Tuesday, October 14, 2008



I once was a huge comic book junkie.

I still have, somewhere, a large portion of those comics I once collected (and hell, maybe some were good investments. Anyone know if Wizard is still the go-to source for a comic's value?) likely stored away in bags, with the cardboard backers, in boxes in a storage place.

It was somewhere around 4th or 5th grade that this started. I'd loved the funny pages since I was a wee lad, and vividly remember that I learned the word doubt (and how it doesn't sound a damn think like it's pronounced) from a Garfield collection in 1st grade.

Like most boys with basic TV access growing up when I did, I was a huge junkie for GI Joe and Transformers. Then one afternoon I saw that they had comics too (this was likely at a gas station, and a few years before my attention would be drawn to that rack of magazines wrapped in plastic). I'm not sure if I was able to convince my folks to get one for me on the first try, but it eventually happened.

Throw the kid an allowance, and I was soon blowing the whole thing on comics.
I even drew some of my own (I had better artistic/drawing talent then--it has since atrophied). I had no clue what the actual creative process was for most comics, so I went the difficult direct route of making it up as I went a long mostly, and drawing random layouts on a page before filling them in. There's a reason I didn't grow up to be Frank Miller or Jim Lee or Todd McFarland.

It lasted pretty much until puberty. I'd like to say women replaced comic books, but I was skinny (like "hey, I can see ribs" skinny) about a decade and a half before skinny dudes were "cool". Plus there was the whole braces thing, and the acne. Let's not talk about that.

Guitar (and guitar-related magazines, with interviews I'm damn glad my parents never read--I don't think they'd see Dimebag from Pantera as a good influence) quickly replaced comic books by 7th grade. The comics got boxed up, rarely looked at, and that was that.

Until a few months back.

I saw that there was a "Season 8" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show I was such an unabashed fan of that I once attempted to write a script, and actually got far enough in the process that I was looking for a way to submit it (and of course, found out that Whedon and Co. don't take unsolicited scripts--damn. I though a special "Spring Break Buffy where the Scoobies get to take on a Chthulu cult was good times.) But the catch to Season 8 was it was in comic form. I passed at first.

Then one day I saw the first few issues collected in graphic novel form at Borders, said "what the hell" and I've been hooked ever since.

It's a great season so far (and I have my own theory about the identity of the masked Big Bad, Twilight, but I'm keeping it largely to myself) and the first 10 or so issues are now in two graphic novels. But this might make me a comic geek again...

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