Comic Books!!!!!

It wasn’t until I was in college that I got the courage up to go down to the comic book store by campus. I initially went to check out the manga section, since this was before bookstore chains actually had manga sections. I am of the generation that would come home from school and watch the Spider-Man and Batman cartoons. I’d only watch Superman if I didn’t have a choice. I’ve never been a big Superman fan.

But anyway, eventually I decided that it didn’t matter what anyone thought, I was going to buy myself comic books! I had been raised with the “comics are for boys” mentality. But I wanted to read these stories. Of course I picked up The Amazing Spider-Man. I was already a fan of the character and it is the main title for the character. Eventually I started reading Uncanny X-Men, inspired by the first movie, and, like Spider-Man, it was the title. Then, because Marvel loves to have stories run across titles, I added The New Avengers and Excalibur (Vol. 3) to my monthly runs. Of course there were the limited stories like House of M and Civil War which would inflate my monthly runs.

After college, partially due to living at home with no comic book store in town or a car or enough money to keep buying comics, I stopped buying them. But I would save up for trade paperbacks and tried to keep up that way. The titles I buy and the frequency have gone up and down over the years. Right now I’m getting back into it.

At the beginning of the month I went in search of America #1, both due to interest in the story and for the Hamilton variant cover. My local shop, Laughing Ogre, didn’t have the variant because of the requirements the distributor put on ordering it (and I can’t blame them at all!), so I picked up the regular cover…along with the first four issues of Buffy Season 11 and an Alexander Hamilton comic.

Today I went on another run up to my new other local shop, Seann’s Anime & Comics. I had to argue with myself over what to get. Well, after I picked this beauty up:

They had the Hamilton variant cover!!! Honestly this is more for having it to reference when I get working on my dissertation later. Seriously, if you haven’t picked this book up yet, you should! This has the potential to be an awesome storyline!

Anyway, after looking around and falling in love with the store, I decided to pick up a few other comics. First, they had $1 comics that are #1 in their series. I saw three I had to grab:

I’ve been interested in Wolverine and the X-Men since I found out about it in researching for my thesis. We just had Laurenn McCubbin at The Ray Browne Conference on Cultural and Critical Studies as the PCSA keynote speaker. She worked on Bitch Planet, and reading this issue has me wanting to hunt down the rest in issue form. I know I can get them in trade paperbacks, but there’s something awesome about having the issues. I’ve also been wanting to read Sex Criminals and the chance to get the first issue for $1 was something I couldn’t pass up! So much so that…

I picked up almost every back issue of Sex Criminals they had. I had to leave two and the most recent due to running out of funds. Also there are a few issues missing here that I need to find, but I am loving it so far! I had a feeling I would since Matt Fraction is one of the authors and his run on Uncanny X-Men is part of my thesis and I’m writing about Hawkeye and his run is a vital piece of that.

So I guess all of this is to say there’s going to be more comic talk coming! Marvel is launching ResurrXtion later this month and I’ll be getting probably three of those titles every month. And who knows, I may get back into Spider-Man again. I got spoiled. J. Michael Straczynski was the writer when I started and it hasn’t been the same since. Anyway….comics!!!

Unblocked!

Yesterday, my wallet decided to hide out on the backseat of my car. That was part of my problem. Knowing that I had a stack of books waiting for me at the library that I couldn’t get out because my ID was in my wallet was the other. But since I found it just chilling back there after tearing my room apart, things have significantly improved.

Cover of 'X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor: Race and Gender in the Comic Books' by Joseph P. DarowskiOne of the books in that stack is X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor by Joseph P. Darowski. This is the book I have been trying to find. I’ve been wishing I could find a book that would give me some guidance as to overall stories in the over 50 years of stories in the comics. This is it.

I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys the comics of The X-Men universe. He focuses on the original title, known today as Uncanny X-Men, through issue #500. This book has not only given me guidance as to what comics I want to look at, it has given me focus in general.

It feels so good to have my focus back. It feels so good to know what comics I am going to look at in more detail. It feels so good to have a game plan as to what I am including and what I am excluding. It feels so good to know someone else has looked at these comics closely to examine what they say about things we deal with every day.

I have focus!!!! Now to get my hands on the other comics!