This time out, I thought we’d shift the conversation back to you, the readers. This has been addressed in various ways in various locations over time, but I’m curious . . .
When was your Year One? At what point did you become, irretrievably, a comic/graphic novel/manga/sequential art/whatever reader? How old were you at the time? Have you ever wavered? Did you leave and come back? If so, what brought you?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint a tremendously exact date, as I’ve seemingly been reading comics my entire life. I know that I had the first issue of “Star Wars” from Marvel, and I in fact believe it to be one of, if not my earliest, comic. I had “Batman”, “Detective”, “Superman”, and “Action Comics” issues from around the same time, so it was all very close. This was 1978 or so; I got the last issue of the “Teen Titans” at the point for sure, the origin story with Antithesis possessing the Justice League.
Nevertheless, I think that the issue that cemented me as a comic reader for life might have been “Uncanny X-Men” #128, the final chapter of the Proteus saga. My first issue of “X-Men” was #125, and I actually feel like I caught up pretty easily. But that final part, with Proteus laying full-force into the X-Men until Colossus was finally able to stop him? Man, I had to see more like that.
I do remember my first visit to an actual comic shop pretty well, too. I think I was eight. I’d already been reading a number of books (yay, spinner racks), and I noticed a lot of ads for comic shops and mail away services. That made me wonder if Terre Haute, Indiana had a comic shop. I got out the phone book, and I’ll be damned; it had more than one: Williams Book Palace and New Concept Bookstore.
New Concept was the first one that I went to. At that point, it was on Wabash Avenue (U.S. 40) near the K-Mart (then located at 25th and Wabash). It was across the street from a Ford dealership. Already reading “Legion of Super-Heroes” from about the name change, my first two back issues were “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes” #253 and 254, the battle with the League of Super-Assassins that introduced Blok.
I was pretty much done for then. Trips to the comic shop began a regular, then weekly, occurrence for me. Mom may have complained on occasion, but to her eternal credit, she always managed to get me there somehow.
So there’s my set of questions, readers. Why are you here? Let’s talk about it. Give us your origin story, and maybe we'll feature that book in a future edition of Flashback Friday.