Friday, March 11, 2011

The Roots of Dorkness...

A Creative Commons Licensed photo from GP(MPK)

I have been into comic books for nearly thirty years.  It all started in 1983.  In 1983, Star Wars was shown on HBO for the first time.  Watching Star Wars on HBO was a big deal.  It was the first time you could see Star Wars since it had been in the movie theaters years earlier.  Remember this was before DVDs, and even before everything was released on VHS.  Our family didn't have cable...cable wasn't even available in our neighborhood.  But we were invited by some family acquaintances to come over and watch.  After watching Star Wars, us kids were left to our own devices in the 'play room' while the adults enjoyed some alcoholic beverages.

There was a pool table and various stuffed animals, but after a few rounds of trying to smash each others fingers with pool balls I became bored.  Looking around I found a shoe box.  Inside was a pile of comic books...they looked ancient to my eyes (later I realized they were just a year or two old, but had been treated rough).  They weren't the best comics - a mix of mostly crappy Marvel and DC: Red Sonya, Conan, Green Arrow, Silver Surfer, Aquaman, and Fantastic Four (some of these might have actually been decent but all were in the middle of a story line so it was hard to know what was going on).

Worst blog post ever.
I had seen comic books before but they were usually Donald Duck, Popeye, or Archie...stuff that just didn't interest me at all.  These were different - realistic characters, intriguing art, complex stories, anti-heroes, and villains.  I found these comics fascinating.  I guess I showed enough interest that the box of comics was given to my brothers and I.  I probably read each of the comics about 10 times.

This began an obsession that lasted about 15 years (one dorky obsession of many).  I was never a huge collector, but would gladly read whatever I could get my hands on (which wasn't much considering were we lived).  It wasn't about the money for me, it was about the stories, characters, and art.  It was a simple enough hobby, but one that helped me down the road to dorkdom and relating way too much to The Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons.  It is a hobby that still calls to me although I feel much differently about it these days.  It is a hobby that I probably spent way too much money on.  It is a hobby that I still see the impacts upon my life so many years later...but more comic stories later, this was just about the very beginning and how Star Wars made me a dork in more ways than one.


kelly said...

You <3 Vern

Lax Guy said...

I am also a fairly big comics nerd. Surprisingly, the hockey community in DM is full of comic nerds. My shop of choice, Cup O Kryptonite, sponsors an adult team. League meetings are actually held at Cup. Plus Cup serves some of the best coffee in the metro.
I will say that collectively comics have gone to shit over the last 5-7 years though, mostly due to a large number of crossovers, retcons, reboots, and an overall trend of shitty writing and mediocre art.
That said, I still lovingly buy Captain America & Green Lantern, as they have retained most of their quality. Or maybe I'm biased because they are my favorites... On that subject, I am terrified of the GL movie, but am as excited as hell for the Cap flick. Gritty realism & a developed cinematic universe > Ryan Reynolds & CGI

Michael said...

LG - I agree but for me they started going to shit in the early 90's with a mild resurgence in the late 90s-early 2000's. But I mean to blog about that more in the future.

Even though, I think Marvel and DC are killing the superhero movie market with over-saturation, I am no longer as heavily invested comics to be either super excited or disappointed...but I'll still be going to all of them of course.

The Thor trailer made it look slightly better than I figured. Capn A looks good. GL looks iffy.