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.
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.
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?