My first memories of comic book reading are of the Archie digests. My cousin had given me a few one summer while she was cleaning, and then I started picking them up from the grocery store and Wal-Mart.
The next memory I have is my parents buying me the trade of “The Death of Superman”. I was 1o, and I tried collecting the aftermath of that (I have Funeral for a Friend and the introductory issues for each of the replacement Superman) but somewhere, I either wasn’t interested enough or it was a bit overwhelming for me at that age.
Flash forward 4 years (end of ’96). I guess since they had bought me Death in trade, my parents thought I would be interested in Superman: The Wedding Album. We had just moved again (Dad was in the military) and I remember coming home from school and Mom having that comic for me. I was interested enough in finding out what happened next (Not realizing Clark had recently lost his powers in the Final Night event), so Mom found a local comic book shop and I started getting Superman comics weekly. Post-wedding is when the Electric Superman story took place (which I loved). Besides the Superman books, I also began picking up Grant Morrison’s JLA. (Reflecting back now, I totally get how I fell in love with comics. Which is exactly what this post is about.)
Another move takes place, and I’m still into comics. I haven’t started collecting much beyond Superman and JLA titles, but pick up a trade that looks promising to me.
Everyone has one of those “life altering” moments when it comes to hobbies. Maybe it’s the first time you watched a certain film, or read a particular book by an author. This was that moment for me in comics.
Batman: The Long Halloween changed the comic game for me. I was hooked on Batman from that point on (which thinking back on it, I grew up with the Burton films and Batman: The Animated Series. I’m not sure why I hadn’t picked up a Batman comic before hand). Also, when Elizabeth and I were dating, I wanted to pique her interest in comics (hobbies are always more fun when you share them with someone) and The Long Halloween was what I gave her to read.
I got into Batman comics just as Bruce Wayne: Fugitive was starting. I went back and collected trades of No Man’s Land. As much as I loved Loeb due to his work with Sale, I feel in love with Greg Rucka. Years later he would collaborate on one of my all-time favorite comic book series with Ed Brubaker, Gotham Central.
Once I jumped on the Batman wagon, I also ventured into the other characters of DC. When Kevin Smith brought back Green Arrow, I was there. Geoff Johns and Green Lantern: Rebirth. Identity Crisis. Morrison’s Batman: R.I.P. and Final Crisis. Even Flashpoint.
When DCnU 52 happened, I stuck with Batman and Green Lantern, but dropped a few of the characters I had fallen in love with. DC breaking up Clark and Lois as well as Ollie and Dinah, nope… not interested. I tried new books and creators, but something was missing for me.
2014, I went to my first comic-con. Emerald City Comic-Con, to be exact. It was a birthday gift Elizabeth and I gave to our friend Dave for his 30th. It gave me a revitalization in my comic book love. Being able to meet creators, writers, artists, etc. of books and characters that I loved. Being able to meet people and be introduced into new comics I hadn’t been reading.
Up until 2014 (12 years) I had been strictly a DC fan. I had read an occasional Marvel comic here or there, mostly due to Dave’s recommendation. I had some non-DC stuff in trade as well, from my time at Borders. And I was collecting a few things from IDW (Godzilla, TMNT and Ghostbusters. Childhood nostalgia 100%). But by and large, I am a DC over Marvel guy.
As much as I love Batman and the DC titles I do collect, I fell behind in my reading of books. I currently have two long boxes filled primarily with unread issues. Which Elizabeth and I plan on getting around to reading, but the priorities in life made comics take a backseat. I still stay caught up on a few titles, mainly the non-DC books. Nailbiter and Puppet Master are two of my favorite books right now, and the Ghostbusters comic has never disappointed me.
Which brings me to the point of this entry. Last month, DC released Rebirth, launching a new chapter in the life of DC comics. Now, I’ve known this was coming for a few months, when it was announced. Because of the back-up on comics and responsibilities of life, I don’t make it to my comic shop weekly as much as I’d like. Yesterday was the first time I had made it since Rebirth came out. Of course, Richard had put aside any of the titles that he thought I would be interested in. To the shock of another guy in the store, I decided to not pick up any of them.
I am using Rebirth as a jumping off point (for now) when it comes to DC. Now, I may pick up a title here or there (Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman may be hard to pass on), but the adult and smart move for me to make was to become a trade collecting guy. Money-wise, time-wise, and room-wise, it just makes sense.
Now, I am not giving up on comics at all. Will be sticking with the stuff from Image, IDW, and a few other odds and ends I collect. Darkwing Duck just started a new comic, which is hard to pass on. And like I said, when trades start coming out of the Rebirth titles, I’ll order them from Richard. He won’t lose my business to online sites.
Until then, I have plenty to read. I haven’t read a Green Lantern book since the Godhead event took place, which was December of ’14. Robin War. Snyder and Capullo’s last story on Batman. Justice League: Darkseid War. All things waiting for me to catch up on.