Match to Flame 206

Feb 21, 2024

After my family had moved away from Akron, we would make periodic forced marches back to the city on Sundays to “go visiting.” For a twelve-year-old kid, it was unsparing boredom, but when we got to my Grandmother’s house on Brown Street, I would be set free to walk the two blocks to the Rexall Drugstore where I could check out the comics. On one of those Sunday afternoons, I walked into the store and spotted The Flash #115 on the rack. As I leafed through the book taking in the art and story, it rearranged my molecules. Frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames right on the spot. A few months hence, a letter to the Flash Grams letters page would win me original artwork from the magazine, which further cemented the deal. It’s hard to explain how a flimsy newsprint pamphlet with garish coloring and hyperbolic prose could change how you viewed your place in the universe, but it did. I walked into the store with a dime in my hand and exited that holy of holies with a book and a plan. That evening I decided to send away for a subscription to The Flash. It cost a dollar, but, even as a twelve-year-old, I knew you didn’t send that kind of cash through the mail. So I gave my dad a dollar and asked him to write a check for me for the subscription. He skimmed through the book and said he didn’t think it was worth it, but, being a good dad, he wrote the check for me. My dad was a mechanical engineer and a very intelligent guy, but as I walked away with my check I felt a little sorry for him because I realized that, when it came to the stuff in life that mattered most, he didn’t have a clue.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 13

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