I intend this blog to be much like any other and cover whatever I feel like rambling on about but already there's a heavy comic content. So what is it that appeals to me about comics?
My grandad died when I was five but he was aa amateur painter and would entertain me for ages with his drawings and the bug soon caught me and I was drawing from a very young age apparently. Somewhere along the line, I was introduced to the Marvel UK weeklies, mainly Captain Britain, Spider-Man and Mighty World Of Marvel, which used to freak me out with the cyborg simians featured in the Planet of the Apes strip. I missed alot of school during my second year at infant school, thus falling way behind the rest of the class. I was withdrawn and nervous anyway so this didn't help but I lived in an area where all the local kids went to a different school. This isolated me to a large degree and while I had two or three pals around, I would go through long periods spent on my own, mainly through the winter. Entertainment would come from comics in that pre-home video age, and I learned to draw and read from following them. Within a few years, my literacy had shot me to the top of the class.
However, I fell away from comics when the last Byrne X-Men issues were reprinted (funnily enough, in a relaunched Mighty World of Marvel) by Marvel UK but a doodle of Shang-Chi caught the eye of a schoolmate at secondary school (well, GRAMMAR school actually, dotcha know...), who reintroduced me to comics, beginning with the Nomad issue of Marvel Team-Up. Spider-Man had a new look, Robin had become Nightwing and Crisis On Infinite Earths was around the corner. I was hooked and have been buying the buggers ever since.
I've got rid of literally thousands of comics and have tried to downsize my collection several times, which now consists of my favourite runs (Uncanny/Classic X-Men, JLI, David's Hulk, Starman, Preacher, New Teen Titans, etc) supplemented with comics featuring art by my favourite artists. These disparate issues form the bulk of my collection, featuring such names as Hughes, Maguire, Sprouse, Russell, Williams III, Warren, Doran and many others.
The artwork is my main concern nowadays as I've essentially read all the superhero stories I need to and still enjoy the genre but yearn for something new. I currently have a stack of Nexus issues by Steve Rude to study, as I want to develop a more cleanline approach to my art once I've finished The Jock #4. This is because it looks nicer and hopefully I'll be able to produce more, although clean lines leave no room for weaknesses in the basic drawing. I've also got to read a large stack of Wally Wood and Al Williamson EC science fiction stories (all of them, I think), after rediscovering these 50-year old gems again at last year's Birmingham comic convention.
I think you need to be a certain age when discovering comics to truly embrace the medium, and while there is a lot of rubbish out there, each month I find myself having to reluctantly miss items from my chosen advance order service.
They taught me to read, tought me to draw, entertained, informed, even shaped my moral views to a degree and have introduced me to some great people.
THAT'S why comics.