Why Comics?

(This is covered at the beginning of Episode 1 in a little less detail, so if you need more info than that, here it is.)

Ever since I could read I’ve been reading comics. My dad got me comics when I was young, and I loved reading about the adventures of my favourite superheroes like Superman and the West Coast Avengers, the Archie gang, and even the Harvey characters like Casper and Richie Rich. My dad got strip covers from the local drug store so until I was about ten years old I thought that comics were bundles of newsprint and was very confused when I saw my first splash covers (and also that I would have to pay for them). I also took a lot of Tintin and Asterix books out of the library, but because they were in giant hardcover books and not the more familiar pamphlet or digest forms, I didn’t actually realize that they were comics. I honestly did not make the connection. Not a smart kid.

When I was about twelve or thirteen a comic book store opened up in my town, and I decided that I wanted to start collecting comics. I started conservatively; the Infinity Gauntlet had just finished up and the buzz was big, so the first (and only) series I collected was Warlock & The Infinity Watch. I still have a soft spot for Adam Warlock. I bought comics from them for a few years, until one day the store was just GONE. The people who owned the store next door said the comic shop owners came in, closed the doors and covered the windows, and worked to close it down all night. Apparently there was something shady going on there. I like to think it was a black market comic book store, but it was probably something less romantic.

I fell out of reading comics for a while, but I was sucked back in by friends who lent me volumes of Transmetropolitan and Grant Morrison’s JLA, and I got sucked RIGHT back in. I basically only read superheroes and Vertigo for years, and then I started listening to comics podcasts, which turned me on to independent titles, silver and golden-age books, horror, crime, experimental stuff. Comics podcasts made me a more well-rounded reader, and I can’t believe all the great stuff I would have missed out on if I hadn’t started listening.

So, why comics? Partly nostalgia for when I was young; partly attachment to characters that still resonate with me today; partly because I love the combination of words and pictures to create an entertainment experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. I love comics as a medium and I want other people to love them too.

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