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In the mid 70's,there were Comic Conventions about once or twice a year in New York.I would have to go,of course.I could find rare stuff,Basil Wolverton art,underground comic's,and superhero fare that was not available at the drugstore,which was where my dad got me comic's.My mom got them for me at the headshop.Comic's to me were more than just cool-they were,like science fiction and book's,a bridge to a fantasy world I could easily escape to.They were easily to relate to for me:the casual way in which they depicted violence and trauma appealed to me.My father was a violent person.He was raised in a Catholic Orphanage in the Bronx,and his fight's with my mother and various family member's were horrificly intense.She would smash everything in the house,and scream at him till he exploded.When they split up,we went to stay with him every other weekend.His solution to everything seemed to be to beat it up.Luckily my older brother got the worst beating's,mostly because he deserved it,being a violent psychopath himself.My dad just started getting drunk all the time too.He would just pick us up and go to the bar and give us a roll of quarters to play skee ball with,or play tunes on the jukebox.He also had good point's,like he was into educating us,and taught me about MLK and JFK,and how they should be my heroes.It was hard to remember this,though,as he made me learn how to drive him home because he was too drunk,at age 8.But he was also trying to get me to testify against my mother in Family Court,so he would spoil us,and take us to Comic Convention's.Here,I would gravitate toward's fanzines-I wanted to make comic's,not just be a fan.I had seen comic's Jules Fieffer had hand made when he was a kid,so I knew it was doable.So I would gravitate toward's independant comic's even back then,simply because it proved that you didn't have to be a big corporation to make a comic book.There were a few fanzines at the convention's,and they were cheaper than the vintage Mavel shit,so near the end I would buy a bunch of them to take home.Mostly,it was just me and my little brother,my two older sibling's opting out of visit's with my father,since they hated his gut's.My older sister wouldn't talk to him,since he beat up my Mom,who was by now a feminist campaigner working for Planned Parenthood.My older brother wouldn't go there because my dad would just beat the fuck out of him for being an asshole who sniffed glue and played Black Sabbath all the time.My father hated long hair,and thought it was the fucked uppest thing in the world.He was trying to get custody of us because my mom was a pothead hippy women's libber,but you need more than that to win a court case.The whole mess was rather stressful to me at age 8,so you can imagine how a ready made fantasy kingdom of comic's and stories was an enticing pursuit.Add a soundtrack of Steppenwolf,Black Sabbath,and T.Rex,and that would sum up the best life had to offer at the time.

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