Monday, March 22, 2004

Tonight I was reading my new trade paperbacks on the tube as I crossed London to visit Jen (the new Y The Last Man and Planetary books - both of which are very good reads) when a young lady got on the train with her hyper active under-six son and sat next to me. He was a bit of a handful and his flailing around as he sat on her knee was distracting me from John Cassady's stunning art. I turned and smiled at him, on the verge of giving up on grabbing twenty minutes of quiet reading time.
He smiled back and then noticed what I had in my hands.

His smile expanded, creating dimples you could have used to store spare change in.
'Batman' he said.
He stopped kicking, and flailing and distracting me from my comics and he stared quietly at the page.
I left the book open and watched out of the corner of my eye as he slowly read the pictures and the words he could understand, piecing together the story in his little head. When he'd reached the bottom of the right hand page I turned. And so we read (and enjoyed) the Planetary/Batman crossover together for seven stops worth of the Jubilee Line.

His mother was visibly shaken by the change that had come over her son and I was tempted to leave the book with her. But then there are probably better comics for a youngster to be reading than that particular Warren Ellis collection.
I wonder if his mum will remember this episode and pick him up a comic next time she's in a newsagents...
I think either way - give it a few years - and we have another convert.

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