The origins of the book and why I want it to get published

How it Began

Many people asked me what lead me to writing this book and what truly happened almost 6 years ago that lead me to creating My Life as a Comic Book Reader. Almost 6 years ago I went through three very major loses in 2008. I had just gone through a horrible break up and left with a large amount of debt, I had my position at my job eliminated and I lost one of my long time pets at that time. I was looking at some tough times ahead and one Friday night I was going through my several comic book long boxes (equaled 14 at the time). I was going through the various books and see what I could sell online to pay off a large amount of debt that these loses had caused in my life. I was going through my first set of books that lead me to comics when the idea hit me for a story.

Just like in my video I ran to my office desk and pulled out a notebook and a pen and I titled the outline: "My Life as a Comic Book Reader". I just remember writing about the first time I saw a super hero to when I had my mother buy my first comic at the old corner market that was 10 blocks from where I grew up. I looked up after a moment and realized I had written about why I became a comic book reader and where I was at that point in my life and how once again comics were going to help me through this difficult period. I made a promise to myself and God that I wouldn't let this be an end to who I was even though nothing made sense to me at that time.

During the summer my long boxes went from 14 to just 6 boxes and in the fall they went to just 3. I paid off some bills and debt, I even took a new job and that's where I met someone who would change my life again, my wife, Melissa. It wasn't long after I wrote another chapter for my book and I added more to it once we were married and then in 2010, with a baby on the way I went through the lost of my job. In doing so, we moved in with Melissa's parents, I took several part time jobs and I sold off almost all of my comics by the end of the year to make sure there was money for our future son. It was a month after our son was born that I was up late one night after getting him to sleep and I wrote two more chapters and then I ended up doing the first rewrite and making the story flow to where I was at that point in my life.

The notebook ended up sitting in my desk until 2011 when I ended up rewriting it yet again and by beginning of 2012 I had the main story finished. I polished it here and there until the following summer when I got an incredible phone call and I took my current job, which I love every day. It was that following Christmas that I once again rewrote the story once more and by the spring of 2013 I had it finalized. It was after two friends of mine had successfully had their own Kickstarter book projects funded that summer that I wanted to finally get this book out in the world. I looked and emailed and asked so many people and places until I found my artist, Natish through Fiverr.com and my wife's long time friend, Kristin created such a wonderful chapter insert that I knew it was time to get this book illustrated and out in the world.

I knew I had to find a way to pay my artists so I sold my copy of Avengers #1. Yes, the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby issue that was in decent condition. I used the funds from that to pay my artists and get the final contacts needed to find a publisher. Now, here I am 5 days later and I share and tweet and use the good old word of mouth to get this book funded. I pray every day that this will be the day it catches fire and takes off and everyday I'm also reminded of how hard I have to work in my spare time to keep this project going and not sacrifice any personal time with my family and friends. It's been a long road and I know it's far from over but I believe now is the time for My Life as a Comic Book Reader and I believe this book will see print by the summer.

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Bringing My Life as a Comic Book Reader to life

Hard to believe it was just earlier this year that I shared the chapters of my original "My Life as a Comic Book Reader" here on the site. If you haven't read it, please look back on my tags and you can read all about it. Now, after almost three years, I'm finally bringing it forward in Graphic Novel Form. The graphic novel is based both off my life and other comic book readers and will follow the life of Blaine as he goes through life from the age of 3 to his mid 30s and how comics affected his life during the years. From collecting comics, dealing with death in the family, depression, school life and finally being a father himself. My Life as a Comic Book Reader is a story I'm looking forward to coming to life in the next few months.

I currently have some artists lined up to create each of the chapters and have some set ups for publishing. The series will hopefully find itself on Kickstarter towards the end of the year. If you have any questions or would like to help support the project, please let me know. I'm really looking forward to bringing my story to fruition in the next year or so.

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What is your push to selling off your Comics?

This is a good question that is brought up constantly and I, myself had to answer it more than once. The most motivation for someone selling off their beloved comics or any collectible that they have come to love and enjoy is usually over money. We find ourselves in life changing situations from job loss to break ups. Like anyone faced with a problem when it comes to financial matters. It comes down to paying the bills off than having your signed Avengers #1 by Kurt Busiek and George Perez in you long box or on your wall to enjoy for years to come. My selling off of my beloved collections both in 2008 and 2010 were over financial matters, the first due to debt left over from a horrible break up and the second from job loss. While the collections did round up some money and did pay some debt off the main answer came down to: "Was it worth it."

That question is usually answered by not only the motivation behind the sale but also if it effectively did what it was supposed to do. In 2008 the selling off of my beloved Avengers, JSA, Thunderbolts and Daredevil runs netted me only a good $500 which also included various other titles that I did not have a problem selling to pay off bills. Now, you think that would be a great take home pay, probably pay off one major bill. There was the truth, it was one major bill and the rest just went to gas money. A month later while one small debt was washed away it was not over the major student loan and one credit card debt that was still around. A regular part time job was fueling these debts more than paying them off quicker by selling off the books. Even worse, those specific books that were sold off are worth more money now than then and would have contributed to better pay off now than 5 years ago.

Same story goes in 2010 from job loss and having a kid on the way, I sold my entire Green Lantern collection with signatures and all for about the same amount of money and yep it paid off one small debt. After that, it was the classic paying things off now and realizing later it would have been more if I would have waited. Not that people have a choice, when it comes to paying the bills and getting food on your table, we all make strives to sell what we know we have to part with. The real bite back is when it's a few years later and you have recovered from those days and decide: "I'll see if I can find that same collection cheap." The truth comes you do find it cheap, a little too cheap and that's when you feel like you should never should have sold them in the first place unless you really didn't want them anymore. A small check is a lot better than no check but at the same time it feels like you made a mistake.

In this day and age of economics our material belongings are either sold off to pay for things or we are ridiculed for having them because we should be using our time and money on better things, which does have a point. However, as I have said:

"The worse thing you can do to anyone who has a hobby is make them feel like they should be ashamed of it."

Take that to heart, if someone feels they need to make you feel ashamed of reading comics, enjoying Transformers, working on a scrapbook or enjoying Nascar. Then you should know right there you shouldn't make the choice. If it's over financial or personal reasons to sell your belongings, then by all means do what you have to do but never do it because someone made you feel bad at it. After all 10 years ago girl in high school might break up with their boyfriend because they like video games. Now, that norm seems to be very circumstantial as someone just looking for an excuse to break up with someone. If you love or care for someone, you support their hobby even if it isn't your cup of tea. As long as it isn't destroying your finances or ethics then let someone enjoy their hobby and don't feel you need them to be "an adult".

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Real World Vs. Marvel Universe: Doctorates in Superior Spider-Man

If you have been following Superior Spider-Man as of late you will notice that Otto Octavious better known as Dr. Octopus took over the life of Peter Parker. He quickly learned that he was missing a credit and thesis from being a full fledge PhD. in Physics. He decided to remedy this by completely his needed courses and of course ended up having his professor be his old rival during his own graduate studies years earlier before he was Dr. Octopus. The question has come up with how can Peter Parker get a doctorate this quickly by just completely one course and a thesis. In the real world dissertations normally report on a research project or study, or an extended analysis of a topic. The structure of the thesis or dissertation explains the purpose, the previous research literature which impinges on the topic of the study, the methods used and the findings of the project. Most world universities use a multiple chapter format : a) an introduction, which introduces the research topic, the methodology, as well as its scope and significance; b) a literature review, reviewing relevant literature and showing how this has informed the research issue; c) a methodology chapter, explaining how the research has been designed and why the research methods/population/data collection and analysis being used have been chosen; d) a findings chapter, outlining the findings of the research itself; e) an analysis and discussion chapter, analysing the findings and discussing them in the context of the literature review (this chapter is often divided into two—analysis and discussion); f) a conclusion.

As we know as Dr. Octopus, Otto has a large number of resources he can pull up and write a thesis to complete a PhD. in Physics. In fact he has previous published papers that he could actually call back on and expand due to his criminal career and all the "mad" experiments he has completed in that time. However, with that said and myself a doctorate student, it isn't as easy as that. Many people fall short of completely a thesis or dissertations just before they complete a PhD., EdD, MsD or other high level course studies. One thing thing that has been kind of explained is how Otto was able to get back into a graduate course and be able to pass off getting to a final credit. Most Comp tests which most doctorate students pass can be stored for their studies for up to 7 years even if they do not complete the final course work or paper. As long as they go to the same university or are able to transfer the credits and completed tests, they can enroll fine. In comic book logic they just said that Peter retook his test and got in no problem, which isn't too off course.

However, thesis or dissertations need to have up to three teachers as your review board to give you pointers for rewrites, needed questions to ask and of course ways to chart your paper. After all a thesis or dissertation are basically one huge term paper that can take up to two semesters to write given your research and topic. Now, for Otto to have the needed information for his thesis isn't a problem, especially given Peter's background. However, to have it where one professor is doing all his checking, that would never happen. Not to mention that you would have two other professors up to two back up professors usually non-tenture that would be looking over your paper. So, the to look at this in any possible logic, Otto would either get caught for plagiarizing his own work or trying to get around basic academic rules for the state of New York or even the East Coast. So, to make a long story short, there is no way for Peter Parker even if Otto Octavious is using his body to get his PhD with everything that has been happening in his own book or how most New York City Universities base their students' work load and final completion of their graduate studies. Sorry Otto, you aren't going to be: "Dr. Parker" any time soon.

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