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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Went out for dinner with a friend from work recently...the first after-work "just for fun" socializing I've done since moving to Philadelphia two months ago. We had a wonderfully grease-laden dinner at a cafe-type place on South Street and then browsed a comic book shop just down the street.

I used to collect comics back in university (corrupted by my then-boyfriend Reid) but opted out when my habit started getting too expensive. Got interested in some Toronto independent comics again a few years ago, this time corrupted by my friend Rand. Allison got me reading Sandman and Preacher (Reid was kind enough to lend me some back issues). Anyway, Leone (who is also Webmistress of a comics industry fanzine) has introduced me to a number of new titles I'd never heard of before.

I used to associate comics with the "Archie and Jughead" type of fare that my siblings and I use to read on long family trips during the summer. Entertaining, but not strong on substance. Some comics are still like that, but I've found that there are many that have an amazing amount of depth, strong writing, intriguing storylines and characterization that go far beyond the "superhero nabs villain" comic stereotype. And some of the artwork is astounding.

So what about the rest of you lot? Even if you're not into comics, what were your faves from childhood? Post your answers in Blatherchat.

Today's blatherpic: Sara shopping in the mini grocery store at the children's Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia (sorry, I had erroneously called this the "Touch and Feel Museum" earlier)

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