I have always felt I read comics a little different than everyone else. When I started reading comics I picked up what looked interesting from an art point of view and then ran with that series for a while. Eventually I would pick up any spin off titles or miniseries and continue to read them for year, but in 1992 that changed for me.
If you're up on your comic book history 1992 has some significant meaning to you, or at least should ring a bell. In 1992 Image Comics launched and it changed the way I read comic books. Keep in mind, things changed gradually, but my reading habits changed. I stopped reading random books and started reading ALL of the books a particular company was publishing. In 1992 it was easy to read all of Image's titles because there just a few. As the years went on it became harder for me to read all of the Image books, but I continued to do so and by doing this it caused me to stop reading other titles from other publishers.
I agree - it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's just how I read comics. Once Wildstorm split off from Image Comics and became an imprint of DC I continued to read all of the Wildstorm books. Needless to say, I had a lot more disposable income then. I hate saying it, but when Extreme/Maximum Press left Image I was happy because it allowed me to drop all of those books. I stayed with a few of them for a while, but it was easy to drop them because they weren't part of Image anymore. Weird? Yes, but I'm not normal - I understand that!
Over the years I've changed my reading habits some. I don't read everything Image publishes, but I read a majority of them. I've been reading all of the Aspen titles as well as a majority of the Archaia books, and dipping my toes in the Boom! titles. While I don't dive head first in to a company like I did in the past, I still tend to stick with a company over creators for some reason. I'm just lucky that most of the creators I like are creating titles at the companies I'm following.
So, here's the question... Am I alone in reading comics this way? Or are there others who have strange reading habits like mine?
So I always wonder what it takes to get people to try out a comic book series that they've not read before or one that they've not read in more than 10 years. Everyone has their own reasons, but are they just making excuses because they don't want to give it a try or is it that they know - without a doubt - that particular series is just NOT for them?
It's hard for me to say I've not read a series, even just one issue, and not tried to like it. I will read nearly any comic book if you put it in front of me. I may not like it, but - like broccoli - I'll try it to just to know for sure. Now, I say 'nearly any comic book' mainly because I know one of you jokers will try and throw something at me that I know just by the name or the cover I'm not going to like because of my personal feelings for the subject matter. But, if you feel you must - DM me for my mailing address.
So, is there a book on the shelves right now that you will not read no matter what? If so, what is it? Why won't you try it? And saying "because it's stupid' doesn't count.
When I wrote the first part of this series of blog posts my intension was to write a bit more than I did. The first post just felt like it needed to end the way it ended. SO... here we are again with the major point I wanted to make...
Reading comics for as long as I have (nearly 30 years) I started off reading every thing BUT super-heroes comics. I watched Super-Friends and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends but never really felt drawn to read their comics the first few years I read comics. I read a lot of Elfquest, Dreadstar, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a few other off the wall books, but no super-heroes. I eventually started reading Teen Titans and Justice League of America because of my love of the Super-Friends cartoon, but it wasn't until I realized my friends at school weren't reading these books - they were reading X-Men and Avengers. So, I got curious and checked them out and became a HUGE fan of both titles.
So, I guess that was my first major shift in the comics I got interested in. It wasn't a huge shift, as I stayed reading a lot of the Comico, First, and Calibur comics I had been reading, but I was spending a lot more time reading Marvel and DC once I figured out my friends were reading them. Call it peer pressure in comics, but I enjoyed what I was reading and continued to do so until I got to college and started shopping at a shop in Boone, NC called the Dragon's Den. Talking with the shop owner and his wife I got back in to those small press and indie titles that I enjoyed as a kid and began reading more of them. I think Tucci's Shi was the first series I really got invested in and it just expanded from there. I sold off a major portion of my Marvel and DC collection (and yes, a full run of Iron Man #1 through #270 and Avengers #100 through #300 or so) to buy up tons of back issues. Looking back, I don't think that was the smartest move, but 'hey' it happens.
I would eventually get back to reading super-hero titles and then finding a nice mixture of mainstream and indie titles that I read to this day.
So, my question is this:
Have you ever had a major change in the comics that you read? And if so, what was the cause of that change? For me it was influences from other readers. What about you?
I've often wondered how people start reading comics in today's market. Do they go in to a comic shop? Do they see comics at Wal-Mart? Do they see the graphic novel section at Barnes & Noble? Maybe they pick up something at the library and that gets them started? What does it?
Growing up, my local comic book shop was a corner market down the road a bit from my grandparents' house. My cousins, my brother, and I would walk down there as kids to pick up some candy or a Coke or something like that. Eventually we keyed in on the spinner rack full of comics and bought one. My cousin and I were the ones that really got in to them for the first year or so. We mainly used them to draw by, but eventually I got hooked on reading them. From there... the rest is history.
So, I'm curious - where did you see your first comic book? What motivated you to buy it?