I’m going to hazard a guess about you, my dear readers; I’m going to guess that you’ve been around comics in some way or another for a good while. Whether you work in the industry, are a hardcore collector, or are a fairly casual reader, I’m guessing you have at least a couple years of learning the who’s who of the comic book world.
I don’t have that. Truth be told, I’m pretty much brand new to the realm of comics, a surprising statement coming from a nerdy white guy finishing his second undergrad degree. I mean, sure, I grew up watching the Spider-Man animated series, but I’m basically coming into the industry with no idea of where to begin in these complex comic book universes. In fact, it wasn’t until just this last month that I purchased my first true comic book.
Honestly? I wouldn’t want it any other way.
See, directly linked with my industry ignorance is an almost total lack of brand and character loyalty. On the one hand, knowing the industry greats is a good thing, I reckon. On the other hand, in my ignorance, I can dig through the multitude of long boxes filled with $0.50 comics at my local shop and buy whatever catches my eye. With little universe familiarity, I let my personal interaction with the individual comic decide whether or not I like it without bringing to the table my expectations of what should or shouldn’t be between its covers.
Then again, quite frankly, that’s more of a bonus than anything. Perhaps the most exciting part about being new to the industry is that I get to learn about these universes and all the complex relationships within (and sometimes between) them for the first time. So many of these stories are loaded with scientific impossibilities and philosophical what-ifs, all drenched in creativity. I consider myself both a dreamer and something of an intellectual, so when I come into contact with these comics, the result is that my mind begins to race, soaking in all this new information like a dry sponge absorbs water. In plain terms, even though I am aware that comic books have many cliches and repeated concepts, these worlds are totally new, wondrous, and exciting to me. I could come up with a whole list of adjectives to try and describe comics from my perspective, but none quite manage to capture the amazement that I am now experiencing for the first time.
When Jason Newcomb suggested I write this article, about being a newcomer to comics, I was very excited about the idea. I love communicating through the written medium, especially when I’m able to write about the things that excite me. And, in case you somehow missed it, I’m very excited about getting into comics. Still, when I thought about what I would say to an audience who is largely well-established in comicdom, I had no idea what to write that would be interesting to you. I don’t know enough to provide some brilliant insight into a new series or current industry trends. I haven’t stumbled upon some amazing rare find to share with you. For the time being, anyway, I can’t really give you anything new to think about. But then a thought hit me: I can give you something old to think about.
Having had this happen to me in other hobbies and interests, I can say that it’s all too easy to lose that child-like sense of awe and wonder that first captivated me and drew me into that interest. So I thought that maybe, just maybe, I can help you regain something that may have been lost to you in the passage of time. Perhaps in reading of my wide-eyed enthusiasm as I begin my journey into comicdom, some of that excitement will rub off on you. How awesome would that be? While I get to write about my rapidly growing love affair with comic books, you regain a little of your passion and wonderment in turn.
Here’s hoping my enthusiasm will be contagious.
Adieu, mes amis,
Got something to say to? To submit an article for the blog please contact the blog editor by sending a PM to user JasonNewcomb at the Stash My Comics forums.
Stashmycomics.com is a 100% free – no catch no gimmick – online collection cataloging and database service. If you haven’t already, setup an account by going to the home page and clicking “sign up”.