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|13||08/07/10||When Comics Used to Excite Me (just a fond remembrance)||(Blog) (Forum)||Infinite Crisis||(Back) (Next)|
So, I'm logging onto Comic Vine, and of course, being the weekend, there's nothing new on the articles page. No comments in my inbox either. I've been through the forums three or four times today, and I haven't seen much new there. So I feel a little bored. I haven't bought any new comics recently, because there's no money in the budget for them at the moment, and it's about ten o'clock, so I feel just cynical enough to ask myself, "When's the last time a comic excited me, anyway?"
Honestly, it's been awhile. Oh, there's a few that I follow, when I have the money - Savage Dragon, Dynamo 5, Invincible, Walking Dead... probably a few others - and while I enjoy them immensely, they don't excite me. It's going to sound weird, considering its sort of lackluster ending, but the last comic that excited me was Infinite Crisis. You read that right - Infinite Crisis.
You have to understand: I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties (that's right, kids, that old, and you'll be there before you know it, so pipe down). I got to read the original Crisis on Infinite Earths and DC Who's Who straight off of the grocery store spinner rack, and it was an exciting time. I didn't get to read all of the tie-in issues though, because I just couldn't con my mom out of that much money as she was paying for the groceries. That's why IC excited me. In my mid-thirties, I had a good job and plenty of extra money in my pocket, so I could afford to follow this event and all of its tie-ins. I had such a good time. I added Infinite Crisis to my pull list - both covers (something I never do) - and all of the related issues. I read all of the "One Year Later" issues, and read through both the 52 and Countdown to Final Crisis series. When I found that I had paid for a glorified advertisement in Countdown... um, DC Universe #0, that was where the excitement ended. I will eventually pick up the Final Crisis and Blackest Night stories in trade paperback, but for now, I just try to scrape together five bucks for the Previews every month, and follow CV, so I know what's going on, without buying the books. Lately, I've been reading about some cool stuff. Shadowland sounds awesome, and there's a few trades I'd like to pick up eventually.
You know what else excited me back then? The appearance of a mini-series. They were a new thing around that time, and they'd have this little banner across the corner of the cover, or across the top, declaring "#1 in a 4 issue limited series." There was no Previews then, and no Internet, and no Wizard, so a new series just sort of showed up one day, and you either bought it or didn't. I remember reading all kinds of mini-series, like Cloak & Dagger, Starriors, Crystar, the original TransFormers mini, the original Namor (or Sub-Mariner - I forget) and Aquaman minis, Conqueror of the Barren Earth, Night Force, Jemm: Son of Saturn, and a personal favorite, Spanner's Galaxy. At least half of those were real stinkers, but it was just fun to pick up this comic and know the story was going to be done in four to six issues. I even read the original Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld (12 issues, and both specials, the series, second mini-series, and the tie-in issue in DC Comics Presents). Why? Because it was something new! Different! "Limited!" Dang they were fun!
Probably the last thing that excited me in comics back then was the free "preview pullout." Probably the most famous of those is DC Comics Presents #26, which previewed The New Teen Titans, and yeah, I bought it off the rack (with mom's money or my allowance). I also remember previews for Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, Masters of the Universe, and probably my second favorite (after New Teen Titans) Dial "H" For Hero (here's an example of the preview, in LSH #272).
Dial "H" For Hero was doubly exciting, because not only was I guaranteed to see new heroes and villains every issue, but they were created by fans! The ultimate excitement being that you could win an "I Dialed 'H' For Hero" T-shirt, if DC used your character! Wow! ...Never did win one of those T-shirts, but then, I was creating characters like Superlad (exactly like Superboy, with the spitcurl maybe going the other way), Flasher (Kid Flash with the color scheme reversed) and Wonder Boy (you guessed it: a guy in a blue version of the 80's Wonder Girl costume [yeah, I didn't quite get the difference between boys and girls yet]).
Comics excited me then! Every new issue was another exciting chapter in a favorite character's story. Every new #1 was the introduction to a new character. Every blurb promising "the sensational new character find" was to be believed! Comics were bonafide magic. They could take me to the ocean floor, to outer space, the distant past, the far flung future, around the track, down the road, to the big city, or maybe just to Aunt May's house... <sigh> They were just fun.
There's really no point here - just tellin' ya how much fun I used to have with comics, and enjoying some of the memories of laying on the bed with the window open and the Superman record playing, while I read the latest issue of whatever caught my fancy at the time. How far back do your memories go? What excited you as a kid? Let me know in the comments section, and thanks for reading.
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