I was out at Blick today, picking up some Prismacolor markers (the official gray shading marker of Neal Obermeyer cartoons) and some kneaded erasers, and I couldn’t help but overhear one of their staff talking with a young boy and what I imagine was his grandma. The little guy, probably middle school age at oldest, was interested in drawing comic books, and his grandma was taking him shopping for supplies. The Blick guy was showing them some instructional books on drawing superheroes and whatnot.

It made me a little bit sad, because it reminded me of when I was a little kid and how supportive my grandparents were. Now, when I visit my grandma, I just like to talk to her about stuff. But back when I was a kid, whenever I visited my grandparents, it usually involved getting out paper and pencils and just drawing.

Even though they probably had no idea why I just wanted to draw Transformers and superheroes non-stop, they were all very supportive in their own way. My mom’s parents always made sure that there was a nice pad of paper for me, and my grandpa always had plenty of mechanical pencils to choose from. He even made a drawing board so that you could sit in a comfy chair or recliner and it would rest on the arms, providing a big drawing surface. My dad’s parents kept a drawer full of scratch paper that was pretty much just there for me to draw on. They would often sit up at the kitchen counter with me while I drew.

So I just wanted to go up to these people and say “Stick with it, kid” and “Thanks for being such a supportive grandma,” but I thought that might have been kind of weird. I thought maybe the best way to honor the support my grandparents gave me would be to get home and get to work on all those art projects I’ve been putting off.

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