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For the Love of Comics

How I went from passive reader, to obsessive collector, to comic book company Editor in Chief

by Shannon Newby

 

I don't remember my first comic book. As a kid I always remember a few lying around the house. My father had been a collector as a kid so on occasion he would bring a few home for my brother and me. His collection as a kid which included Fantastic Four number 1 and Amazing Fantasy 15 (The first appearance of Spider-Man) found its way into comic book heaven. Like so many collectors of his time, when he left home to join the army my Grandmother trashed them. To this day he can't help but get weepy eyed about the loss.

 

So although I was infatuated with superheroes, (I could barely wait for Spiderman and his Amazing Friends every Saturday morning.) I wasn't super crazy about comic books.

 

And then one day...

 

It was 1982. I was 9 years old. My brother had bought an issue of this book called the Uncanny X-Men. #Issue 162.

He said a friend at school had hipped him to the title. I never heard of it. Didn't care. He showed it to me and told me that the guy running around in his draws had claws and could heal almost instantly. Still didn't care. The book floated around the house for about 6 months. Then one day I was sitting in the dining room, The book was in arms reach and I picked it up. I read it. I read it again. The way the story was told as a first person narrative sucked me in instantly.

The issue was about this guy named Wolverine and his team was attacked and he was alone on a planet where these aliens were trying to kill him and impregnate his body with an egg. (the first solo story of Wolverine) I perused the artwork, the visuals were amazing.

 

It was like I could feel his rage as he fought for his life in every panel.

After about 30 minutes of mind altering reading, I put the book down. Then I came back to it and read it again. I was hooked. I never knew comic books could be what this was. Soon after my spiritual reading, my brother met this guy named Larry who was also strictly a Marvel collector who gave us a bunch of double copies that he had. A few of them were some real gems. He was a Marvel guy and so then my brother and me also became strictly Marvel guys after that.

We started collecting. We stopped leaving our books around the house. My brother and I started putting our books in a shoe box. (I laugh remembering how excited we were when we had finally 50 books in our collection) It was official We were comic book geeks.

When I was 19, I began to read more sparsely, (college, job, life stuff.) but the idea of me writing my own comic books became a reoccurring thought. A reoccurring thought that I couldn't entertain. As much as I loved comics , I had my mind on too many other things. Mainly not getting sidetrack from my career goal again of making a feature film. That came first.

 

So 10 years later after my movie was in BlockBuster I decided to seek out how to get into comics. It didn't take long to realize the door into the comic industry was as fraught as the film industry. So I looked to go independently and again realized the cost of entry was also fraught with peril. So I back burnered the idea again, but I kept writing...and now as the planets aligned in my favor. (A few I had to force into position.) I have started my own comic book company.

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