As I’m sitting down writing this, I don’t feel nearly as qualified as others might. I don’t really have a huge collection of comics, it’s more or less just a shelf of about ten trades, as well as a few variants I’ve picked up over the past year or so. Sometimes I feel like I’m so out of the loop with what other fans are talking about that I just stay quiet for the rest of the conversation, in fear of saying something misinformed or stupid. Is this my reason for returning to comics at various points throughout my life? Surprisingly, no, but it makes a good motivator.
There have been three specific periods of my life where I started to read comics like there was no tomorrow. The first time, I believe, was when I was still in the first half of Elementary School. On top of being sent classing Spidey comics from the Lee & Ditko era, I started reading some trades that my mom bought for me, as well. In this period of time, I never really considered them as stories that could and would connect with me on a deeper level, I just saw them as fun books all about the adventures of my favorite characters. Not that there isn’t any truth to that, but I never really understood the grand scope of comics, or the deep inner workings of them.
Once I picked them back up as a teenager at the end of Middle School, I started to notice all the little things I missed as a kid. As someone wrestling with Asperger’s syndrome and anxiety, these books became an escape for me that resonated with me on levels I didn’t think were possible. In a period of time where it felt like no one understood me, these stories knew how to touch my heart and let me know that I wasn’t alone. Even as I suffered one of the most crushing defeats of my life in the form of a failed TV audition, I was able to build myself back up with the help of my family and these stories. And to be frank, I don’t know where I would’ve been if they weren’t there for me.
I kept up with comics for about another year until the struggles of money, school, and other life responsibilities got in the way. However, I was pulled right back in about four years later as I joined this family at On Comics Ground. Once again, I was hurled back into the insane world of comics, now as an adult, and I’m still finding out more and more about the modern myths that all these writers and artists create. Of course it has its double edged sword, as I’m not just staring into the good of what comics are and what they can do, but the bad and the ugly as well. And to be honest, that’s all a part of growing up. You have fun as a child, you go through the growing pains of adolescence, and you come face to face with all the good and bad in the world when joining adulthood. Even when you’re in the dark, you always have to push to look for the light.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if anything has been bringing me back to comics, it’s one thing and one thing only: life. Random occurrences in my time of growing up have drawn me back into these crazy and exciting stories, and honestly, I think it’s all been for the best. While there may be periods of time where I drift away from comics, some being years in length, I don’t think I’ll ever be rid of them completely. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.