Between a compromised immune system, allergies, asthma, and a wildly overprotective mom, I didn’t get out much as a kid. Not saying at all, just not much. Thus, along with a few other factors, I learned to appreciate solitude and an inner, more imaginary world. Comic books were probably my greatest escape. The New Teen Titans, All-Star Squadron, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Team-Up, and Marvel Two-in-One were particular favorite series at the time.
As I grew up, I learned, and begrudgingly accepted, that life cannot be exclusively about escape. As much as it appealed to me, hiding away wasn’t the solution, and I learned that lesson almost exclusively from the super-heroes I was reading in the comics. Spider-Man, especially, taught me that with great power must also come great responsibility; so said the Prophet Stan Lee.
Nonetheless, with our world being the way it is, sometimes, some days, I still need to withdraw, get away from all of the real-world horrible things. I recognize that, in and of itself, is a sign of privilege, because some people can’t take a day away from the shit show. For those of us who can, though, I ask: where do you turn? Fiction? Non-fiction? Poetry? What genre or medium? Where do you run when you’ve just had enough?