read this, and we'd been sent out by our 'library masters' to
collect overdue books from houses around the town.
During our break, we'd driven along to his in-laws' house
where he and his wife were then staying and, while sipping tea
in the back garden, he showed me some of his comics collection.
He even gave me a few which were surplus to his requirements.
(I'd given him some of mine on a previous occasion, so he was
merely reciprocating my friendly, generous gesture.)
Among the five or six comics he gave me (all MARVEL,
as he wasn't so much a fan of their mags as he was of DC) was
The FANTASTIC FOUR #111, wherein The THING meets
The HULK. I eventually cut out the final two panel tier of the
last page and affixed it to my bedroom wall, where it remain-
ed until my family moved to another house in 1983.
Then it went up on the wall of my new bedroom for a
few years, until we returned to our former residence in 1987,
whereupon it resumed its previous place on the wall. And there
it stayed 'til the early hours of this morning, when I replaced it
with a duplicate of the tier, scanned from a replacement copy
of the comic acquired quite a few years back now.
It was time, you see. The original had become rippled
and faded after 35-plus years stuck to a wall, and my room
had taken on a distinctly 'aged' appearance. The new picture is
brighter and whiter, and adds a much-needed splash of colour to
the room. Still, I'm not exactly comfortable in disposing of some-
thing that's been part of the decor for a significant proportion of
my 'adult' life, and I feel a bit of a callous b*st*rd for doing so.
Surely it deserved far better consideration for its many
years of faithful and uncomplaining service?
So far, I've replaced six browned and faded pictures
and intend to do more from time to time until nothing looks
old. It'll be good to once again see white margins surrounding
these pictorial presentations which adorn the wall, looking just
as fresh and new as the day they were printed. If there were
only some way of rejuvenating the originals I'd do it, but
substitution with a 'double' seems my only option.
Anyway, what's done is done and, in time, maybe I'll
eventually forget that the doppelgangers in my room aren't
the originals and delude myself that they're the ones that have
always been there. Still, it'll be a while before I can look at the
fresh, flat, bright, new incarnation of that old picture and not
feel guilty for so cruelly abandoning its predecessor.
I console myself with the thought that at least its image
yet graces its accustomed spot on the wall, and hopefully will
still be there in another 35 or so years. Whether I'll still be
around then is, of course, far more open to question.