Dexter Down Under #4 and Trees #1
I was actually happy last week… I like it when a bunch of great comic books come out. These kinda days are important too, because they help remind me why I love comics so much. That noted, this week I’m back to my norm– as I’m only buying 2 comics: Dexter Down Under #4 (which is really for my girlfriend) and Trees #1 (which is definitely for me). Another comic I buy every month (but never list here) is SpongeBob Comics. (That one’s for my nephew.) I smile when I buy these too– since it’s always fun to see people who don’t normally read comics enjoy a book here and there.
As many of you know, there are several independent publishers who thrive mainly by printing licensed comics. Some people scoff out these series, but not me. These books are a great way to expose potential new readers to the industry. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who wander into comic shops (like the ones where I used to work), only to exclaim how surprised they are that comic books are still being published. That statement is kinda sad when you think about it, no?
I’ve mentioned numerous times how Web of Spider-Man #31 was my first SUPERHERO comic… But here’s something I rarely talk about: Web was NOT the first comic I purchased.
Back in the day, whenever I went to the local grocery store to buy baseball cards (or candy)– I always looked through the comic book spinner rack. (As a kid, that rack was the only way I even knew comics existed.) Marvel’s G.I. Joe was my comic of choice back then… And I picked it up solely because I enjoyed the cartoon and the action figures. It wasn’t about buying or reading a comic book to me… It was about getting something featuring the characters I played with and saw on TV.
Then one day, while I was looking through the rack to see if I could find a new G.I. Joe book– I suddenly saw Web of Spider-Man #31… And the cover just slapped me in the face. I remember thinking, I NEED to buy this comic. And I did.
So a “gateway” comic got me, Jose Melendez, into “real” comics. So the next time you hear some know-nothing mouth off about how IDW and Dynamite (and other such indie publishers) aren’t “real” comic book companies because they publish “licensed characters”… Remind these idiots that not for the SpongeBob and My Little Pony comics there might never be any new blood enjoying comics… And without new fans, print comics will most assuredly die.
Feel free to share your early comic experiences below… And while you’re at it…