This week I'm not going to focus on one particular topic, I'm going to give you guys the front seat, like with the old share days.
So, this week's question is, What was your first comic book experience? Or, what got you into comics in the first place?
I was very, very young, I didn’t even knew how to read
My father used to send me out to buy him cigarettes at a nearby store. I wandered in it, and was attracted to the comics, watching the pictures. Later, I began to read them. And the rest is history.
My oldest brother was into comics, so I would borrow his at first. We spent many summers at my grandparents’ farm. Along the way, we would pick up 2 or 3-packs of re-printed comics that were in plastic bags. Something to read during the 4-hour drive.
Characters like Sgt. Rock and ROM kept my interest. My brother was more Spider-Man. I would checkthe mainstays now and then. However, it’s the “low-budget” and “indy” titles that I would read and collect the most.
The first comic book I read was G.I. Joe, leant to me by a friend. He had the first ten issues of the series. I bought the eleventh when I was done reading his, and then branched out to super heroes (loved the first Secret Wars) and I was hooked.
My first “super-hero” comic was Secret Wars, although I had gotten into them through morning cartoons before that.
yeah my dad gave me old comics. superman, spider-man, old ghost riders and avengers. i still have some of em. some are older than me. and whne i was a kid i randomly got 3 issues of secret war. i loooved it. think it was my first exposure to the xmen and wolverine.
I have to say that I really discovered comics as an adult. When I was a kid there was a barber shop that I used to visit that kept comics on hand for the kids, but I only got to read them every so often when I went for a haircut. My mother never actually forbade the kids in the family to read comics, but I always got the sense that she considered them lowbrow, plebian entertainment and a waste of time. My older brothers and sisters read Mad Magazine and even my parents got a kick out of the satire.
A few years ago (about 2004, I think) a friend recommended I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon’s extraordinary novel about the golden age of comics. This book was a revelation. For the first time in my life, I really got comics, especially superhero comics. Superhero comics weren’t just stories about people in goofy costumes slugging it out. They were metaphors for the continual battle between good and evil. The heroes are representations of the best in human nature, the kind of people we would like to be. The villains are representations of the worst in human nature, the kind of people we don’t want to become.
Finally in 2008, I discovered HeroMachine 2.5 and went nuts. I can’t draw, but I do write. With HM 2.5 and 3.0 I could create my own superheroes, and I started trying to tell stories about them. My interests have moved in other directions since then, but I haven’t forgotten those characters. Some day, their stories will be told.
I was 5 going on 6 years old when I noticed my aunts read the superhero comics I’d watch the cartoons of. I was living in Puerto Rico at the time, and I remember my aunt Milagros showing me her favorite hero was “El Golem”, aka “The Thing”. (I know, right? But nowadays it’s a literal translation to “La Cosa”, which is pretty dang lame.) Anyways, I inherited their collection. Gracias, Tias! :*
My uncle Paul (only six years my senior) taught me how to read in kindergarten by speaking the dialogue from his collection of war comics. I might be the only guy in the world who thinks that Gunner and Sarge should be on Sesame Street!
@ The Atomic Punk: I used to get those (highly illegal) reprint bags, too. Israel Waldman would get printing plates from defunct publishers and, ignoring ALL copyright law, would reprint them as his own. Still love me some Black Dwarf, though!
It’s interesting that war comics are coming up. It shows that it isn’t just superhero comics that are a gateway.
Personally, my first comics weren’t either, it was Beano, Dandy (children’s comedy comics), Sonic The Hedgehog comics and Dark Horse’s Star Wars series (especially Boba Fett stories and stuff from chronologically before Episode 1)
Someone handed me a Hulk comic. I had seen the Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno live action series. I was horrified. 5 pages of pics and 12 pages of those useless ads. I couldn’t believe it. I had more interesting pictures in the Sunday comics page.
I know it’s a business, but COME ON. Show a work ethic! I stayed away until I saw graphic novels on the shelves at the local bookstore.
I was pretty young, and I was ‘launched’ the same year that Sputnik was, so my first comic was “Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes”…
I can’t remember not reading comics. I was 5 and I would get a dollar to pick out 4 comics. That right, they were 25 cents at one time! It would take me about an hour to pick out the four I wanted and then I would be off to read them for the next week. Unfortunately, I didn’t take very good care of them then. Wish I did……36 years later and still picking up issues every week. Hooked for life!
The first comic I remember reading was, of all things, an adaptation of Homer’s Odessy. I came across it, of all places, on a bookshelf at the community center I went to after school. It was a long way over my head (I was maybe six or seven when I found it), and heavily edited for length and, ahem, content, but the artwork was mind blowing.
I’ve been reading comics for a while, but not as regularly as I would like when I was young. Back then, getting a new comic book was a rare occurrence, so I didn’t read superhero comics that much (as much as I was into superheroes on TV), mostly because DC and Marvel comics had ongoing stories, which was hard to follow when you only got a new comics every 3 or 4 months (not to say that I didn’t try buying a few of them anyway). Back then, I was mostly reading a lot of Disney comics by Gold Key, or Archie comics, because there were more stories, and they were fairly insular one-offs.
About 11 or 12, I started reading English translations of the Asterix comics on a fairly regular basis, and about 13 or 14, I started collecting a few titles by Marvel on a monthly basis.
I was in the hospital (I forget why) and my parents bought some random comics. One was a Justice League/Justice Society crossover, teaming up members of both teams against Apokolips, and specifically the leaders who were trying to resurrect Darkseid. The first time Darkseid was resurrected after his death at the hands of Highfather and Orion – and the Uni-cannon. The superheroes were sending delegations to each others’ Earths, and were diverted to New Genesis, which was described as being large enough that the Earth would barely displace the waters of the average lake. I’m a sucker for odd worlds and grand concepts – and these New Gods, and the resurrection of Darkseid – these were worthy of A.E. Van Vogt or Clifford D. Simak, Clarke or Niven, the authors I learned to read on. I was hooked. Plus, there was a relatively new character, some youngster who had just joined the JLA, named Firestorm, whose main power was matter transmutation, a far more imaginative character then I ever expected to come across!