I first became aware of comic books pretty early in my climb toward sentience. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and trudging through the snows of winter and the stickiness of hot Long Island summers to spend my allowance on them. I loved them instantly and completely. If the truth be told I think I learned to read as much by reading comic books as I did by attending school. I had to know what the powerful people and weird creatures I worshiped
were up to!
I never “collected” them, although there was always a stack of them in my room somewhere. I devoured them.
I read them and re-read them. I tore off the covers and taped them to my walls. I cut out my favorite images and stuck them to everything I owned with Elmer’s glue. I used to get a Dollar a week allowance, and when they went to 20 cents I found myself one comic book short of the 5 I used to get for my Buck (don’t forget the sales tax). I immediately approached my parents for a raise and was denied! I am only now recovering from that first fiscal trauma. Then we moved to Albuquerque
Skip forward 30 years or so
My 15 year old nephew Thomas came to live with my wife and me. My stepchildren were all grown and at school. We had not had a kid living with us for a couple of years. Thomas loved comic books as much as I did (and do)!
I had heard of a game called City of Heroes being launched earlier that year. It seemed to be something that Thomas and I might do together. We loved it right away. It quickly became clear that one shared account was not going to cut it. We got a second game account. Thomas suddenly developed hormones! My Gaming buddy was too busy to play with me anymore. I sullenly kept playing, but my heart wasn’t in it like it had been.
Skip forward a few more years
I am invited to become a Member of The Omega Factor super group on the Pinnacle server. I laughed almost daily with my virtual reality friends. Some of them were game experts. Some were social butterflies. Some were comedians. Some were encyclopedias of comic book lore, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy, and pop culture as it related to these topics. Most were a little bit of all of these things. I had found a home. I came to gradually understand that although I had never met a single one of them face to face that I genuinely cared about them. I had met them virtually, but they were real friends.
None of us had or has a bunch of money (life can be so cruel!). I got to thinking that there had to be a way to fund our mutual favorite pastime. What could we do to help us come up with communal scratch for things like the Ventrilo server we used, the Super group forums, game time, an emergency equipment fund ? I thought about a memorial car wash, but I couldn’t decide which one of us was going to have to die. Nix the car wash! Cookie Sales? Nope!
What if we pooled our talents to produce a few comic book titles? Hey, that sounds interesting! Some of us can write. Some of us can draw. Ink. Letter!! Color!!! Edit!!!! print!!!!! License Toys!!!!! Script!!!! Cast!!! Sell out!!!! Retire. and ahhh… um… Die? It feels a bit like an old Mickey Rooney flick (Hey Kids!! Let’s put on a show!). But I didn’t want us to put on a school play. My intent was to open on Broadway!
I started to read everything I could about the industry. Really liking comic books and thinking you can easily master them is a bit like enjoying fine food and thinking that you can instantly become a gourmet chef. It will take training, work and study. Dedication and commitment to excellence will probably need to come in to play as well.
We will tell stories in new ways. We will create new images that will expand the mind and feed the soul. We will create the new fables of our times and keep it entertaining.
We also hope to sell some comic books
August 19th 2010.