I grew up during the ’80s and ’90s as the oldest of three girls. We reveled in nerd-culture, though none of us really knew we were doing so at the time. I went through a period of time in elementary school when I watched the Star Wars trilogy at least weekly and watched TMNT along with my Jem and Gummi Bear cartoons. In high school I obsessed over Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. And I read. Anything I could get my hands on: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Young Adult, Tie-Ins, Chick Lit, Horror; you name it, I read it. Except for comics.
For whatever reason, I never embraced comic books or the comic culture while growing up. It could be that my dad, who introduced me to so many other nerdy things, grew up in the ’50s when superheroes weren’t very popular and comics were western and horror stories. It could be an innate feeling that comics weren’t really literature and therefore not worth my time. Or, it could be that I was a girl and didn’t think I should want to read comics. While I watched the occasional episode of The Adventures of Lois and Clark and saw all the Keaton/Kilmer/Clooney Batman movies; superheroes just weren’t my thing.
Then, when I was 22, I met my now ex-husband and he introduced me to the wonders of the X-Men. We watched X-Men the movie and X-Men: Evolution together and I started to understand exactly what comics could do and the impact they could have in the world. When X2 hit the theaters I went back again and again; but I still wasn’t reading the books.
As time went on, I continued to watch the movies and cartoons, branching out to other Marvel movies and the occasional cartoon. I decided I preferred Marvel to DC based on the movies and what other people told me. Then, last year, several things happened at once: I used a bunch of Borders Bucks to purchase a copy of Marvel’s Civil War in Hardcover, Thor and Captain America came out, and a friend invited me to Baltimore Comic Con. By this point the main thing keeping me from reading the comics I was sure I’d love was a (admittedly crazy) need to read them from the beginning. I’ve never been able to start something in the middle and comics were no exception. Thankfully, at that first (and so far only) convention, I learned about Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. Thousands and thousands of back issues for a relatively low annual fee.
As soon as I could, I subscribed and then set about getting organized. I made a list of all the titles available and their publishing dates and began at the beginning. After plowing through the comics from the ’40s and ’50s, I finally reached 1961 and the advent of the Fantastic Four. From that point, I organized by year, reading every title available one month at a time. I’ve now reached 1965, and realizing that I need a forum to talk about my impressions of these books, I decided to start this blog. So here’s the idea: I’ll read and blog one month at a time beginning with January 1965. I don’t know exactly what format my musings will take, but I know that should you choose to join me on this journey, I’d love to see comments, discussion, and recommendations!
Away we go!