I hadnâ€™t been this excited in quite some time, at least since Iâ€™d first seen the â€œWatchmenâ€ trailer.
It was Free Comic Book Day.
You see, I only morphed into a comic book geek rather late in life; up until a few years ago, I was completely immune to superheroes.
All it took was a series called â€œSnake Womanâ€ back in 2006, and from then on I was never quite the same. I was hooked.
Heroes replaced Skin DÃ©cor as my new candy store, to which I began dragging friends, dates, even my mother. (I tend to tackle newfound interests like a cat would a mouse, and usually canâ€™t wait to share my joy.)
So as I galloped toward Heroes on Saturday, May 2, my heart was in my throat. Darth Vader and three Clones were greeting people at the door, light sabers in hand!
But I felt so deflated when I flipped open the free comic I had chosen, only to discover a bunch of ads.
Yes, it was basically just a load of advertising for a new comic company called Radical. I wanted to kick myself for not choosing a different comic, then wondered if the others were all just ads as well.
Needless to say, I was in a very foul mood by the time I arrived at work later that morning, venting my frustration to anyone who would listen.
And it was then that a couple of fellow comic fans cut to the chase.
â€œFree Comic Day is nothing but a bunch of hype,â€ one told me. â€œItâ€™s just a way to get people in the door. I donâ€™t even bother anymore.â€
My anger drained away, and I was left feeling extraordinarily sad, the kind of sad Iâ€™d felt at age eight after finding a price tag on a gift that was supposed to be from Santa.
Was the cynicism yet to come, or could I sustain my optimism and find the silver lining?
I got my answer later that day as I flipped through my â€œcomicâ€ on my lunch break, admiring the cool artwork, wondering if Radical would last long enough to come out with something worth reading.
I thought back to my early skepticism of the now-defunct Virgin Comics, then remembered how many of their series ended up becoming my favorites.
And I smiled. My glass was still half full. I realize that being jaded is cool now, and that cynicism killed off sentimentality long ago, but Iâ€™ve already been there and done that.
Negativity is just too exhausting to keep up for very long, and it kills the imagination.