“Put that comic down. This isn’t a library.”

I grew up in places where the only comic books were in drugstores. The first comic book store in America wasn’t even founded until I was fourteen years old, and it was 2,000 miles away. I couldn’t afford to buy all the comics at the drugstore that I wanted to read, and the proprietor of the store took a dim view of my standing there and reading them.

“Put that back, son. This isn’t a library.”

Well, years later as an adult I had money for comic books, and even better, great comic stores near where I lived. They’d pull my favorites for me to pick up once a week, and didn’t care if I stood at the racks and read some without buying them. That’s progress.

But where I see real progress is that you can go into a public library today and they often have a set of shelves devoted to…yes, comic books!

Graphic novels, manga, you name it. And yes, you can check them out with your card! I would have given anything to have had this kind of thing years ago.

Yeah, kids, you don’t know how good you’ve got it nowadays. Now get off my lawn.

(Graphic novel collection at Kalamazoo Public Library)


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