I grew up in the mountains on Montana in a time when the nearest comic rack was in the local grocery store and there wasn’t a comic book shop in sight. Most of the comic reading I did was from the local paper (yup, comic strips) and the occasional copy of MAD Magazine. So, it’s no surprise that to this day the most joy I get from comics comes from humor and satire, and I continue in that vein with comics such as Nextwave and Atomic Robo.
Yes, it even influenced the video games I played as a kid. I consumed a steady stream of Jim Davis, Duck Edwing and Dave Berg. I would open up the newest issue of MAD to the “Joke and Dagger Department” to see my two favorite nemesis would blow each other up.
Since it was in the early 90s that I was reading mainstream comic books, and the local grocery store (a Fred Meyer B&B) only carried a few titles, I ended up with a recent X-Men most of the time, but my first comic book memory is still firmly attached to the 17th issue of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Aside from my tendencies to read anything comedic, I found myself really enjoying the random sci-fi comics I picked up. Oddly enough, I’m not a big Guardians fan any more (I blame the reboot, which followed the “documentary” style that was also used by The Order, bleeeech), but how about that Annihilation? Huh? Yeah, sci-fi is still plenty important, but for some reason the crazy (read: hated) art of the 90s is what really got me pumped.
Last, but certainly not least, there was the horror comics I read when I was younger. In particular, a copy of Midnight Sons a friend of mine brought to me in the hospital when I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
Come on, a cover by Bill Sienkiewicz, a story about Morbius fighting a killer toddler in a spike covered, blood draining suit, Blade fights the demonic baby brother of a femme fatale, Ghost Rider tracks down a man stealing organs and then attaching them to his body to stay alive (human meat locker, ‘nuff said) and it caps with a story about a violently racist cop who begs an inner city family to “beat him” so the giant insects under his skin can escape! Utter, utter madness and still one of my favorite horror comics to date.
Any more I read a little bit of everything, but horror and comedy are my two mainstays. I’ve gone from a $70 a week habit down to $20, but I have been big on picking up trades for more than 10 years now. Comic books just have such a wild and varied plethora of content, that I don’t think I’ll ever find another medium of entertainment that can hold my attention so readily and so consistently, and constantly reminds me there will always be something awesome out there I haven’t read yet.