“You have all the time in the world to be an adult, go enjoy the things you do.”– dR. oWEN meYERS
When I was a kid, I used to love reading comic books. I think I loved them so much because I loved the idea of superheroes. They could do all of the things that I wished I could do as a 4-foot tall kid living in the housing projects of Brooklyn. Every now and then, I would read comic books when my family could afford to buy them, and it was enough for me. Flash forward, I was 20 years old and working one day in the BMCC lab with my mentor, Dr. Owen Myers. He had asked me what I was planning to do that upcoming winter break. I told him that I was planning to come into the lab to work every day because I considered it fun. With a look of bewilderment he said “well, that’s awfully boring.” He proceeded to tell me that I needed a hobby and asked what was something that I wanted to do as a kid and never had the opportunity to do so. I said that I used to like comic books as a kid, but that I could never afford them, and that it seemed like a childish hobby to pursue. He said, “Lionel, you have all the time in the world to be an adult, go enjoy the things you do.” Five years later and I haven’t looked back, I’m about 300 books into my hobby, 150 in single issues, and multiple statues. Apart from owning paperback comics, I also keep up with the storylines of different heroes from all the different franchises, like Marvel, DC, IDW, Darkhorse, and Image. I’ve now become the friend that you ask at the end of a new superhero movie, whether or not that’s how it happened in the comic book. More often than not, I can give you an answer with hundreds of other detailed footnotes being verbally attached. Whenever I find free-time in my week, I research books and statutes that will be soon be released, learn about the storyline of older superheroes, or I’m looking for new art pieces. I think looking at the grand scheme of things, society might not find my expertise 100% useful or unique, but I love it, and that’s all that matters. Sadly, Dr. Meyers passed away a year later, but the advice he gave me, apart from helping me find something I wanted to be an expert in, inspires me to enjoy everything that life has to offer every day.