I have fond memories of my mom picking me up from school… stopping by the Circle K… picking up a Cherry Coke and a pack of Reese’s… and then heading over to the comic book store. I would come home with my comics, lay around my room, listening to the then local radio station, Power 99 (playing everything from R.E.M. to Tom Cochran to Red Hot Chili Peppers to En Vogue), and escape into the world of comics.
The first book I remember buying was New Warriors #1 from Marvel. I loved the young relate-able characters, the team dynamic, the sense of humor, and, it being a #1, I felt like I was getting in on the ground floor.
From there I got into X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, Spider-man… pretty much anything with an “X” (or a spider) on it.
At that point, some of the major creators (and record-breakers) in the comics industry split to form their own company, called Image comics. All of my favorite artists (Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen) from my favorite Marvel books, creating an entire world where I could get in on the ground floor? I was in. For the first couple of years, I bought everything Image put out (and almost exclusively). I ate it up and I loved every minute of it.
The stories in all these books took me to a place I’ve never been before, in a way that movies or television never did. With comics you feel fully engulfed in this amazing new world. You feel like you’re a part of it. Not just the stories, but the industry. The fact that you could correspond with the creators in their letters pages or create your own worlds at home with just a pencil and paper or discuss the books with a small handful of fans all added to this. I felt like I was in a secret club.
Then High School happened. I had less and less time to read comics, and more importantly, less and less money to buy them.
Cut to 15 years later (holy cow, I’m old) and having fully experienced adulthood, the one thing I know is that I want to rediscover childhood. I once again fallen head over heels in love with this brand of storytelling. I’ve tried to get caught up on all the good stuff thanks to my local library and various comic-related blogs and podcasts. Some of my very favorite stories right now from any medium are in comics (Runaways, Invincible, Scott Pilgrim, Umbrella Academy, to name just a few).
The great thing about comics today is that it’s a medium that serves a number of audiences. It’s not just superhero books for kids (as I believed when I was one). Many of my favorite comics tell adult stories to an adult audience in a variety of genre’s.
So, while I will always love and be involved in movies, music, and everything else, I can no longer deny my love for comic books. It is with this that I introduce you to the newest addition to my creative arsenal… Strongsville.