Friday, May 11, 2012

Return to a Past Hobby

About three months ago, I came across news from my daily RSS feed regarding an upcoming Marvel summer event.  That event is called the Avengers vs. X-Men.  It was because of this event, my interest in comic books sparked.  You see, I began to collect comic books when I was 11 years old.  I had stopped collecting when I was 16, during my sophomore year in high school because when you get to that age, comic book collecting wasn’t “cool” among other teenagers, unless you were a nerd or a geek.  You see, being a geek or a nerd in the late 80’s wasn’t what you’d call a “cool” thing back then.  Especially no guy wouldn’t get too far with the ladies if they knew they collected comic books, love watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and thought that the Bones Brigade were skate gods....ahem.
Anyway, a year after I graduated from high school in 1992, another event in comic book history made headlines, “The Death of Superman.”  This amazed me because the death of a fictional comic book character, which a high number of people have heard of, was newsworthy.  I was 19 then and it has been a little or more than three years since I picked up a comic book title.
The Death of Superman rekindled my love for comic books.  Although this event of Superman being dead gave widespread excitement in the world of comic books, it also gave me the perception that death is never final to any superhero character in the comic book realm, and that because of this storyline, “death” no longer existed, but that is another story.  Watch this video on Youtube by darosthemovie to see what I mean:  

Anyhoo...three years in the absence of my favorite heros like the X-men, Spider-man and Daredevil to name a few may not seem long, but so much has changed over the years.  It took me weeks to catch up on what was going on with my missed superheroes, but it also brought me joy searching for back issues and finding out when local comic conventions or gatherings, like WonderCon would happen near my city or a mall or hotel which will host a comic & toy fest.  I would attend each of them whenever I can.  For the next six or so years, I’ve enjoyed the art and storytelling continually collecting from my favorite pencillers and writers until one fateful day I would end my collecting days.  The day Fantasy Comics closed.  The place to which I would go every week on “New Release” day closed its doors  I was cut from the source.  I developed a relationship with the owners of Fantasy Comics and it brought a shock to me to learn that they were going out of business.  They did refer me to another shops.  I was aware of other shops in the area, but it’s not the same when you go to a place where they know your name.  When they closed I couldn’t find myself continuing with my hobby.  When I stopped collecting I shelved my book collection in boxes and crates in storage never again to see the light.  
Throughout my adulthood and my pursuits in my career, I really thought my comic book collecting is just a phase in my life that came to pass and that I would not revisit again.  
Was I wrong.
2012.  It’s been 14 years since my last title.  Hearing this event, Avengers vs. X-Men has once again brought me back to something I loved since I was 11 years old.  That old interests never die just like my favorite superheroes I grew up with never die. I was really interested in this storyline, so I marked my calendar in April to pick up AvX #0.  The next step is to find me a local comic shop.  There was this comic shop near my place that I knew of when I was collecting during my college days, but I never for once set my foot in it’s doors.  After all these years, that same comic shop still stands.  Located on 2381 Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, “The Comic Outpost” became my new refuge in getting my comic book fix.  The place has a catchy name too.

When I stepped into this place I wasn’t prepared what was waiting for me when I walked through the shop’s door, I was like,”Wow!”  I remember how shops were set up, but nothing like The Comic Outpost.  I was amazed by the set up.  First off, on your right you are greeted by an oversized “Nancy” from Sin City played by Jessica Alba.  Next you are overwhelmed by the memorabilia and a wall full of comic books.  Very clean.  Very decorative.  Right away, I felt like a kid again.  I felt like being home again despite the unfamiliarity of the place.  Very welcoming.  Already I was loving the place.

What started out as picking up a single title, the Avengers vs. X-Men #0, I ended up browsing through other books.  I wanted to visit the X-Men.  I wanted to know what’s been going on with these guys over the years.  I also visited Batman and Green Lantern only to learn there is this thing called, “The New 52”, which is happening all over the DC Universe.  I was happy to learn that Jim Lee & Scott Williams, two of my favorite pencillers and inkers are running Justice League.  Greg Capullo pencils Batman.  Chris Bachalo with Wolverine and the X-Men.  I fell in love with comic books all over again.  You see, where I left off collecting comic books, Jim Lee was working on X-Men, Capullo on Spawn, and Bachalo still with Marvel when he worked on Generation Next, that was where I last seen their work only to see them again working on other titles which made me a fan all over again.  

I’m turning 39 on the 16th of May.  It’s less than a week once I post this blog.  I’d like to say thanks to God for renewing the youth in me.  It’s truly one of many gifts to enjoying life.  Thank you.

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