Ages 4 – 10, (1980-1986): I’m pretty much limited to Archie comics
Ages 11 – 13 (1987 - 1989): My own personal Dark Ages - I only read a few scattered X-Men I found in friends basements, dentists offices, etc.
Age 14 (August 1990): Wandering into my local comic book / used book store I came across Sandman #18 (Dream of a Thousand Cats). I had a couple extra bucks and the Dave McKean cover artwork totally grabbed me so I went for it, and I've never looked back since.
Since then I’ve been a big purchaser of series, mostly collections in trade paperbacks as I don’t have the patience to wait month by month for my stories to finish.
My problem with comics actually came a few years back. Basically I had my favourite three series (Sandman, Swamp Thing, Transmetropolitan) and was looking for a fourth. As I had followed Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore into their other works I decided to give Warren Ellis a try.
I looked him up in my library and found they had two books of his, Planetary and The Authority. As Planetary was pretty much stand alone I started there – it was awesome. The libraries copy of the Authority was stolen, lost or damaged before I could give it a look, so I headed off to my local comic book store, where I was told it actually was a continuation of a previous comic of Ellis’ called Stormwatch. Figuring I should probably read Stormwatch before I started the Authority, I decided to look into purchasing the previous 8 years worth of comics (I attempted this in 2001).
Two weeks of research later and here was the problem in a nutshell:
1) I wanted to read more Warren Ellis, so
2) I wanted to give The Authority a try, but
3) The Authority was made up, principally of surviving members of Stormwatch, and
4) Ellis only started writing Stormwatch at issue 37.
5) Before that, the title was written by Ron Marz, who spent a great deal of time tying it in with James Robinsons WildC.A.T.S., to the point where I would need to read WildC.A.T.S. to understand the earlier run of Stormwatch
6) and I didn’t have the three bazillion dollars needed to purchase all these old titles
So there you have it. It’s now been almost 8 years since I decided that maybe reading The Authority would be cool and I haven’t done a thing. I’m scared that in the incredibly complicated tie-in, crossover, dingo-crazy world of comic books that I will end up obligating myself into purchasing more comics than my house can physically hold.
Instead, I’ll call it a day, and go back to my dependable, never-charnging, you can always count on me classic: Archie.
OH MY GOD!?!