I took my daughter Avery to see her first in-theater movie on Monday. We saw Inside Out. Sure, I loved the movie, but I loved even more how much Avery loved the experience of sitting in a deep theater seat with a Joy figurine in her cup holder and her own bag of popcorn in her lap, pieces of popcorn impatiently passing her lips, while watching an emotional atom bomb of a movie explode on an impossibly large screen. I loved her perfectly-timed giggly glances; I loved how we turned to one another with tears in our eyes and how she held onto my arm, her head on my shoulder until the end.
But the excitement of the afternoon didn’t end there. We were on the road talking about our favorite parts of the movie when–noticing in the rearview mirror that she wasn’t fiddling with her Joy figurine–I paused to ask if she had remembered to grab Joy on the way out of the theater. She said she had forgotten Joy, that she had left her in the cup holder! As expected, in Joy’s absence, Sadness took over: Avery started bawling. “I want Joy!” were the only words that rose above the sobs. I promised her that I’d turn back and that we’d save Joy; I told her that this was going to be our journey, one not unlike the journey that Joy herself went on to save Riley. We met with a few obstacles–including an antagonistic red left turn arrow, which didn’t give a green that we were in a rush, skipping over us once as the lights cycled round the intersection; and a stubborn garbage truck that simply refused to get out of our way as it seemed to contemplate the value of each off ramp before finally choosing one–the one that immediately preceded the ramp to which we were racing.
Once in the multiplex lobby, we presented a stub to a ticket taker and explained our plight. She wished us luck and we ranranran–we knew the way–straight ahead, to the left, last theater on the right, which had–uh oh!–already started–oh no!–letting people in for the next showing. I hopedhopedhoped that some sticky-fingered kid hadn’t already found Avery’s Joy and sadly made it his own, that we weren’t going to be stuck with a sad ending–with a blue-tinged core memory. I was ready, however, to ask around–to plead; to pay, as necessary–if Joy wasn’t where Avery had left her. Luckily, no one was sitting in the row we had sat in, but the row below it was filled with kids, most of whom were most assuredly sticky fingered already! I got nervous as we climbed the steps and revisited our row. I stuck my hand in every blinking cup holder in that flipping row; and wouldn’t you know: no Joy. I turned to Avery and told her, “She’s not here, baby girl.” “I want my Joy,” she cried. She caught the attention of the kids and the adult in the row just below us. I asked them if they had happened to find a Joy figurine as they found their seats. They apologized. I told Avery to wait right there and I got on my hands and knees. I reached under the seats that I supposed had been ours and knocked pieces of popcorn here and there; and as I did so, one of the kids in the row below reached over his seat and used his cellphone as a flashlight, illuminating the freakishly florescent popcorn–a lot of popcorn–did any popcorn make its way into Avery’s mouth?–and, amongst the kernels, Avery’s Joy. “Daddy saves the day!” celebrated the adult, probably a mom, who understood the import of the moment. I handed the figurine to Avery, thanked the clever kid with the cellphone, scooped Avery up and skipped down the steps. “Are you happy, baby?” “Uh huh. Can we go home now?” “We sure can.”
As we drove home, we were talking about our favorite parts of the movie and how cool it was that we had a journey of our own when–noticing in the rearview mirror that she was playing with Joy–I paused to say, “I love you, Avery.” She said, “I love you, too. I had fun on our date, Daddy.” “On our date?” I laughed. “I did, too, baby girl. I did, too.”
Boy, I can’t wait for a comic book to have that same effect on us. Hmm. Maybe one of these’ll do the trick:
- Archie Vs. Predator #4 (Dark Horse)
- Fight Club 2 #3 (Dark Horse)
- Frankenstein Underground #5 (Dark Horse)
- Mind MGMT #35 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand I cried plenty during Inside Out–and, full disclosure, during the volcanic short that preceded it. You know: lava, tears. My investment in those weren’t nearly the investment I have in Mind MGMT. We’re two issues away from my being reduced to nerd jerky. Speaking of being reduced: poor Meru! She’s been laid out; her future’s in question–she’s on the brink!–and a cute K-9 strapped with C-4 has come to her rescue. Yeah, Mind MGMT. is. about. to. blow. up! Cue tears.
- We Are Robin #2 (DC)
- Sidekick #11 (Image)
- Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #6 (Image)
- Wolf #1 (Image): Just I&N Ales Kot is comic’s most compelling read–as long as he’s in his own world. Lucky for us, Wolf‘s his. Anticipate
crime noir like you’ve never read befoir: a streama flood of consciousness that’ll leave you drowning in daddy issues. Or. Maybe. Not. Heck, I’m imagining Brubaker and Phillips’ Criminal on ‘shrooms; Miller’s Sin City on youthful arrogance. Whatever the result, I’m pretty confident that we’re in for a treat–a dust-laced Milk Bone, perhaps?
- Magneto #20 (Marvel)
- The Disciples #2 (Black Mask): I&N Demand A solid first issue’s worth of exposition–which never seemed to drag despite the conspicuous lack of action–with a shared WTF? hook at the end sold me on this slice of sci-fi horror from Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten. Reminded a bit of Garth Ennis’s recently-wrapped Caliban (Avatar), which ended up being really good. So, yeah, I’m ready for more.
- Mayday #4 (Black Mask): I&N Demand “Chaos reigns,” indeed! Curt Pires is lighting fires and is letting them burn down everything in sight! Has been solidly amorphous through three. I sure as hell hope the end note follows suit–by shooting the massive expectations that have been built up after three idiosyncratic issues in the effing head.
Avery’s Pick of the Week
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #32 (IDW): Have I mentioned that Avery loves her Ponies? If Applejack’s featured, all the better. Guarantees that Grammy’s going to mention–again–that her father’s CB handle was Applejack. Gosh, Avery just loves that little tidbit of information!
What are you looking forward to this week?