Thursday, October 11, 2012

Characters that make me say...

I'm having a great time right now reading some awesome comics, thanks to a very dear friend who's sharing his collections with me. And it made me remember when this experience with comics started in my life, and I wanted to share some of my favorite characters with you all (poor you all...).

When I was a very little kid, years before learning how to read, I had a cousin who had all the Asterix books. I used to love getting into his bedroom when we were visiting my aunt's house and leaf through those stories, being mesmerized by the colors and the characters' funny expressions. I loved the mess around me, with books spread around while I looked at those fun strips. That was my very first contact with comic books, and I never stopped loving the irreducible Gauls and their ironic sense of humor when I learned how to read.

Then, during the same period of time, at my grandma's, I found at my aunt Sandra's room a Little Nemo book, with that walking bed adventure. For a 4 year-old girl, those images were powerful and kind of scary, but I couldn't stop turning the pages - which gave me some nightmares later that night, very appropriately...

As I got a bit older, I naturally loved Disney's comics and read them a lot, as my brother had a huge collection. Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse... My favorite character was the Phantom Blot, because he was mysterious, smart and would always try to fool Mickey (who was not one of my favorites then - he had no sense of  humor, an unforgettable personality flaw).

Monica's Gang is a sweet and very popular Brazilian comics. I've read them throughout my childhood, sitting on jaboticaba tree's branches (if I wasn't reading Agatha Cristhie, that's it, lol), and now my little witch loves them too. The adventures of the brave toothy little girl in red dress and her inseparable bunny doll is a treat for generations.

I also always loved Mafalda, the lovely Argentinian little girl with strong personality and hilarious lines about politics and the world's situation during the 60s, created by Quino (that's how I learned to read in Spanish, btw!).

My mom simply adored The Phantom and Mandrake, the two great heroes created by Lee Falk, and we had several of their books at home, so of course, I had to read them too, and learned to love both characters, for my mom's delight. 

My dad also loved them, but his favorite comic book was Beetle Bailey. I can still hear his laughter while reading the lazy recruit's clumsy and funny adventures, and we shared fun moments reading it side by side too.

Then I grew up and my taste changed, and I fell in love with X-Men. Mutants fighting evil and prejudice, trying to get along as a team with their own differences and traumas, how cool is that? Stan Lee's brilliant mind and Jack Kirby's fantastic art filled many of my days and nights. 

And of course, Wolverine, my favorite antihero. Eternally struggling with his obscure past, the loner with a furious beast inside of him.

Years passed and after watching Alien and researching about the astonishing art in it (it was also when I came to know the fantastic HR Giger), I found out about Jean Moebius Giraud, which lead me to Blueberry, the awesome and so different cowboy who always tried to protect Native Americans.

 Working as a drawer many years ago, I had access to dozens Heavy Metal magazines, and it was like a party finding again the art of HR Giger and Moebius, among other great artists in fun, erotic sci-fi stories.

I could talk endlessly about several other fantastic characters that I learned to love along the years, but I don't like the idea of having readers falling asleep over the keyboard while scrolling down my long post, lol

Right now, I'm deeply into Batman B&W, more X-Men and Fray - my new favorite female character -, and I can't express the TONS of fun I'm having, loving every turning page! It's wonderful to be behind these stories, because I can enjoy them as if they were brand new - and they are, for me. :o)


Comic books are a part of me since I was that little child, and I grew up loving and respecting the creative minds behind each page and line, and to have a passion for the universe they created and shared around the world. I am always thankful for having a family who opened my eyes to this realm of magic, fantasy and different realities. And I feel thankful now for not losing this passion and love, feel ing warm inside knowing that I will always have new stories and adventures to discover and enjoy. I'm a child at heart, and I plan to stay this way, and to pass this same spirit to my little witch.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ostara and a new phase.

So our Ostara was a bit different this year... It all started when the little witch, the night before the sabbat, a few minutes before sleeping, while watching his decorated altar, told me that he knew it was me who bought the traditional Kinder Eggs to put at his altar.

Some input is needed here: it may sound weird that my 9 years old son still believe in Santa, Easter and Ostara bunny and tooth fairy, but that how we raise kids in our family. As long as we can, we keep the fantasy going. At Christmas, all the kids stay in my mom's bedroom while the adults arrange the presents under the Tree in the living room, and my brother goes "ho ho ho"to let them know it's time to come out and see what the good Santa left for them. At Easter, Lucas prepares a little nest where the Bunny can place all the chocolate eggs he gets from his mom, grandma, aunts and uncles, and this bunny-witch who types leave little flour paws on the floor. When a baby tooth falls out, his tooth holder keeps it safe under his pillow so the tooth fairy can trade it for a R$ 1 coin. The same thing with Ostara. Every year, we decorate our altars, and on the little witch's, we place the old, lovely egg holders from the Pooka pages I printed and we colored many years ago. He always gets three Kinder eggs and looks forward to them. 

Back to Ostara night. It totally took me by surprise, even knowing that at 9, it wouldn't last long. I went to his bed and started explaining to him that I was the one who bought the chocolate eggs, but all the moms in the world have this mission, to keep the fantasy and the gods alive in their kids' hearts, and that we were their messengers. This way we would keep the meaning of sharing this lovely tradition alive. But, of course, when I started talking, I burst into tears. And of course, typically in the spirit of a good dramatic Brazilian soap opera, Lucas started crying too because he didn't want me to be sad. He said he wasn't upset, and that he still loved and believed in the myth. We stayed there for some minutes, hugging and wipping each other's tears and making jokes about it, and all was well again.

Why did I cry? Because this is the end of a beautiful phase in his life. There are many other beautiful, challenging phases ahead, but this one, of innocently believing in a lovely fantasy, is over. This definitely marks his new stage, more than the number of his shirt or shoes. It was his first real growing up moment. I remembered all these years behind, when he would be marveled at the sight of bunny paws on the floor and on the window, and the chocolate eggs carefully placed at his altar, and I know things will be different now - not bad, but different. He's still a kid, who loves to play Dragon Ball and Harry Potter fights with his friends at school recess time, and loves to play hide-and-seek with me at home, and play peteca, and draw monsters and pirate ships, and to ask me to make felt dolls out of the drawings he creates. He watches Cartoon and Disney XD now, but still watches Backyardigans, sometimes. He still loves Cebolinha comics, and loves to pretend to be a robot.

But he's definitely growing up. And I'm happy for him, of course. I can't wait to see what kind of man he will be in the future, and I'm thrilled to be able to raise him to be a nice, well adjusted and happy human being, helping him to have long, strong wings to fly high. But sometimes I just wished that the clock could gently slow down its pace. But,  then again, it's wonderful to watch my lovely little witch growing up into such a cool way. Maybe I just need an extra heart.