Ok… this is probably going to be a strange column. My name is Bill and did not grow up on comic books, so for most of my life I considered myself a “non comic book guy”. That’s not to say I didn’t like comic books, but never really became a reader until recently.
Probably about 25-30 years too late.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York and as a kid during the 70’s and 80’s I couldn’t even tell you where the nearest comic book store was. Doing a search (even now as an adult) the closest comic book store was about 25 miles away from my hometown. But, at least now you can buy comics on the internet and more conventional retailers.
My introduction to comic books came in high school. Two friends of mine, Andrew (known by the nickname Spyder) and Chris were the two biggest comic book guys at my school. I didn’t know how into comics they were but they were truly ahead of the pack. We were all interested in the same type of 80’s music (New Order, The Smiths, and The Cure) and it was though our common music interest that I learned of their interest in comics.
Their comic of choice was a really weird comic called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Clearly Spyder and Chris were on to something big as they had first printings of all the Turtles stuff, which would soon explode into mainstream culture in TV shows, Movies and merchandise. Looking back, I wish I had borrowed an issue in study hall to read; maybe I’d be more into comics. However, getting decent (well not even decent .. just passing ) grades came hard to me and my study halls needed to focus on school so I didn’t have time to dedicate to comics. My diversion was 80’s music and 80’s movies and just trying to stay in school.
Oh well, I would get my comics fix later… much later about 20 years later.
Fast forward to 2001, after being out of work for a year I finally landed a job in security at a large Manhattan building. On the outside, It was a pretty average building, but on the inside this building had character.
a lot of “characters”
I would soon become one of those characters and it would change my life forever. It is also here where I met Rob Base and would be introduced to comics in a big way. Rob and I worked in the loading dock area and it is here were we had conversations about life, work, family, music, wrestling and eventually comics. We became fast friends and I consider Rob and his family part of my family.
By this time, my music interests were still the same. Still loving the 80’s music and still followed some of the biggest acts in the 80’s. My mainstream music interest was Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince) It is interesting to me now that my music interests in high school introduced me to the Turtle and Rob (knowing my interest in Prince) got me interested in comics. He picked me up “Prince & the New Power Generation – Three Chains of Gold.” While I don’t remember much about the comic, I do remember it was based on one of his songs. I also remember that it was decent and opened my mind to read other comics.
Last year, I did some coverage for Alternative Mindz and Pop Culture Network at the New York Comic Con. While covering, I went to the Image Comics Panel and got really interested in a lot of their latest projects. Of them.. I am currently reading Morning Glories, Infinite Vacation, Damou, and Memoir (among other comics). Working with Rob has really gotten me into the scene, and Rob soon lent me 100 Bullets, Preacher and some other comics that I missed out on for the last 20 years.
I remember the moment I was hooked on comics. I was leaving a comic book store in Manhattan with about $40 of comics, I texted Rob “I think I have a problem” and he asked what it was. I responded that I think I am addicted to Comics and told him what I bought. He said that reading comics was a good problem to have, and I have to say I agree.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to post some reviews of some of the comics I am reading as well as the “old classics” I missed. I will also be reading DC’s Relaunch of “The New 52” since I shouldn’t need to know any of the back story for any of these titles. I will post “Newbie Reviews” of all these titles and anything else that catches my eye.
That said, I will probably have some stupid or amateur questions. I am hoping you bear with me and If I am not “getting it” or “attack” your favorite comic please help me out. I really am trying to come around and be a “comic book guy”so if you could help keep your comments constructive and help me get educated and more interested in the value of comic books, I would greatly appreciate it.
OK,I have to get reading.. Till Next time. Bill