Adventures in Comics: Comics and “The Big Picture”
Saturday, August 18, 2018 Adventures in Comics: Comics and “The Big Picture” Redartz: Good day, everyone! Hope you’ll forgive me for some verbal wandering today. Usually in these “Adventures in Comics” installments, we discuss fairly specific activities or events related to our favorite hobby. Today, though, I’d like to look at the ‘big picture’. That is, comics in general. Have they had an impact on our lives, our attitudes, our goals? How have they affected our journey down this long road we call Life? Let me start by saying I don’t mean to trivialize anything about life itself, our decisions, the highs and lows we all face as human beings. Indeed, life has enough challenge each day to sober up even the most cheerful of Pollyannas. And regarding the things that affect our lives, there are many factors far more influential than any hobby or pastime (our families and friends, to begin with). That said, I feel no apologies needed for my love of comics. Most every person who ever lived has had something they enjoy doing to relax, to escape for a bit, or just to help them ‘feel themselves again’. Comics have been my ‘thing’ for most of my life now. I’ve loved them from the start. I started reading pretty young, in fact I recall reading the newspaper at age 5 (specific memories of reading about the “Palm Sunday Tornadoes” of 1965). Book reading followed soon after, and already I was noticing the pictures in those books. And when an older neighbor introduced 7 year old Redartz to this thing called a ‘comic book’, well, the die was cast. Already an enthusiastic book reader, now there were these fascinating magazines with cool artwork to enjoy along with the textual material. An aside, historical type- I recall reading Dr. Frederick Wertham’s book “Seduction of the Innocent”. One passage was rather denigrating to comics as a medium, referring snidely to ‘pictures with words in balloons’. The inference was that reading comics was lower, or less intellectually challenging, than reading an actual book. I couldn’t disagree more. Comics as a medium combine the best elements of both literary and visual arts. And subject matter varies as widely as it does in any other creative format: film, books, or whatever. That’s one of the things I find most rewarding about comics; there’s something for any mood or interest. How can you not love a hobby which gives you light fun with Archie, dramatic adventures with Spider-man, crazy satire with MAD, chills with any of the horror books? Or if you’re looking for something a bit deeper, Maus is as powerful a tale as any film or novel you’ll ever find. Looking for adult material- there’s the undergrounds. Will Eisner was right, comics (or as he preferred, ‘sequential art’) is perfectly valid as an art form, high or low. Anyway, once I started reading comics, I never stopped. Sure, the material changed; Casper to Superman to Spider-man to Archie and then to full scale collecting. And adulthood added a whole range of graphic novels to the mix. But through it all, the appeal of comics remained consistent. And that’s not all. Comics led me to explore other areas, as well. Initially, when I started college, my goal was to become a comics artist. Of course I soon learned that my figure drawing was insufficient, but on the other hand discovered a whole new world of fine art and photography. Reading various graphic novels inspired more curiosity about history and other cultures. New friends and new experiences followed, all stemming from the welcoming atmosphere of art school and the company of like-minded folks ( and numerous comics fans). And to push this all even further, I met my wife at a party with one of my art-school buddies. So I used to tease my sons with “You know, if it wasn’t for comic books…”. At any rate, I found it funny. The point is: comics, in general, enhanced my life in various ways and pointed me in directions I might otherwise have bypassed. So, to sum things up, comics have been a pretty big part of my life; and a beneficial one at that. Comics have provided entertainment, education, inspiration, diversion, and indirectly a career. They have given me wonderful stories such as “‘Bone” and “Y-The Last Man”. ” The Avengers/Defenders War” and “Days of Future Past”. “A Contract With God” and “Sugar and Spike”. Enemy Ace and Little Lulu. Batman and Forbush Man. And so on, and so on, and so on. You get the idea, there’s no limit to the wonders that I’ve read, and to the ones that await. It gives you something to look forward to; whether rereading an old favorite or discovering some new comic creation. So Dr. Wertham, if you’re out there listening, I’ll continue to take my words with pictures and balloons; thank you. Posted by
William Dale Street Jr., 85
William Dale Street Jr., 85
MAY 20, 1933—JULY 31, 2018
BLOOMINGTON — William Dale “Bill” Street Jr., 85, of Bloomington, passed away on Tuesday July 31, 2018, at Stonecroft Health Campus, with his loving wife and son by his side.
Bill was born May 20, 1933, in Greene County, Indiana, and was the son of the late William Dale Street Sr. and Levta (Watson) Street. Bill was a 1953 graduate of Bloomington High School and was an Army veteran, serving in the Korean War. He was a longtime member of Arlington United Methodist Church, and retired from Smithville Telephone after more than 20 years of service.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. During the last 81/2 years, the pride and joy of his life was his granddaughter, Sophia.
The family would like to thank all of the wonderful caregivers at the Hearthstone and Stonecroft Health and Living Campus for their excellent care. He loved all of them and appreciated their kindness through his difficult times.
In his retirement years, his favorite pastime was visiting with his many friends at the Bob Evans counter and the Cloverleaf restaurants. He enjoyed their company almost daily. A big thank you to the managers and employees at these places. They were always so kind, gracious and caring.
He loved many sports and followed them on TV. He could always tell you the details about his favorite teams and players. Watching movies, particularly the westerns, was his hobby in his retirement years.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Martha (Keller) Street of Bloomington; son, Jay (Heather) Street of Naperville, Illinois and their daughter, Sophia Street; sister, Rosanna (Albert) Harshman of Worthington; brother, Mike (Mary Ann) Brosman of Ocean Springs, Mississippi; and sister-in-law, Clara Wyrick of Bloomington.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother, Lelia Ruth Brosman; and step-grandmother, Marigold Page.
Friends and family are invited to visitation at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard, 3000 E. Third St., Bloomington, from noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, 2018.
Funeral services will follow the visitation at 2 p.m. at The Funeral Chapel, with Rev. Robert Ostermeier officiating. Before Bill is laid to rest at Garrison Chapel Cemetery, friends and family will have a piece of pie at the funeral home in Bill’s memory from his favorite restaurant, Gray Brothers.
If anyone is inclined to remember Bill with a Memorial Contribution, please do so to the American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate.html or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, https://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/donation2.php or Arlington United Methodist Church, 1820 W. Arlington Road, Bloomington, IN 47404.
Memories of Bill and condolences to his family may be given at www.thefuneralchapel.net .