Recently, David Santiago shared a heartfelt message with the Back Issue Magazine Facebook Group. With his permission, we’ve reprinted it here.
Thank you, David, and Merry Christmas.
When you’re a kid who grew up in a family where money was tight and sometimes Christmas was just a regular meal, you tend to appreciate the holiday and some of the little joys that come from it. One Christmas, we were struggling to pay bills and just put food on the table. There were no presents and certainly no one was in the mood for ornaments or even a beat up tree that came from Charlie Brown’s house. One night, I went to my room and stayed quiet as I looked out the window. I could sulk, at least. While feeling bad that there was nothing to do to help alleviate the families’ financial straits except worry (I was only 13 and I had an ulcer), I decided to pull out my comics and let my mind flow into a world of fantasy, and a world where I didn’t have to worry or be scared about what might happen tomorrow. The first comic I pulled was a Christmas comic digest. It was full of stories that were corny, but also filled me with hope. That is what Christmas is about, hope and faith. I pulled out every Christmas comic I had and had my own little Christmas, one just for me with no fears of where we’d find the money to pay the bills. As with all things, the bills got paid, and thanks to a bonus my dad got, we had a smaller than usual Christmas, but still one of the best. I lost many of my comics by the time I got to high school, but I would find this comic a few years later in a marked down box of comics. It was titled Christmas With The Superheroes, and it had many of the stories I read that night. To this day, I keep a copy near me on my desk. It helps to remind me that even when everything feels like it is falling in and there’s nothing to look forward to, there’s always hope, and hope comes to us in different forms, even as a comic book. 🙂