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March 28, 2008

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Scott Hatfield, OM

Greatly enjoyed this post on a number of levels. I got nostalgic as a 46-year-old for when we were in our 20's being nostalgic about our teens. I can relate this multi-textured interaction with the past to baseball. There is a nostalgia about baseball's past, but there is also a nostalgia that builds over the years for the players and teams when you first become a fan. I can still recall the Blue Jays OF from 1985 (George Bell in LF, Lloyd Moseby in CF and Jesse Barfield in RF), for example....and now Moseby is a hitting coach and Barfield's son Josh is a 2B who toils for the Indians. The game that's played now is different from the game that was played when I was a new fan, and both in turn are different from other periods in the history of MLB.

And so it is with comics. There is a Kirby I grew up with, an earlier Kirby, and near-constant (and often risible) interaction between both those Kirbies and the comics of today: how could there not be? And so the tapestry of memory and the present are ever shuttling back-and-forth in the mind's loom.

On a more mundane note, I'm attending Comic Con with two teacher buddies and have reserved a Super 8 with two queen beds for four nights, including Preview Night, for around $600. If you'd care to join up with me for part of that spell, you can bunk with your older bro and save a buck or two.

CharlesWHatfield

Scott, great to hear from you! (This, folks, is the brother from whom I learned to read comics, the guy to whom I sent that issue of TMNT in 1984.) Thanks for linking to this essay, BTW.

You are all urged to follow Scott's frequent and thoughtful postings at his blog, http://monkeytrials.blogspot.com (go! there! now!).

I like your MLB example, and the line about memory and the present "ever shuttling back-and-forth." Writing this essay was a challenge and a pleasure to me for that very reason. It was also a pleasure because it felt like reclaiming, and sharpening, some memories I haven't called to mind in a long time. By happy coincidence, I happened to be visiting with my erstwhile roommate, good friend, and fellow comics fan Dio, up in San Jose, just the week before finishing this post. Interacting with Dio and our mutual friends was a big part of my re-immersion in comics circa 1985.

I've often been critical of nostalgia, and indeed have delivered a couple of conference papers critical of nostalgia-mongering in comics, but I realize now that this critique stems from the strong pull of nostalgia in my own temperament. The pot recognizes the kettle. So I'm going to have to revise those pieces substantially before they can see print. :)

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