I'm late to the whole comics thing. Really, really late.
Ok, that's not entirely true. I did read comics when I was a kid, just not a lot of superhero stuff. I read Archie Comics a ton when I was younger and I just bought the small books and digests whenever we went grocery shopping. They were always at the checkout line and only cost a couple of bucks, which was more than enough for me with my allowance at the time.
It wasn't until I got older that I was interested in the superhero comics, and that came from being a fan of movies and cartoons. Batman is my favorite, so the Tim Burton movies plus Batman: the Animated Series is what got me into reading superhero comics. I bought a bunch of the animated series comics and got some classic trade paperbacks for Christmas: World Without a Superman, Cosmic Odyssey and Batman: Sword of Azrael. I must have read those books dozens of times.
I read Watchmen for the first time in college, back in the early 2000's. Incredible book, but I still never got into the comics grind like so many others did. There's a ton of series that I missed out on, including Flashpoint Paradox, Civil War and The Dark Knight Returns.
Yeah I know, I'm a heathen and this is all incredibly sacrilegious, especially with all the movies coming out. I'm that guy, right? The one that only watches the movies and TV shows and calls himself a comic book fan?
Well, almost a month ago you could have said that about me. Things have changed drastically since then.
I consulted a friend of mine who is a huge comic book geek and an even bigger Batman fan than I am. I told him I was tired of being out of the loop and wanted to read more comics but I didn't know where to begin. He gave me a list of graphic novels, all Batman to start with. I plan for that.
Then he says, "DC is starting a rebirth series that would be good for you to start with soon."
I didn't know this at the time, but he was essentially giving me a gateway drug. An incredible gateway drug.
I went to my local comic shop to buy an issue of DC Universe Rebirth the day after it came out. I only had plastic on me to pay and it needed to be a five-dollar minimum transaction for the cashier to ring up a credit card. So I asked him for his recommendation and he gives me Spider-Man-Deadpool #4 after I reveal to him I've never really read Marvel, which is true because all of the graphic novels and trade paperbacks I've read to this point are DC exclusive.
So I buy those and I and read them that night. Fantastic books, especially Rebirth......but now I have a problem. I need more.
The next day I found another comic shop in town and bought Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 and Black Panther #2. I wanted to see for myself the story that had angered so many people at the end with Cap's great "reveal," and Captain America: Civil War did a fantastic job of getting me hyped for Black Panther, so I wanted to read that one.
I was done for and I didn't even know it.
Within days, I was back at the first comic shop buying the next Rebirth titles that came out that day. Then I saw Marvel Civil War II was out with crossover issues. They had me hook, line and sinker.
Almost a month later, I have bought more than 30 books and a long box to store them in. Now, Wednesday is a day of excitement for me because it's New Comic Day and I get to read the new stuff. It has literally become part of my life and is just a routine now, a routine that I cannot skip or forget about at all. I'm addicted.
I've got a pull list at my shop and it's growing. In fact, last week I was a little bugged by the fact that Titans: Rebirth wasn't on my list and it didn't even reach the shelf past pull lists so I had to wait for it and get it from Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor two days later and it wasn't the cover I wanted, even though I bought ALL of the other nine comics I wanted on the right day and added them to my pull list without a problem. It's not like I don't have enough to read, seriously. It's just that I wanted them ALL at once. How sick is that?
For those of you that have been buying comics for years, I'm sure this is old hat to you and I'm acting like a complete newbie, but that's because I AM a complete newbie to this whole thing and I'm about to be neck deep in it. I probably already am, because now I'm on the websites looking ahead at what I want for the rest of the month and beyond. I'm looking at trade paperbacks of old issues and series that have either come highly recommended or that I'm curious about. I'm jumping right into the middle of this thing headfirst and it has become a new obsession, a new part of my geekery that I admittedly didn't have before, even though I always had the potential for it.
Being a geek just got a lot more fun for me now......and costly. (I'm doomed.)