cabin. 

Later, it was Bloom County and Wolverine, Jem and Transmetropolitan.

Nowadays, I'm a regular reader of webcomics like Questionable Content, Girls with Slingshots, Blindsprings, Rock Cocks, and Love Not Found

But I also have a great collection of anthologies by Winnipeg creators like G.M.B. Chomichuk, John Toone, David Alexander Robertson, Scott Henderson, Lovern Kinderski, and Nicholas Burns. 

It's exciting to see that locals creating work that is as good, as entrancing, as anything I've ever read, as a child or as an adult...

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