Growing up with Comics

July 28th, 20130 Comments »

Sunday Afternoon, 3:19 PM.

Life was never that boring before I discovered comic books.  It did, however, get a lot more exciting when I did.

Daily comic strips were my first introduction to sequential art.  I was growing up on Pearl Jam, Weird Al, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.  A genuine child of the nineties.

So between animated shorts, cartoons, and comic strips, I was done for. Calvin and Hobbes became the first collection I completed. Due in part to my loving parents playing Santa, birthdays, and indulging my hunger. I soon, picked up on Bill Amends brilliant work in Fox Trot, a bit older and more mature than the world Bill Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes lived in.  And a very close contender for my favorite comic series.  I could identify with Jason, the model rocket-building, comic book collecting computer geek and all around nerd.  I felt emotional connections to these fictional people even more than some of the ones in real life.

My first actual serial comic was an Iron Man vs. Fing Fang Foom issue, from a yard sale in my neighborhood in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  That same era, being somewhere between four and six years of age, I acquired an old school bronze age X-Men, which was easy to pick up on thanks to the Saturday morning X-Men animated series, which was unlike anything I thought animation could be.  It was rugged and fragile at the same time, it looked as if the pages themselves had come alive.  There was Amazing Spider-Man of course.  Justice League, Speed Racer became after school companions I’d waste no time waiting up for.

I started doodling and even writing my own short stories at the age of eight in the third grade.  We even got to hand write stories that the teachers later bound into novella for us to show our parents.

I loved it because I was writing stories for my classmates.  Not to show an “A” off on some refrigerator.  “You wouldn’t put your groceries on a bookshelf…I thought.”  With characters loosely, or belligerently ripped off of my favorite heroes and anti-heroes of that era in my life: I clearly remember writing a third grader’s fan-fiction of the smash hit television show “The X-Files” because science and paranormal shit really got the cranks turning in my head.  The covert cover-ups being chased by FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were staples of my Sunday nights   I wrote several pieces that had creatures from the Alien and Predator series, some that I created world for them to fight in, as naturally as a boy has his plastic figurines do from time to time.  Except I got to put it into print.

I actually did a non-fiction work myself by the age of seven or eight, in that same year.  The Witch of Pungo was a local legend that dated back to 1705-1706.  She was basically a hippie who survived trial as a witch and was later acquitted by the great state of Virginia, which by then had “lost their taste for the whole ordeal.  Nobody was perfect, and it was a very dark time, but somehow in Virginia, sense won out. I was always younger than my peers usually so I was probably seven.  In Virginia Beach, there’s a place close to the border between state of Virginia and North Carolina. It’s called Pungo, like the dog in 101 Dalmatians. Pungo, Virginia is mostly corn and soybean fields.  There’s no mall or highways, few lights, mostly stop signs. And there are hardware stores and restaurants with hot food, cold ice cream, waitresses who call you “honey.” all along the Tidewater shoreline to the east. I loved it.

Oh and there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one-shot that had an accompanying audio cassette tape.  I remember traveling in the backseat to West Virginia and forcing my parents to listen to it more times than they would probably liked to.  But this was also my mom who watched Disney movies with me.  And if anyone could bring a two dimensional drawing to life it was certainly the animators and artists working for Disney’s Animation Studios.

To Be Continued…

 

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About Jay

Jay was born July 8th 1986 and is an aspiring adult who is versed in several writing styles from poetry to short stories to hip-hop. He holds black belts in two different martial arts but has been self-trained to eat sleep and breathe comics and the people who make them. He started Inside Comic Books to get closer to the people in the comic book industry and find out if they're real or if they're all the result of his hyperactive imagination. He currently resides in Orlando, Florida. The O-Zone, if you will. If you're interested, you can email him at Jay@insidecomicbooks.com

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