Written by Alvaro Cortez Ortiz Jr
Comic books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I learned to read thanks to comic books and picture books before I even started going to school as a child thanks to my father.
My father, who migrated from Mexico to New York, did not speak English too well, just well enough to get by. But he would buy picture books and kids comics and would read them to me as a kid because my parents of course wanted me to grow up knowing English.
My parents divorced by the time I was around five years old, and though I saw my father much less, I still kept that hunger of wanting to read more books and comics. My mother would occasionally buy me comics, which were mostly Archie Comics, Muppet Babies, and these digests that had a bunch of different titles all in one big comic, like Monster Balls, Alf, Heathcliff, and other kid friendly characters.
One time while I was exploring in that small Williamsburg apartment where we lived, I ran into a big trash bag in the closet, and when I opened it, it was full of of comics in Spanish, translated versions of Archie Comics, Little Lulu, Memin, Casper, and some more adult comics that actually belonged to my mother when she was a kid and as she grew up.
Comics are a connection. They're a connection to my father, to my mother, to my best friends I grew up with and still have contact with, a connection to many, many talented peers, a connection to other fans, to people I'm getting to know and to people I'm yet to know.
To all the people that I know, that I have collaborated with, to the people that I love, to this medium that I love, thank you. For as long as it is humanly possible, I will always try to give back to comics what it has given to me, and hopefully to all the lone wolves out there, don't feel too lonely, you are always welcome in my pack.