I have several distinct memories surrounding the world of comics (the monthly magazines, not the Sunday Funnies):
- Before my dad's friend, Paul, had 8 kids of his own, he'd babysit for me and my sister. I don't remember much about the small apartment they lived in, but I do remember the stacks and bags of comics that he kept in a small closet under his stairs. I'd sit in there all the while I was being "sat" and read through all the comics (after organizing them a bit so that I could read them in order). Paul was more of a DC guy, so he had years of Batman, Firestar, JLA, and JSA.
- Remember when every small town had a pharmacy (before the overwhelming and dehumanizing hulking form of Wal-Mart dwarfed every freaking town)? Well, there was a little pharmacy in Leo that I used to ride my bike to during the summer when I was 8-ish. Not only did I get to browse through the walls of candy (does a pharmacy selling candy strike anyone else as slightly confusing?), they also had two whole racks of comics! I would buy a pop or candy bar, sit on the floor, and read through the latest adventures. I think I was reading Spiderman, Wolverine, X-men, and probably Daredevil at the time.
- Around this same time, my older Brother Jerry moved back in with us. He too was into comics. We'd sit in our shared room in the basement of our Cedarville home and read Wolverine, Spiderman, Daredevil, Iron Fist & Luke Cage, and X-men.
After Jerry got married and I hit high school, I had the misfortune of going to a Bill Gothard conference where he convinced me my comic collection came (free of charge) with actual demons attached. These comics could eventually lead me into all sorts of evil deeds. Essentially, if the rock music doesn't get me, the comics will. So, and I'm rather embarrassed of this, I burned the whole collection. This is not the first (although it was the last) collection that that man cost me.
Well, the fear of demons pasted quickly, but my interest in comics did go dormant. Until…