As anyone who knew me in college could tell you, I never wanted to have daughters. The thought of them bringing home some guy some day was something that scared me back then. Two daughters later and I am still very much afraid. So very, very afraid. However, being a dad is the best thing that has ever happened to me and there have been many proud moments on this journey. Their first words, their first steps, and yes even their introduction to comics are all moments that have made this father happy.
One of the things I always wanted to avoid was to force any of my interests on my kids. I would rather they find their own interests but I was lucky enough that their introduction to comics happened quite organically. There was a great LCS that I had been going to for years and so the owners, managers, and employees all knew me. They were like my geeky family so it was only natural that they wanted to see my kids when they were born. And this is where it all began really. Simple trips along with dad to the comic book store on weekends led to an interest in reading these colorful books that continue to this day.
As my kids grew older, these daddy daughter day trips ended up taking place on the weekends. It would usually be this point that after a long work week, my wife would be exhausted. My daughters are momma’s girls through and through so in order to give my wife a rest and create fun little adventures, trips to the store became something we shared. We would even make up a Dora the Explorer style song when they were young describing our trip to the store.
Get in the car (clap clap clap)
Drive over the highway (clap clap clap)
Arrive at the Comic Store (Yaaayyy)
Dora was a huge show for my kids growing up with some really simple songs for kids. Just ask Brian Regan. No seriously, go check out his Dora stand-up on YouTube. I’ll wait for you to get back.
Aside from these brilliant lyrics, another advantage was that the comic store we went to was right next to a Dunkin Donuts. So another part of our little growing tradition became going to get coffee, hot chocolate and donuts afterwards while looking over our haul. Nothing quite brings the three of us together like reading and looking at comic art while eating and drinking the sweet nectar of the gods.
A big part of this recipe for daddy daughter goodness that I haven’t yet full credited is the store itself. I’ve heard horror stories about some store experiences (horror stores?), but the shop we went to was as welcoming a place as you could find. And I mean welcoming to everyone. Hey, they even let me in. All joking aside though, there new and old comic selection was a diverse as their customer base. Best of all, they had a separate wall full of children’s comics that made finding the right book easy on us parents and our kids. From My Little Pony (fatherhood is magic!) to Scooby-Doo, they had us covered. It also didn’t matter who was on staff, as they all seemed to love the kids and were happy to talk to them about their books. This great store was the heart of the experience that helped my girls become closer to me in this fandom and I am very happy we had that. I think finding that special comic store is important to most people whether they have kids or not because we want to feel comfortable and at home in our fandom experience.
So that’s it for my little story of Dr. Comiclove or how my kids learned to love the funny books. This part of our relationship has grown and changed over time even just from the point where they now read the books. Sure sometimes we still read them together, but they can pick up a book and enjoy it without my help.
In the future, I’d like to tell you about how my kids got into other things like Star Wars, conventions and Voltron(the name of the son I never had). I’d also love to hear from you in the comments. How did you share your love of comics with your kids? What was the experience like? Feel free to write about it because you never know when that might help someone else bring their kids to comics. There are many different ways to do it. This article just shows what my experience was like.