How Did You Get Started?

Today I just wanted to talk about first experiences with comics. Think back to your earliest memory with a comic book in your hand. Can you remember what the title was? Or who gave it to you? Maybe it was an older brother, a really cool aunt, or a friend at school that introduced you to comics. I’ve discussed this with a lot of friends and most usually remember that very first comic or how they discovered comics.

I think the earliest memory I have was probably while I was in the third or fourth grade and someone got me a TMNT comic book because I was obsessed with Ninja Turtles. I became fascinated with comics because the books combined reading and art which were two of my favorite things. After the very first comic book, I remember being much more aware of them. I would see them in stores when my mom took me shopping with her. She didn’t always have the extra money for comics, but she tried to let me buy at least one when we went grocery shopping. I had friends whose parents thought comics were stupid, but my mom is awesome and always very supportive of my eagerness to read.

By the time I was in the fifth grade I was obsessed with the X-Men. Hell I thought I was one of the X-Men. Most of the comics I bought were either Uncanny X-Men or Wolverine. Occasionally I would pick out a Superman or Spider-man comic. The problem I had reading these comics growing up was that I never got to buy and read the issues in any sort of chronological order. I still enjoyed them individually, but this means that even now I still don’t know every single character & story line in the Marvel Universe and I know much less about the DC universe. I continued reading comics until probably close to the time I entered high school. I really don’t know what caused me to stop reading them, but I didn’t return to comics until after I had graduated high school.

Just some random old comics that survived my childhood.
Just some random old comics that survived my childhood.

What was the awesome factor that got me to dive back into comic books? That would be geek God himself, Joss Whedon. I was in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and pretty much ever thing else Joss created after Buffy. When I found out that Joss was going to be writing the Astonishing X-Men series, I was pretty much sold on the idea. So I have to think Joss for starting my obsession over again. I followed Astonishing X-Men every issue that Joss wrote, but then after Warren Ellis took over I stopped reading this series for a while. It wasn’t because I didn’t like Ellis (because he is awesome too) but, I just wanted to try out other series.

Comics can be an expensive hobby and I find it hard to keep up with all these series that I want to read. I’ve bounced around with different titles. I’m terrible about purchasing several volumes of different series even though I haven’t been able to finish the ones I already own. Doh! But I hope to one day be able to greatly expand my comic collection and enjoy more past and future comic series with my favorite characters. And can someone hunt down Brian K. Vaughan and beg him to write more Runaways comics?

I tend to go through phases where I will read a bunch of comics before bed each night and then I stop for a while and spend nights writing my own comics. I devoured most of Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man series and I plan on finishing it soon. I also have Avengers vs. X-men to finish. Have some comic suggestions for me? Let me know and I will add them on to my enormous reading list. Also feel free to share why you love comic books and who or what got you hooked on them.


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