My very first “comic” was a tie-in to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Cyborg.” I received it from the really cool guy who worked at the Captain Video. He painted his long fingernails with black polish. I think he was a local actor. I wonder what happened to that guy?
This was in 1989. You can see it here, in all its glory.
Somehow, it didn’t foster a love of comics within me. I remember trying to read it. I didn’t understand the serialized nature of comic books, so that left me confused. What happened? Where’s the rest of it? Plus, I’d never seen the movie. I’d seen one of Van Damme’s other movies, “Blood Sport,” and I watched a lot of ninja stuff: Michael Dudikoff was a household staple a this point. My brothers had ninja outfits and throwing stars and everything. A comic about Van Damme should have been my jamme.
I was just happy to have something for free. It probably went on my bookshelf with some books to the left, like The Boxcar Children and that book about the boy being saved by a mother badger, and my “air fern” to the right. (They’re not really ferns, people. They’re dead, drudged sea creatures. Heartbreaking, really. It looked much healthier before I started misting it regularly. But that’s another story, so…)
I didn’t read many comics after that. I didn’t get the fad. I lived miles from town, and it isn’t like my friends brought comics over to my house to play. I missed a whole, awesome piece of nerd culture. I didn’t even know what I was missing until I grew up and found out that the stories in comics are interesting and that the art can be striking. They were much cooler than pogs and they are almost completely lacking from my childhood. Except for that lone Van Damme exception.
In some ways, I’ve come about comics via literature. Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is one of my favorite books. I don’t know how anyone can read that novel and not want to read the comics therein. I got into Serena Valentino’s Gloomcookie for a while. Man, I hate Vermillion.
From there, I read a few Gaiman graphic novels, like Marvel 1602.
This brings me to the present.
I won a gift card to Comixology a while back, and I decided I’d better spend it before the internet stopped being a thing. It’s still a thing, right?
These are the items I picked up. What else should I take a gander at? This is your chance to tell me what else I need to read, how lame I am for choosing X when I could have totally picked up the infinitely and obviously objectively better Y, and hopefully at least one shining voice praising me for my shockingly good taste.