For those that know me and have known me for a few years, especially though college, I’m a comics fan. I love to read a good story and I love great art. Those can be one and the same, but it didn’t sound as interesting to say one word there. Comics is one of those mediums where both parts can combine to be something that is an utter blast to read, if not sometimes something transcendental.When I speak on that, I only have a few examples, such as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, which has so many things it comments on that I don’t have the time to share. There’s Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s mini-series Daytripper which they use as a commentary on life, death, and choices. Blankets, a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, which is a commentary on growing up and falling in love for that first time, as well as a commentary on religion and those who partake in it. The Adventures of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth, a story that tells of how things flow from generation to generation, the good, the bad, and the ugly. These are just some of the books and series that are out there, and only a handfull of what I have read. These are incredible finds, each one sticking with me and leaving a part of itself behind after I absorbed the books into myself.
It’s because of those books and the stories contained within that keep me coming back to comics. I didn’t start till late, sometime in college. I worked into it by reading superhero books, like The Amazing Spider-Man, Teen Titans and Batman. Batman as a series didn’t stick with me, mostly just as I was coming in at the very end of an incredibly long and winding story line. I dropped the series relatively early, and moved more into Marvel, especially when the Secret Invasion event began. I read everything I could afford from that event, and I still love it to this day. As time went on, I moved through other superhero books, especially within the Marvel universe, dipping my toe into Green Lantern and finding out that I actually had a story in DC that I really enjoyed. Thanks to Geoff Johns and GL, I dug into DC as I never had before, giving me the opportunity to read Joker by Bryan Azzarello, which reminded me why Batman stories can be great, even when he isn’t present. Through these two, and my friendly local comic shop Alter Ego Comics, I found my way into fare with less superpowers, indie comics. This is where I found things like Ed Brubaker’s Criminal, the aformentioned Daytripper, and one of my most beloved series that I’m so disappointed that I didn’t get to finish collecting, Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. The only reason I stopped reading that last series was due to the loss of funds after graduating college. I still haven’t finished it, and I still regret not finishing it to this day.
During that time, I had breaks. At some points, there just were not any series running that I felt enough of a connection to for me to really bother picking anything up. The majority of the time, it was a matter of money. I haven’t been reading much for the last year or so, and I can squarely blame it on lost interest and low money. I have picked up a few things, like the Adventure Time main series collections and a graphic novel from the same series, a side reason for why I’m not picking things up tends to be me looking at some of the books at a book store, then saying “I’ll get this at Alter Ego next time I go there.”
The problem is that I never get there. It’s on one of the main roads in the city, but I’m rarely down that direction with enough free time to make it into the shop. It looks like that’s about to change, though. The shop is moving into new digs just a block away from where I’m currently working, so Wednesday afternoons will probably be a bit busier for me from now on, with the shop being so close that I really can’t argue that I’m not close enough anymore. I’m hoping I don’t gut my budget because of this, but if I at least keep at the pace I’m going now, I’ll be able to go there and get something small every week or so. Could make the afternoons and evenings where I run out of things to do for fun a bit more… well, fun. I just need to find something that isn’t Locke & Key or The Umbrella Academy. That may be the hard part.