by Ignacio Segura
So, Hi. My name is Ignacio Segura. An incredibly small percentage of you may know me as Fake Kiai. Or The Kiai. Or El Kiai. Or simply as Kiai. You may also know me as “that dude Joe Hill retweeted that one time”. And yes, I’m actually pretty proud of that. Wouldn’t you? Have you read Locke & Key? I come from this ridiculously small country in Central America called Costa Rica. If coffee is something more than just your drug of choice to keep the sleep away, then you’ve heard of the place. If you’re a Metal Gear fan, you may also have heard of us. But this article isn’t even about where I live, so let’s fast forward here. This article is, mostly, about her:
Cute, ain’t she?
I like to think so.
That would be my little girl, Isabella. I became a father on August 3rd of last year, at roughly 7 am, after a fairly simple C section and a previous night of not sleeping at all. While the doctors patched up my incredibly drugged wife, I proceeded to spend maybe 3 uninterrupted hours alone with my new daughter, which I believe remains to this day the record of most time I’ve ever been able to share with my daughter.
And it ain’t for lack of trying, let me tell you!
Saying that those three hours changed my life makes a disservice to how profound the experience of holding this tiny life you had a part of creating really is. For those of you out there who are parents yourselves, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who aren’t, if and when it is your turn, just…
You have to be there.
So, interlude time. Have some back story.
I’ve been a comic fan, I think, for the entirety of my life. I knew I loved comics pretty much the first time I ever saw one. The fact I couldn’t read the words in the balloons? Completely inconsequential. At age 5 I had already decided my destiny was to be a comic artist, or as I called it at the time “professional drawing”. I was a frustrated artist by the time I was 10, and some five years later set my sights on writing instead, which I’ve done quite a lot of since then and pretty much every single life decision I’ve taken afterwards has been informed by my love and passion for both writing and comics.
I do still draw from time to time, but just as a hobby.
While comics have been in and out of my life throughout the years, they have a pretty good grip on me, and eventually always find a way to come back, like some sort of mutated serial killer that refuses to die, even if it’s the eleventh movie of the franchise and none of the original character from the first movie are even alive anymore.
Yup. It’s that bad.
So you can bet those polybagged #1 issues I have under my bed that one of the very first things I talked to my daughter about in those initial three hours was about comics. And to some people, this is the part where that scratched record sound goes off in their heads and they go “Comics? Really? You’ve just seen a new life be born into this world and you’re sitting there telling her how awesome Batman is?”.
Well, yeah. Pretty much.
I promise, it is relevant.
I grew up pre-internet, in a country where futbol (what you people call “soccer”) occupies the minds, hearts and imaginations of every male citizen, ages 2 to 200. We… No, sorry. They take 11 guys running after another 11 guys for control of a ball for 90 minutes very, very seriously. I did not get it when I was little and I definitely do not get it now.
But anyways, my point is that finding like-minded friends with whom to share my passion for comics was very difficult. They’d rather watch and/or play futbol. Or video games. Specially video games about futbol. Or go to the movies. Basically anything but reading, regardless if it was reading about Spider-Man or the X-Men. “Why read? There is an X-Men cartoon every weekday at 4 and a Spider-Man one right after that!”
I didn’t really come to have friends who really shared my enthusiasm for comics until much, much later in life. Like… 6 years ago, maybe, when I last came back to comics. And I love all of my friends, do not doubt that for a moment, but the people I share that bond with? The people I share comics with?
They’re special. They really are.
Because I can share with them something that for years I truly adored, yet I had to keep my excitement for it bottled down. Not anymore. And most of these friends are people I’ve never even met in person, yet they mean so much to me because of that. Because of that shared joy for comics.
With how widely spread the internet is now, I don’t know if this kind of experiences, the camaraderie of it all, will become less and less special.
I certainly hope not.
So, you see, it’s not that I sat down with my little girl in the maternity ward and went on and on about how Plastic Man and the Elongated Man are not the same guy, or that Aquaman is no laughing matter (thank you Geoff Johns for proving me right after a lifetime of struggle), or that Jason Todd may had been a less interesting Robin than Dick Grayson but that he edges him in depth and characterization. I mean, I certainly did talk about all that stuff and more with her, but it was so much more than simply talking comics. It was me, this 27 year old guy who never really imagined he’d ever be a husband, much less a family man, completely shocked to my core about how much love, genuine love, I could feel for this little girl. It was me wanting to share with her all the things that I love and that I’m passionate about and that I only share with a handful of people who are very special to me.
It was my very first attempt at trying to bond with my daughter.
I have no clue if her little head registered any of what I told her. Even today, I’m not always sure of what stuff she does and doesn’t pay attention to. It’s not exactly easy at this particular juncture, but I hope, I really, really hope, that it gets easier as she gets older, this bonding thing. I hope I really do get to share with my daughter all this stuff I can’t wait to share with her, see what she thinks of it, what she likes, what she doesn’t like.
Find some common ground.
And yet at the same time, I’m terrified of becoming that dad who constantly tries to shove his hobbies down his children’s throats, making them hate whatever that particular hobby was forevermore and keeping psychologists worldwide employed.
But that’s next week’s topic.
So in the meantime keep warm, keep safe, go check the comic racks and try something you’ve never tried before. It’s good for you.
Maybe give that Joe Hill I mentioned before a try.
If you’ve somehow found my particular brand of nonsensical rambling amusing in any way, you can get more where that came from by following @the_kiai on Twitter. I warn you, though: Most of the stuff I post there makes no sense whatsoever. Even to myself. But, hey, if you’ve read till this point, maybe you’ll like it.
I have no Facebook, so don’t try looking me there.
My Google+ page is deader than Disco and the radio star combined, but if you want, you can go look for +Ignacio Segura. There are funny pictures of my daughter and some more rambling. And maybe a drawing or two as well.
NEXT WEEK: How Daddy made me hate the Doom Patrol!!