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Hyper-Active 5 Year Olds
6.18.2002 by Scott, every Thursday.

I still have the first comic I ever read. It is the Justice League of America issue #102.

I was five years old when I read it for the first time. I was visiting my grandparents in Sherbrooke, and I was tearing their relative peace to shreds, the way five year olds are apt to do. Running around and banging pots and the like, when my grandfather, a little desperate to calm his sugar-high grandson down, went into the storage closet and pulled out a box of comic books that my uncles had left behind when they moved out.

And I saw it.

The cover had Superman on the cover, Batman too. I became the model grandchild, sitting quietly reading for the rest of the weekend there. I was transfixed by it. I didn’t really understand it, but it didn’t matter to me. There were words, and I read them, and there were pictures, and I loved them.

Over the years, my trips to the Eastern Townships continued, and every time I went, Christmas, summer vacation, March break, I knew that I would have those comics waiting there for me. I’d sit out on the patio or in the guest bedroom and read and reread them. There was about a hundred of them in total, and a great many of them had been scotch taped to hold the covers on. My uncle Bruce apparently had a penchant for drawing beards on the Archies and the Justice League, but my issue, Justice League 102 was spared this fate.

As I got older, into my teens, I metamorphosed into what most teens do, a wise-assed brat. I really didn’t see the need to have to go visit my grandparents for the weekend when there was a chance I could “hang out” with my friends. I would sulk in the car for the two hour drive over Mount Orford, antagonising my sisters as much as possible to ensure that the entire car was as miserable as I was for this trip. I would get there and be as anti-social as I could, hiding in the back room with the comics, trying to avoid human contact and express my opposition to this oh-so-unfair punishment I was being put through using a social strike.

These trips, my grandfather would come in back to ask me to come to the Depanneur with him so he could get his lottery tickets. He didn’t smoke or drink anymore, so his one vice was a few bucks a week scratching tickets to win. He would promise me a new comic, and for that thirty-minute ride, I would chat with him. I’d study which comic I wanted the most while he grated off a few tickets with a penny, choose the one, and we’d be back in the car. It was good.

Well, My grandpa died a few years later. My Grandmother gave me the box of comics to take home. I moved out, and took them with me. I don’t really get to talk to that side of the family much these days. But I still have that box of beat up and battered comics, and reading them every now and again makes me feel like a hyper-active five year old calming down happily.

Scott MacIver

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