Following Rol's recent meme and my morning today catching up with various bits 'n' bobs, here are my responses to the comic questionnaire:
1. Did you read comics as a kid?
Comics were around even before I could read: my earliest memories are of early 70s black and white Marvel UK comics at my nan's house. No specific title comes to mind but I remember the inside cover ad for The Superheroes (where I first became intrigued by the uniformed original X-Men, especially Cyclops with the funky visor looking directly at the reader), the Planet of the Apes strip (the cyborg apes used to freak me out a bit) and some Dr Strange strip where he travels underwater to find some Lovecraftian type creature. My dad picked up the occasional US comic later on (I distictly recall an issue of Plop, Six Million Dollar Man and JLA) and my mum would pick me up the Star Wars weekly before I started getting pocket money from my nan and could buy my own comics in the late 70s...
2. Who bought you your first comic?
I suspect it was my grandad as he was artistic and always drew with/for me so it makes sense that he would introduce me to them as I liked drawing too...
3. Did you take any time away from comics? Why?
I gave up in the early 80s...my habits had cut back to just Rampage monthly for the Claremont/Byrne X-Men issues and once those issues stopped running and Cockrum took over again, I gave up (especially as the strip had transferred over to the awfully misprinted colour of the monthly Mighty World of Marvel)
4. What brought you back into comics?
Bored in physics, I began doodling Shang-Chi on the cover of my rough book and a classmate recognised him and we got talking about comics. We became friends as he updated me on big changes like Spider-Man now had a cool black costume and Robin was now Nightwing so I picked up a few issues out of interest and got hooked again.
5. Do you prefer getting comics monthly or in trades?
I'm a recent convert to trades: they look nicer, are unsullied by interrupting ads or cover copy and usually read better as a whole. On the minus side, sometimes they are bound so that you can't quite read the pages or see the art near the spine and I absolutely hate it if there is more than one artistic team in a collection so will usually still pick up individual issues if I'm only buying for the art. I get trades for the stories or preferabby story AND art.
6. Do you know the name of your Local Comic Shop (LCS)?
I don't have one, I'd have to go to (possibly Aylesbury or) London for my nearest comic shop but hit the comic shops in Birmingham 90 miles away from me once a month.
7. Does your LCS know your name?
They'd have a time, seeing as they're non-existent...
8. Do you own any old number 1 comics (must date before 1980)?
I've sold or passed on literally thousands of comics in the last ten years, paring my collection back to ever-more essentials as space dictates but I have hung on to a few older debut issues: Peter Parker #1, Nova #1, Star Wars #1 and Star Wars Annual #1. I have hardly any other pre-1980 issues and my oldest is Captain Marvel #16, the debut of the red and black outfit.
9. Do you own any original comic art?
I have a Starman page by Gary Erskine, a Cyclops page by Sean Phillips, a page with Vertigo characters (Robotman, Shade, Animal Man, Constantine, etc) by Duncan Fegredo and a Generation X page by Chris Bachalo, as well as sketches by Fabry, Granov, Nowlan, Mignola, Doran, Buckingham, Weston, Davis, Adlard, Fegredo, Erskine, Cassaday, Langridge and McKelvin
10. Do you bag and board your comics?
Most of my comics that are large runs are bagged with mutiple issues in one bag but I will bag individual issues. I rarely ever board, usually only if the issue is particularly flimsy or at risk of being creased due to tight boxing.
11. Where do you store your comics?
In my home! Most of mine are held in longboxes shoved under my bed or in a wardrobe, with a bunch of trades on a large bookshelf.
12. How many comics do you read right now, in either floppy or trade format?
I won't count sporadic things like A Distant Soil, Batwoman, Hellboy and Empowered so I'm following: Fables, Walking Dead, Ex Machina, The Stand, The Dark Tower and Locke and Key, with an eye out for Cinebook fare like Betelgeuse, Alpha, IR$ and Largo Winch.
13. What would be your number one, all-time desert island, favourite comic series?
For the length of time and devotion I gave to it, it should be Uncanny X-Men but if I was trapped on an island and had one series to read, it'd probably be the Giffen/DeMatteis JLI, Starman or Y: The Last Man for different reasons and I can't decide...
14. Do you follow comic creators on Twitter?
15. Do you have a favourite comic creator?
Probably Adam Hughes: his work is stunning but he does so little!
16. Do you harbour any aspirations to create your own comics?
In an ideal world, yes.
17. Do you access comic news online, if so where?
Yes, on the internet.
Time to pick sides:Marvel or DC?
Superman or Batman?
This is pretty hard actually. Bats probably has more depth but I generally find his stories, characters and creators dull and uninvolving. Supes can be hard to make work, but done well he can be great and a rare beam of hope so I'd probably gravitate more towards him.
Spider-Man or Wolverine?
Spidey, but Wolverine in the X-Men over the webhead.
Iron Fist or Luke Cage?
Nick Fury normal or Nick Fury Sam Jackson?
I love Sam Jackson, he's one of my favourite actors and I love the fact that they got him to play a character visually referenced from him...but it's gotta be classic Nick Fury all the way...
Spandex or real life stories?
If given a strict choice, it'd be spandex but I can't accept superheroes outside of Marvel and DC generally. I hate everyday stories and like fantasy elements so I'd ideally like realistic fantasies: Y The Last Man or Ex Machina are good examples, where it's pretty much our world but the fantasy twists add an extra quality that elevates them beyond an average story. Eastenders, Coronation Street or Emmerdale may (try to) depict life but things like Buffy can comment on it via allegory and that makes the stories more powerful to me. Plus blasting powerblast from your hands is more interesting than digging down the back of the sofa to look for the keys that you're sure you left there half an hour ago but now can't find...
Golden Age or Silver Age or Modern Age?
Modern Age, with a cherry picking from the Silver Age...
Digital or paper?
Gotham or New York?
Noo Yoik! I've been there, it's great and as Gotham is based on the lower east side of Manhattan (with Metropolis based on the upper west), theoretically Gothan is from NY anyway...
Hero or villain?
Cape or no cape?
Cowl or domino mask?