I've written before about my kids' love for . And since Free Comic Book Day is this weekend, I thought I'd tell you this little ditty of a story to get you in the mood.
There I was, an exhausted mom at the end of a long day with two hot and cranky tweenagers. Both on each other's last nerve, in a grocery store, up in the hills of San Ramon, on our way to a long evening of water polo.
"Ouch! Mom, can we get some pizza flavored Pringles?"
"No. And stop pinching your sister."
"What about some ... STOP IT! ... watermelon glitter burst bubble gum?"
"No. And you, stop repeating everything your sister says. It's not funny."
Under her breath, "It's not funny."
Then, it was like the heavens opened up. There, on the endcap near the register, were two Archie comic digests: Archie and Friends, #13 and Betty and Veronica, #223.
In unison came the plea.
"Yay! Mom, can we pleeeeeease get these? Oh. My. Gosh. We haven't even read these yet! Pleeeease?"
I think I was more excited than they were because I knew that the rest of the shopping trip, as well as the long car ride home, would be quiet. Content, but quiet.
Happily, I agreed and threw them in my cart. Just then I heard a grunt from the man behind me. I turned and smiled.
He frowned and said, "Humph. Those aren't real books."
"Really?" I asked.
Still smiling, but confused. Did he not just hear my girls bickering? Regardless how he feels about comic books, Dude, enjoy the silence.
"Why not?" I continued. "They are filled with words and my kids read them."
"Humph." was his only reply.
What I didn't say was what my sister, the librarian, would have said:
That comic books, comic digests and graphic novels are a fantastic reading source for everyone — male and female, young and old. And regardless of what Mr. Supermarket Grouchy Pants thinks, they are not just fluff, either. They are for all ages, all genres, all reading levels. My sister suggests them to advanced readers as well as the reluctant reader — like my daughter used to be.
Yes, I said "used to." Now she devours books at a rate that will soon challenge her auntie. I fully attribute this to comics and to the children's monthly book club held at the library. Both make reading fun.
has once again teamed up with to give away free comics. Yes, free! It happens this Saturday, all day, while supplies last. All you have to do is go to the Alameda library or head down to and ask.
So don't be a Supermarket Grouch. Take an open mind, take your kids if you own some, but most of all, take yourself to Free Comic Book Day. For more deets, read this: .