Most people can chart their lives by songs on the radio at certain times of their lives, others by sporting events and others still by places they’ve visited etc etc.
I’m one of the more geeky people and sadly when this idea came to me, I could only think of it in comics. Being someone who struggled to make friends and was for the majority of my life on my own socially, comics were my escape and my window into a larger world. Comics reinforced the morals my parents instilled in me and helped me fashion my own outlook on things. Comics are a something of a constant in my life, I’ve moved several times, had several jobs, girlfriends and heartbreaks and upsets, but there was always comics.
1: Original X-Men #1
What it is: An 80s reprint of 60’s X-Men Comic.
When was it? April 1983
Where I was: Bradford: West Yorkshire
Why was it important? This is the first comic I remember ever reading and it set me on the course I’m on to some extent. This was time when comics could be find in newsagents. When my family moved back to Liverpool after 18 months in Bradford, I found a local newsagents (JayCees on Aigburth Road) and bought lots of different comics from there.
2: Guardians of the Galaxy #2
What is it? The 2nd issue of the Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing series.
When was it? April 1990
Where was I? Liverpool
Why was it important? This is a comic that had an underdog team and I really enjoy the lesser appreciated characters, the B-listers. A lot of the comics that I gravitate towards are the less headliner titles. I was never a Batman fan, but I remember fondly the Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. I wasn’t overly fond of the Justice League at the time, but I loved the Mike Parobeck Justice Society Series. This is where that love affair with the overlooked comic heroes started.
3: X-Men 1
What is it? The Second X-title. This one with art by Jim Lee and words by Chris Claremont.
When was it? August-September 1991
Where was I? My First comic mart in The Bluecoat, Liverpool.
Why was it important? This is the first comic I bought at a comic mart. I consider this to be the beginning of my proper collecting of comics. I’ve been buying comics on a regular basis ever since and the day I got this, is the first day I ever went to a comic shop.
4: Green Lantern # 51
What is it? Jumping on point for Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern.
When is it? February 1994.
Where was I? Still in Liverpool, at this point working work experience.
Why was it important? This comic led to my interest in DC comics and the characters. Green Lantern led me to Superman, who led to Zero Hour. Zero Hour, a crisis in time was my first event, which I bought at Liverpool Comic Co and proceeded to spend the next 6 years of weekends there (had a job there on saturdays). I was a marvel guy, but being there I got into a load of different comics, read Watchmen and V for Vendetta for the first time and got a ton of back issues. It was the time the comic bug grabbed hold and has yet to let go.
5: Superman 650
When was it? May 2006
What was it? Part of DCs post Infinite Crisis One Year Later event.
Why is it important? When I first read it, nothing at all. This tale takes place several months later. I was a couple of months in to a relationship with a girl. Things were going well. I had a system of lending a trade to people not into comics, Ultimates Vol 1. It’s very cinema over comic so works for non-comic fans. She tried it and didn’t like it. I thought oh well, at least she was happy to try. We might not share this interest, but at least she might understand it.
So life goes on, albeit a life sweeter for having someone awesome in it. A week or so later, we are at her place and amongst the stuff I have laying around her’s is a bag of comics (parts 1-8 of Up, Up and Away of which 650 was the first) and at one point that weekend I find her thumbing her way through these comics. She tried it out of curiousity, thinking Ultimates was just a bad choice for her to read.
She loved the comics and I was able to share several others with her at her request. 52, Daredevil Born Again, Kingdom Come, Identity Crisis, Astonishing X-Men, Annihilation and more. She’s my plus one of choice for any comic related movies (Most recently Guardians of the Galaxy) and the best person to watch comic related tv with.
The above wasn’t a deciding factor or anything, but I married that girl. My Rosie and I have been married for 6 years next month, just after our little boy turns 4. Comics are a hobby, they don’t define my life, but they do chart how far my life has come from the lonely little boy to a happy husband & father.
Just some random thoughts, hopefully I’ll have a topic next time.