Previously On Comics: That Whole Fuckin’ Thing

Well, good afternoon!  This is officially our last Monday of 2021. It has been a hell of a year. I was in two car wrecks! I spent months on disability leave! Other stuff happened! I don’t know where I’m going with this. There aren’t a lot of news items on account of Christmas being the day before yesterday. It’s only one day, but you know how everything just kind of shuts down the week prior, and it’s true for comics too.

Comics saved my life this year, like they have so many times in the past. When my days were at their worst, when I couldn’t find the motivation to do a single other thing, couldn’t even get out of bed some days, comics were there. I couldn’t write about them as easily–you  might have noticed my output slowed dramatically the last half of the year–but I could still read them, and bit by bit they brought me back to being a functional person (at least, a reasonable facsimile of one).

I read Uncanny X-Men #173 probably half a dozen times. I still don’t think I’ve written all the words I have to write about that issue, about the form and craft of it. I wrote some about the artist himself. I don’t want to turn this into a showcase of my work, but I’m pretty proud of that piece, specifically.

I reread old arcs of New Mutants and Excalibur, because old X-Men will always be my comfort food. I read comics about gay succubi. I read porn parody comics, slice-of-life webcomics, I had a mental breakdown and read comics about people undergoing the same. My dad died and I read comics about abusers getting what’s coming to them. With every story, I felt a little bit better.

Comics as a community saved my life, too. I have friends I’ve made in the last few years purely because of comics, the people they bring together, the enthusiasm they inspire. Those friendships are some of the strongest I’ve ever had, and those people were there for me in the worst hours of my life, when I couldn’t even be there for myself. Comics taught me how to love again. How to love fiercely again, risk to my own heart be damned. Comics got me on to podcasts where I talked with people way smarter than I am about stories and what they mean to us. Comics let me talk with brand new friends about intersections with disability, the way we use art to explore what it means to be disabled. Comics let me make shitty memes roasting some of my writing partners. Comics let me revisit memories of folks who’ve come and gone, like the great Tom Spurgeon, who to this day is responsible for my favorite quote.

I still don’t know where I’m going with this. It’s late and I’m feeling maudlin. This should probably be on a Tumblr blog somewhere instead of in the news bullet, but I’m the goddamned Editor-in-Chief and sometimes I get to do what I want. Everyone knows that old Kirby quote about how comics’ll break your heart. It gets bandied about a lot when the bad stuff happens (and boy does the bad stuff happen). But there’s a thing about that quote that I don’t think enough people spend time considering. It’s true that sometimes they will break your heart. But they only can if they’ve made you love in the first place.

I love comics. I love you all. See you in 2022.

Nola Pfau

Nola Pfau

Nola is a bad influence. She can be found on twitter at @nolapfau, where she's usually making bad (really, absolutely terrible) jokes and occasionally sharing adorable pictures of her dog.

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