When I was growing up, my grandfather used to get the newspaper everyday. He was a crossword junky (more on that another time). Me being of younger mind (and also slightly less interested in intellectual pursuits such as crosswords) I was rather more interested in what lay in the comic section of said newspaper. One of the strips I used to read (and regularly not understand) was The Wizard of Id.
The Wizard of Id is a daily newspaper comic strip created by American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart (he of
“B.C.” fame). Parker did the drawing and Hart gave us the guffawing gags. The strip started in the mid 1960′s and followed the antics of a cast of characters living in the Kingdom of Id. It’s here where a puny and greedy king with a wit drier than a bottle of sauvignon blanc presides. Other characters regularly making an appearance included Lackey, the king’s servant; Bung, the alcoholic jester; Turnkey, a dungeon guard and, of course, the Wizard!
To my surprise and joy, the other day a dear friend gifted me a book of “Id strips” called “Let there be Reign”, in homage to my nickname “Wizard”. Looking through the book I was immediately transported back in time to a comfy couch, complicated crosswords and crazy comics.
A cold and loveless Victorianesque childhood imbued my grandfather
with a sense of aloofness and a hardened exterior. But put him in front of a piano and it all melted away. Through the keys his fingers could make make the piano laugh, sigh, dance, bleed and soar in a way I’ve rarely seen since.
Thank you, Ronel, for this gift – of fond memories made with my grandfather, the remembrance of passion let loose and the importance of expressing one’s uniqueness in the world.