George Goner, for the Haunted Cabaret
My mother burned my comic books because she said I scared my little sister. I don't remember scaring my sister, but I probably did. Not because I read comic books, but because when you're six, making noise is the thing to do. I remember the fire in the trash can all too well. Because of this, I have been avenging myself on my parents ever since, dedicating my existence to the lifestyle of a maladjusted fan boy. (Maladjusted: one of the pop psychology terms that contributed, no doubt, to the destruction of the tales of Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Mighty Samson that long ago night.)
This morning my revenge takes its latest step. Not in a kid's bedroom, surrounded by four-color comics and posters of Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian, but at the Rhode Island Convention Center in the heart of H.P. Lovecraft's Providence. Both Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe walked the streets of Providence's east side, and indulged in fantasies of horror and romance. Now, 30,000 like-minded dreamers will descend en masse upon the ancient city this weekend for Rhode Island Comic Con, and I shall be among them. How many fellow attendees got their comic collections burned, I have no idea. How many attend out of vengeance, or spite, or simple perversity, only the Watcher knows.
Today we assemble for the festival, bringing our idols with us: Batman and Robin, and pro wrestlers Kevin Nash and Jimmy Snuka. And the vendors, who supply our magazines and DVD's and autographed photos. Sorry mom, my sense of wonder survived your fire and outlived you. If you were here, I think you would be glad. After all, besides comic books, you introduced me to the writings of Lovecraft, the music of Black Sabbath, and the TV show Night Gallery. You dressed me as Satan my first Halloween. I can only conclude the comic book bonfire was an aberration, brought on by temporary overindulgence in daytime TV psychobabble. No harm done.
All is forgiven, many times over.
It's Comic Con time in the city, and I wish you were here.
That's ok... I'll enjoy the weekend for both of us.
Join Us Friday 8-11pm