The Miller Clan Chimes in on Comics by Don, Sarah, and Donalyn Miller
Growing up, the Piggly Wiggly in our neighborhood kept comics on a spinning rack near the magazines and newspapers. My sister, Abbie, and I would scrounge for pop bottles in the vacant lot nearby, turn them in for the deposit, and use the money to buy candy and Dr. Pepper’s. If we had any change left after picking out wax lips and Marathon bars, we would thumb through the comics and grab the latest issues of Archie or Casper. We read a lot and comics were one more thing to read.
When I started dating Don, I learned he was a serious comic reader and collector, which I thought was fascinating. My knowledge of comics was limited to that grocery store spinning rack. I hadn’t read a comic book since 1977. Don introduced me to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. On paydays, we would go to Lone Star Comics and buy the latest Swamp Thing, Preacher, or Hellblazer. I liked Don and he liked reading comics, so I read them, too. Comics were another part of our new couple cultural exchange.
Later, Don introduced our daughters to comics, and they read them. Sandman and Watchmen sit on our living room bookshelves alongside To Kill a Mockingbird and The Stand—comics and graphic novels are another piece in our reading family’s foundation.
I have grown to appreciate comics and promote them to my students because we read so many comics at home. I have a better-than-novice knowledge of the format, but Don and our youngest daughter, Sarah, are the comics’ experts around the Miller house. I invited the two of them to share their reading experiences and thoughts on all things comics, graphic novels, and manga.
Here are Installments #1 and #2 of our discussion. We follow Colby Sharp and John Schu’s “one take” rule, so the audio recording is free form. We sat around my iPad, chatting and recording. I will post Installment #3 on my You Tube Channel after I edit it to shorter installments!
Millers’ Comics Interview #1: Why Comics?
Millers’ Comics Interview #2: What Do You Say to People Who Don’t Appreciate Comics? (and Sarah schools me on Manga)
Join us for October’s Graphic Novel Celebration!
Don, Donalyn, and Sarah Miller live in Texas and enjoy reading comics under their ceiling fan during the hot Texas summer (and the hot Texas fall).