Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thanks for the Memories

I attended this year's Indiana ComiCon in Indianapolis.  I don't go to cons as often as my husband and daughter do do so I felt a little lost, out of place.  I went to the dealers' room first just to see what was there.  When I entered the room one of the first booths I encounter was for the comic artist Mike Grell (
Mike Grell at his booth March 2015.
There was a comic book set on display at the front corner of the table.  I stopped dead when I saw it.  It wasn't that I immediately knew the artist by name, but the cover of the comic caught my attention. I knew it but I couldn't place it at first.  The comic on display was "THE WARLORD" Vol 7 No. 53 from January 1982 titled "The Sorceress' Apprentice".  I stood starring at the comic.  I knew that I had owned it once as a child.  I couldn't tell you what it was about.  I couldn't remember the plot.  But from the cover I knew that it had once been important to me.  

I happily paid $6.00 for a DC Comic that originally cost 60 cents.  I waited to have the artist sign it before I opened it.  He was distracted while doing a sketch for another attendee.  He rambled pleasantly while he sketched. I waited patiently, racking my brain to remember what it was about this comic.  When he finally did sign it, he barely acknowledged me as I babbled about how I had bought this comic in my youth.  There were others waiting and I am sure he has heard this kind of thing a thousand times before.

It was as we drove home, after a day of walking among amazing people, seeing amazing things that I finally sat down alone with "The Sorceress' Apprentice".  It was one single page in the story that opened a Pandora's box for me.  A young woman is very emotionally damaged by a tragedy that happened in an earlier edition.  A witch comes into her life.  The witch wants to learn about the technology from our world that the young woman excels at.  She proposes an exchange of knowledge - technology from the woman for magic from the witch.  But first the girl must be healed from her crippling trauma (she's so locked she can barely communicate).

In one panel we are shown where the witch reaches inside the woman's mind, finds the terrible trauma and the damage it's caused, and simply removes it.  After that the witch teaches the woman how to use magic while she learns about technology.  But I stop there.  It's all about that one panel that takes up only a fourth of the page at the bottom.  It says EVERYTHING that I wanted during that dark time in my life.  January of 1982 I would have been 12 1/2 years old.  The sexual abuse from my step-father would have started the summer before.  I was in an unbelievable amount of pain with seemingly no way out.  It would have been a blessing if a witch had come into my life, removing me from the situation, and wiping me clean of the pain.  Oh what a blessing it would have been!  How I would have held onto that!  But no witch came to save me.  No knight in shining armor either.  No one came.  In the end it was my own mind snapping that moved me out of the situation (to a degree).  
Fast forward 33 years.  I'm not magically cured of all the pain but I can function fairly well.  I have my problems.  I still have moments where a memory wiping witch would come in handy.  However, I have to believe that it was the mental escape and the hope this story offered that helped me to get through those early years.  (Reading was always such a beautiful escape for me!)  It was something to hold onto.  Perhaps I was holding out for the witch within.  Wounded, heal thyself.  And for the most part, I have.  The young woman in the story was able to instantly be able to function normally again. It took me about 30 years longer on my own without the witch's spell.

I am thankful for the memories that this comic brought back to me.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of how very far I have come so that I know that I can go wherever and do whatever I set my mind to. Sometimes we all need to take that step back for clarity.  

Thanks for the memories.