We’re living in extraordinary times and, it seems to me, it’s even more important now to seek out and acknowledge the bright spots of humanity that exist all around us. One of those happened to me this weekend and it all started with a post I published a year ago.
|“a whole new experience in boys' papers! It's for the boy of today - packed with never-before told stories with true life features on the men who have faced the crunch in their lives.”|
One of my favourite things about this blog are the retrospective essays I write. I’m a self-confessed nostalgic and had a happy childhood I enjoy being reminded of and these posts allow me to not only research and investigate this thing I love, but they also act as a connector with other people. I’ll explain.
In 1979, I started reading a comic called The Crunch and, at the time and ever after, I never knew anyone else who read it. Unfortunately, in the sands of time, I’d lost my collection but managed to buy back a few random issues on ebay and looking through them brought back my childhood instantly. So when The Crunch’s fortieth anniversary rolled around, I decided to write a retrospective (which you can read here), which led to a lovely few hours of research and absolutely no idea as to whether anyone would either connect with it or even be interested.
As it was, the post was well received (over 600 views as I write this) and the comments and emails I got after it were nicely positive, as readers a) reminisced, b) didn’t realise anyone else remembered the comic and c) loved that it took them back to being a kid.
I was more than happy.
Then, in September, a fellow called Jason left a comment, having enjoyed the post and mentioned he had a few spares. We emailed briefly and he said he’d sort through his copies and send me some over, if I was interested. I absolutely was (one of my favourite strips was The Mill Street Mob and none of the issues I had featured it). He emailed again, this past Friday, to say he’d sorted them, asked for my address and - once again - refused any payment.
On Saturday morning, a large box was delivered and, confused, I opened it up to discover that Jason had sent me almost a complete run of the comic! Astonished, I emailed him back, urging him to let me pay him for at least the postage and he replied with “they were all spares and [it’s] so nice to hear they are appreciated, that feeling of nostalgia is rare and Crunch aficionados are even rarer! Enjoy!”
I was genuinely touched because if the essay gave him a reminder to revisit a beloved old comic, then his gesture more than paid that off. Crunch readers, clearly, are lovely people.
If you’re reading this Jason, thank you for giving me the chance to delve back into that wonderful old comic and as Crunch readers go, you're one of the best!