Books · Entertainment

Comics! Comics! Comics!

AmazingSpider-Man001It’s amazing how quickly I can immerse myself into some things. I’m really not sure why, but it’s always been something in my personality. I’d go through these phases where I think about nothing but a certain topic, and slowly gain more and more knowledge. Then for one reason or another, the full throttle slows down and eventually fades to where it just fits into my life whenever I can get it in.

Previous examples of this are anything Battle Royale related, Pokemon, poker, professional wrestling (this I will get into later) and certain bands.

Comic books fall into that realm, but in a very different way with Marvel is my favorite publisher and will probably stay that way.

Now I can go on and on why I prefer Marvel over DC, and it’s nothing personal toward DC. I like some of their heroes such as the Green Lantern and the Flash, but I truly prefer Marvel’s cast of characters. My favorite has always been Spider-Man, but I also like Deadpool, X-Men (mainly Gambit) and Fantastic Four, just to name a few. The problem as to why I couldn’t get into them as a child, was that my mom and dad didn’t really give me money to buy comics. In fact, if I can recall, most of my childhood was spent watching television and playing video games on one of my many systems – though I’m sure if there was  Power Ranger comic, my mom would have surely bought me them. But I knew I loved comic books, and whenever I got a chance to have one in my hand, I always took a second to read it. I mean, let’s face it, my favorite cartoons as a kid were superheroes whether it was Spider-Man or X-Men.

Adding more to my comic love, one of my original favorite computer programs – aside from Oregon Trail – wasn’t a game. In fact, it was the Spider-Man cartoon maker on the PC.

I also had the Batman version, but the Spider-Man version was my preference. It allowed me to create stories and put them on a screen. Most of my friends wanted to create stories featuring explosions and a lot of random elements (like the video above), but I always tried to have some semblance of a plot to make it interesting and downright watchable.

Comics have been around in my life, but never a big part. I never truly learned the characters’ back stories and origins. I never grew up reading Spider-Man in the comics and most of my knowledge about them came from the cartoon, which I’ll admit wasn’t the greatest point to start. If I remember correctly, X-Men lost me when the Phoenix Saga began in the cartoons, which saddens me because I hear that was a good story arc. The problem was I didn’t have the means to really get into the comics. Even when high school hit, I became obsessed with other things – mainly sports and board games – and couldn’t fully take advantage of A) more expendable funds and B) free time.

That holding pattern continued until last week. After Marvel made an announcement at South by Southwest, saying it was going to give away the Volume 1, first issue of all of its comics on the Comixology app, I was interested. It wasn’t necessarily brought to my attention until John Pollack and Wai Ting from Live Audio Wrestling used some of their time to air issues that  they had in attempting to get copies on their mobile devices. I did my research on the issue and decided to get Comixology for my iPad, so whenever the day came that the downloads worked, I’d be ready to go. On a complete side note, by doing so it also gave my iPad a designation as high-powered e-reader.

Then something came over me. I wanted to get into comics, but didn’t know where to start, so I asked Wai through Twitter for a suggestion some comic book story arcs and series to dive into and read. He suggested a couple, and I downloaded them and started to get hooked again on the medium that I was always interested in, but never had the time nor the money to actually get into. I never realized how fast time can fly when reading comics because they’re really quick reads given story panels and quotes.

I love comics because it’s the ultimate “show, don’t tell” medium.

After purchasing a subscription to “Superior Spider-Man,” I decided that I wanted to get really deep into Spider-Man’s history, his backstory and essentially get into the Spider-Man arc. I quickly realized that with 700 issues at $1.99 a piece, it was going to get REALLY expensive if I wanted go from Issue 1. So I decided to just purchase Marvel Unlimited ($60), and use my iPad to start digging into these issues. While some people have complained about a few bugs, I can’t recall too many times when I’ve experienced a perfect product (I’m still waiting for one more patch NBA 2K13 developers, by the way). It’s so far, so good with the purchase and I estimate that if I can get through 26 comics, I’ll be able to make up for the purchase.

I’m anticipating to read more comics, as I’ve only scratched the surface with it. I fully expect my odd obsession to fade at some point, but I also expect it to be apart of my hobby rotation for quite some time, joining video games and other things. I’m always open to more suggestions for comics, and if you have any suggestions go ahead and leave them in the comments.

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