By SirSparkington 2 Comments
Like many readers, my journey into reading comics started as a casual interest. When I was in grade 11 (in the ancient times that was 2007), I was working at a local radio station as part of a co-op. Since this radio station was in downtown London, I would often skip class and hangout downtown for the rest of the day until my mom got off work (she also worked in downtown London). Often, I would walk by a store called Heroes Cards and Comics. One day I walked in not thinking about what I wanted or having any real comic knowledge beyond Spawn and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. After being temporarily bewildered by all of the stuff in the store, I made my way to the back issues area of the store. There were thousands upon thousands of issues of all sorts and I was immediately seduced and sucked into the comic book world. I bought some Spawn issues and was content.
The second time I went to Heroes Cards and Comics, I had a vague knowledge of what I wanted. Going up to the guy behind the counter, I asked him about Marvel Zombies, a miniseries that was being talked about on the internet quite a bit at the time. He told me, that while Marvel Zombies was fun, its writer Robert Kirkman, had a much more serious (and better) book called The Walking Dead. I bought it and the first giant hardcover trade of Marvel Knights Spider-Man (the Millar run). As winter slowly turned into spring, I bought more and more back issues. Any money I could spare, I would spend on issues, catching up on the years that I had not read comics. Eventually I had the entire Ostrander run of Suicide Squad (one of my favorite books ever) and was all caught up on the Walking Dead. It was during this time that I started making my first forays into other titles. Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman all became favorite characters and all must read series for me (even if the series themselves were hit and miss).
Eventually Heroes moved across the street to a larger location and I caved in and bought a membership to the store. Basically, I gave a buck and they gave me a discount (the size of which depending on how many books are on my pull list) and hold onto any books I want. I maxed out my discount pretty quickly and read 20+ books regularly. For a year and half, while a student, I worked part time at a call centre. We would call out and do surveys about asinine stuff with the Americans across the border. Our neutral accents got the contracts, and apparently American’s think we’re fun to talk to doing surveys about hydro, medical plans, politics and even iPods. Anyways, while working at this call centre I met more comic book fans, and my scope of titles increased ever more. I read and bought a lot of comics during this time. It was not unusual for me to go through over a dozen comics during an eight hour shift – more if I wasn’t getting many surveys done. Because I lived at home with my parents (hey I’m only 20) any money that I didn’t save for college was almost entirely spent on comics.
It’s been almost 4 years to the date, when I knew that I loved comics. Over those 4 years I’ve matured as both a reader and as a person. I’m not the uneducated chum I was four years back. I understand the trends, themes, and tropes that are in comics. I’ve formed opinions and thoughts on comics. I love the good multi-cultural characters and the strong portrayals of women in comics. What I once loved, I don’t necessarily love anymore. I don’t work at that call centre anymore and being in college has eaten up my comic reading time (I constantly have a stack of comics that I’m working through) but one thing that hasn’t changed is my love of comics and the community around it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.