Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Economics of being a Blerd Family Man

I am going to use this post as an excuse to show off my kids!  But also as a economic reality check for Blerd dads.  For those of you who don't know, when you have kids, it changes everything. People say that and its true.  It changes how you eat, how you sleep, how you plan, how you work.... There is no portion of life where your kids don't change you!  That is especially true when it comes to your recreation cash flow and your free time.

You see before I had kids, I was an avid collector of comics! I don't have any other real vices, so comics was my way of being a kid still and my way to escape from all the shit adulthood throws at you( marriage, bills, work, etc).  My pull box at Tate's Comics was always full on Wednesday with tons of Xmen comics, Spiderman, Avengers, Iron-Man... you get the picture. Just as an estimate, I would say I was spending close to $70/month on my monthly books( not counting limited series).  Let alone long and short boxes to store them and  bags and boards. Comics were a true passion and new comic book Wednesday was like a weekly, religious holiday for me.

But, like most couples, after we got married, we got pregnant and slowly but surely, even before my boy was born, things started to change.  Money that I wanted to spend on comics, had to go to paint for the baby room, cribs, diaper genies, and changing tables.  My pull box shrank.  I rationalized and said, "ok. I will just cut out solo books." No more Captain America or Iron Man or Wolverine," I said. " But I will keep Spider-Man. " But later we had to buy sheets, rocking chairs, and breast pumps.  My pull box began to shrink even more. "Ok, I'm just gonna get X-men books but only Uncanny and X-men.  No more X-Factor or Excalibur!" And the books I did get, wound up in unread stacks because my free time was  replaced by chores and "honey do" lists to get done before the baby arrived.

Then the baby was born.  He is/was such a sweet kid!  But that sweet kid ate all the time.  Formula costs mad money and diapers ain't cheap either. That's not counting all those baby visits to the DR. Days started to run together because of lack of sleep and Tate's Comics  would have to call me to tell me my books had come in!Plus our income got cut because my wife took maternity for 6 months after he was born.  So when he was around 6 months old, I stopped collecting. I boxed up all my long boxes and placed them in the attic where all things go to die!

Over time, I would just collect Wizard Magazine to see what was going on in comics.   Like a junkie, I would still stop at the store and look around and smell the books, but not buy anything.  My boy, Aaron, bought me the Marvel on line subscription for Christmas one year and that helped but I still cant get down with reading comics on the computer.  Just as things were getting back into balance, of course we got pregnant again and the whole process went into repeat. In case you don't know, day care is exspensive as hell and it was cheaper for us to just have my wife stay home and not work.  She did that for five years!  So I didn't actually buy comics for close to six years.  I lived on old Archie Digests, Wizards,  and when I could, sneaks into the attic to read back issues!

What finally got me back on the wagon, besides my wife going back to work, was Free Comic Book Day! Being the good dad that I am, I raised my kids right and they love comics; although my son likes DC more than I am comfortable with.  We are 5 year veterans of Free Comic Book Day.  We wake up early and we are the 1st in line at our store(some 3 hours before the store opens).  Free Comic Book Day reignited my interest in books and now I could share it with my kids which makes it all the more special.

So to all the new dad's or soon to be dads, get ready! Life as you know it is over.  Comics are going to have to take a back seat for a while, but it's okay.  Be patient and just wait a few years! Read your back issues to them everynight, and wait for Free Comic Book Day to get your fix!

The Producer

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