My First Comic

My First Comic

Comics weren’t something I read as a kid. The closest I came was reading the Sunday funnies with my dad, but I never picked up an actual comic book issue until I was in my 20’s.

In high school, I loved superheroes movies like Batman Begins and Superman Returns, but I never felt comfortable reading the comics–both because I was overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of Batman and Superman comics out there and also because, even to an uber nerd like myself, comics felt a little too geeky.

This, in my defense, was just before being a geek was cool. I figured I was already weird enough as a teenager.

In college, I started getting over my hangups. I became obsessed with Doctor Who and The X-Files (two things teenage me would have found intolerably nerdy), and I binge-watched the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in less than a year.

It was finishing Buffy at the end of that year that got me started on comics. After Season 7, I wanted to know what happened to all of my favorite characters and thankfully I found that Season 8 existed–it was just in comic form.

my-first-comicWhile I may not have known where to start reading with superhero comics, I knew exactly what to pick up when it came to Dark Horse’s BtVS series.

At first, I was still 100% embarrassed/nervous about reading comics. Thankfully, my library had a self-checkout so I could ease myself into it by checking out graphic novels incognito the first couple of times.

I read through all the available Season 8 graphic novels quickly and then moved onto Joss Whedon’s other comic titles like Fray, Dr. Horrible, and bits of his X-Men run. I still hadn’t gotten brave enough to try getting any Buffy comics issue by issue, but I kept finding things to read all the same.

After I exhausted Joss Whedon’s comics, I started reading Fables and then The Walking Dead.  I tried stuff like Unwritten, Y the Last Man, and Saga. (Notice I still kept far away from superhero stuff.)

It wasn’t until I saw a variant cover for an issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer #36 that I broke down and bought my 1st actual issue.

The variant cover in question is the Buffy/Twilight mash-up by Georges Jeanty. It came out in late 2010–when I was already out of my Twilight-loving stage and into my Twilight-loathing one. I thought the cover was funny and ironic and I wanted to have it.

Source: kabalounge.com
Source: kabalounge.com

Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea what variant issues were at the time. When I went to Borders to buy my copy, I had expected it to have the Twilight cover. It didn’t. Of course, me being me, I didn’t want to waste all of the courage I’d gathered up to buy my first comic by leaving empty-handed so I bought the issue anyway.

It may not have had the cover I liked but I read it anyways and enjoyed it. Funnily enough, it took me two more years before I’d work up the courage to buy another single issue. The 2nd time I’d go into my Local Comic Shop and leave with a pile of 25 cent comics and more Joss Whedon-related stuff.

I’m not embarrassed about loving comics anymore (obviously), but a lot of that came from finding websites and blogs and vloggers online that taught me tons (like what variant covers are). It also helps that–with ever year that passes–I get a little more comfortable with being open about what I like and just being me.

What was the 1st comic you ever read?

Readerly Geek

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11 thoughts on “My First Comic

  1. This is such a great post! I definitely understand the superhero dilemma. There are so any of them out there and I have absolutely no idea where to start. I read Dutch comics for children/young adults when I was very small but that was about it. Last year, I started reading Saga -which I really love- and now I lent Fables Vol. 1 and Unwritten Vol. 1 & 2 from the library. I also started reading the Chew volumes and a Ms Marvel one. I still have trouble with the superhero dilemma, but maybe I’ll get over that soon too.

    1. I’m trying to be better about trying superhero comics now. Mostly, I still stick with the lady superheroes because there tends to be a whole lot less to sift through (unfortunately!).

  2. My first comics were the tie-ins to Felicia Day’s The Guild web series. And from there I finally picked up the BtVS ones and it quickly spiraled out of control from there!

    I think the Superhero dilemma is being eased somewhat with New 52 (and now the abandonment of that for more self-contained stories) and Marvel Now. I think with all the different special events and books that happen, it’s easier to pick up something new and get sucked in and then go back and explore what you have an interest in.

    1. The New 52 helped me a lot in getting into superhero comics. I still think it’s difficult to figure out which of the major heroes’ comics to read (even in the newer series there are SO MANY Batman and Superman titles!), but it’s definitely helpful. I’m interested in seeing now what happens after Convergence. Hopefully, there will be even more good starting places soon!

  3. This is awesome! The first comic I read was the graphic novel Persepolis. I actually read it for school and I ended up taking my senior seminar class in college on comics. That’s what got me hooked!

  4. Great post! When I was reeeeally young, I was obsessed with Archie Comics, if we’re counting those. I actually think that’s how I learned to read! When I was in maybe 2nd grade I started reading X-Men comics that my next door neighbor would leave at my house, and maybe because I was so young, they never struck me as geeky or anything like that. They were just books with pictures to me. As I got older, kids would make fun of me for being a girl reading comics (obviously this was before geek was cool!), but by that point I was too engrossed to care. 🙂

  5. I absolutely love the idea of this post so do you mind if I take this idea as a post for my blog?

    I didn’t want you to think I’d stolen the idea so I’ll of course reference yours at the start of mine 🙂

  6. I don’t think I ever would have gotten the courage to read comics if not for having a brother-in-law who works at a comic shop. I really feel you & I know I’m so lucky that I have someone I trust to talk to about comics & to guide me in the ways 🙂 I just started reading Saga (MY first comic) in February, so it’s all still very fresh for me! Thanks for your post & letting me know I’m not alone 🙂

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