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31 Days of Comics – A Comic That Reminds You of Someone

Our pal Seth Hahne, of GoodOKBad fame, came up with this 31 Days of Comics challenge, one of those things where each day of the month you’re given a different category that you then make a choice of a comic to fill that category. I figured it would be a fun bit to do, so here we are! Click here to see each of the categories so far!

We continue with Day 17, which is A Comic That Reminds You of Someone.

Read on for my pick and then you can share yours!

I am going to go with Raina Telgemeier’s Smile.

Smile is based on Telgemeier’s dental problems that lasted from her pre-adolescent years all the way through graduation from high school.

Here is the incident that caused all of the problems…

Now you might not think a comic book about a girl’s dental problems would be all that interesting, however, Telgemeier uses the dental problems only as the framework of an auto-biographical look back at her life from middle school through high school. You literally see her grow from a kid until a young woman – it’s quite an endearing look at a “typical” person’s life – all the foibles and fears, but also all the fun and friendships.

A particularly interesting aspect of the story is how Telgemeir uses certain popular culture references to connect the story to a certain time. Like her first time seeing the film The Little Mermaid (and how that made an impact upon her desire to become an artist) or her sister playing Super Mario Brothers. These little bits of nostalgia add an interesting piece of lightness to the proceedings (the best is the girl who has a picture of Joey McIntyre on her retainer).

Anyhow, Telgemeier is the same age as my wife, and she and Telgemeier both lived around San Francisco during their teen years (Telgemier lived in San Francisco proper while my wife lived in the suburbs of San Francisco) so I always think about my wife when I read about Telgemeir’s life (amusingly enough, my wife and Telgemeier STILL live in the same area, only now it is on the other side of the United States – Astoria, New York).


I don’t know that I have a book that reminds me of someone, but I’m sticking this in my Amazon cart. My daughter has teeth that are too big for her head, needs to have some pulled, and is going into braces early. I think she’s going to love this story.

Pretty much all comics remind me of someone, right? Everything is interconnected and associated with somebody. Hellboy is associated with my first girlfriend. Sparks is associated with my third girlfriend. The Incal, with Justin my best friend from highschool. The Phoenix Saga, with Jon, a good friend from junior high who drew me comics. The Nao of Brown makes me think of Glyn Dillon (duh). Jimmy Corrigan makes me think of Jim Hart who pushed me to read outside the superhero bubble. Twin Spica makes me think of Kylie. Cross Game makes me think of my brother. Nausicaä, of Israel. The Walking Man, of my pops. Relish, of my mom. Bone, of Sonata. Sandman, of Stacey. Palestine, of Johnny. The Goon, of Tony. Umbrella Academy, of Grace. BPRD, of Zach. Y: The Last Man, of Christa. Dinosaur Comics and Far Arden, of Brad. Duncan the Wonder Dog, of D.C. Hopkins.

So since every comic has associations, why not choose the comic to feature based on the relationship I’d like to feature?

My wife never read comics until she’d met me. Not for reals anyway. Not the long-form stuff I review here. She’d of course read Calvin & Hobbes and other strips in the newspaper growing up, but she’d never read a graphic novel. Hm, maybe some Tintin. Probably some Tintin. Everyone’s read Tintin.

In any case, we started dating in 2005 and I started giving her comics to read a little before that. Because I know what I’m doing. Early books included Bone, Love Hina, (inexplicably and proving maybe I don’t know what I’m doing) Rising Stars, Same Difference, Nausicaä, Breakfast After Noon, Sparks. I can’t believe Love Hina was the second book I leant her. So many of my favourite books have been published after we met, so we went with what I had. Then we married—and since then, she’s essentially read everything I’ve acquired as I’ve acquired it. Time permitting, of course. I think she still has to catch up on some stuff like Sailor Twain and Big Questions, but she keeps up for the most part. And sometimes even reads books I haven’t. Like Jerusalem and she was the first to recommend I read Mr. Wuffles. Really, she tries to read every book I review before I review it so she can proofread my reviews without having the stories spoiled for her.

So what book do I attach to her? Why every book of course. Every comic I read now has an added association because what we read, we read together. Three cheers for marriage.

Also, I loved Smile except for the x-ray bits of her mouth immediately after the accident. My mouth hurt and I got queasy just looking at it. I could feel my teeth jammed up in my head. Urk. Just writing about it is making the feeling come back.

Early John Constantine reminds me of Sting.

Maggie from Love and Rockets reminds me of my sister a bit.

Misty Knight reminds me of Pam Grier.

Mr. Cronin, that’s so funny – your choice reminds me of someone too! My closest friend had a similar experience to Raina as a kid and had told me about it. Then I read about the book – right here on Comics Should Be Good – and immediately though of him. Every time I see it on the shelf, I think about his story.

Issue 1 of the J. M . DeMatteis/Keith Giffen Dr Fate mini series reminds me of my childhood best friend Tim. We weren’t always friends, in fact when I first met him I didn’t really like him much at all. Tim was a friend of a friend and we basically put up with each other for the sake of the friendship with our mutual friend. The three of us had a sleepover at my house and I showed them my favorite comic at the time Dr. Fate #1. Dr Fate was my favorite superhero when I was a kid, I think I liked the helmet. Anyway the next day I couldn’t find my prized copy of Dr. Fate and I accused Tim.

Eventually I got another copy of Dr. Fate 1 and I got over the whole thing. Tim and I discovered we had a lot of similar interests (comics for one) and he became one of the best friends I ever had. So whenever I come across Dr Fate 1 in my collection I always think of Tim. (but I still think he totally stole that book)

Dark Knight #1

While I was growing up, Rutland, Vermont was the second largest city in the state. However, we did not have a comic book store. The largest city, Burlington, did and that was where my grandparents lived.

My friends, Dave and Chris, and I had heard that this comic was coming. However, it was going to be made available only to comic book stores. I do not exactly remember how it all came about, but we arranged to have my grandfather pick up three copies of this issue (plus the following ones).

Burlington’s store, Earth Prime Comics, was interesting back in the day. Not really the “stereotypical” shop, but slightly off the beaten path and filled with comic books and toys. The owners and employees were so very nice but still, it was not the place one would expect to find a 63 year old former Lieutenant Colonel from the Air Force.

To this day, the image of my grandfather getting in his green Volkswagen Rabbit and driving down to the store’s old location, going in and buying this issue makes me smile.

Preacher always makes me think of the girl who introduced me to it. I had been reading comics for a few years and had obviously heard about it, but had yet to read it. A new girl started at work and as soon as she found out I was into comics she asked if I had ever read Preacher. I hadn’t, so when Christmas rolled around a couple of months later she gave me a copy of the first volume. I was instantly hooked. I soon realized why this girl was so into it. She and her father were almost exactly like Tulip and her father. They even have the signature Steve Dillon cheek bones. She is the absurdly wild way too pretty for anyone’s good blond girl, and her father is a six and a half foot tall man, built like a house, who is a professional grizzly bear bow hunter. I have never seen two people more like a specific pair of comicbook characters in my entire life.

X-Men #1 by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont

I admit that this book does not hold up, but a friend showed me this and it got me obsessed with comics. For whatever reason, I was always sort of afraid of comics. I have a vague memory of some comic that was like a violent spoof of Hagar the Horrible that left a bad taste in my mouth at age 6. It might have been Groo, but I’m pretty sure that series isn’t as violent as I remembered it (but can you really trust memory?) But yeah, X-Men #1 might be wordy, but it was the most important comic too me and I’ll never forget the friend who gave it too me.

Sandman, The Maxx, and Kabuki remind me of a friend from college. She’s doing great now, but she went through a really rough patch a number of years ago. I’d lent her all my Maxx comics and Kabuki: Circle of Blood. It took a long time to get them back. Since she was having a hard time, I didn’t push to get them back. Later, she told me both series had been helpful while she was going through such a dark time. She made a speech at my wedding in which she quoted some of Delerium’s dialogue in Brief Lives (she totally made it work, amazingly enough).

That Rucka’s Wolverine story (first arc I believe) where Logan is talking to Nightcrawler. Remind me of conversations I used to have with my friend Matt (I would be Logan and he would be Kurt).

Fantastic Four #297. My mum bought it for me in a time where we had less than no money. Way less than no money

I got into Fantastic Four and I immediately loved reading about Susan Richards because she reminded me of my mother. They had the same first name. She was always trying to balance her responsibilities to the public (my mom was an editor at a big newspaper; I won’t say which one for privacy’s sake) with trying to look after her two kids, while dealing with the insane exploits of her impulsive younger sibling. Especially potent was the mix between strong, assertive woman who basically ran the show (Reed’s too distracted to lead anything) who was always doubting whether she could hold everybody together and whether or not she was concentrating two hard on either being a working woman or a family woman. And, like modern Susan Richards, my mom is awesome and doesn’t shit from anyone.

X-Men Classic #69,70 reprinting the end of the Brood Saga.

Always remind me of my dad because we were on vacation when I was a kid (his idea of a vacation was just to get in the car and drive and God help you if you needed to go to the bathroom before he did) and he bought these for me in a convenience store somewhere just so I had something to read. Up until then, I had really only read GI Joe comics. Well, that sparked my love of X-Men (and the Marvel Universe in general)…if he’d known how much money would eventually go into feeding that habit and how much space it would take up in his house (a big part of my collection is still there), he probably would have bought Archie instead.

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