So I read this piece on the Entertainment Weekly site, where they asked some of the comic book industries biggest creators what was the book that got them hooked. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it before, but since I found this great site, which I could literally lose hours playing around with, I figured I might as well do something on it.
I can't remember my first comic book. I'm sure it was likely a funny book of some sort. There were no shortage of Archie and Richie Rich comics kicking around when I was growing up. But I can't remember much about them. Also, they were just there, especially when I went around the bay to visit my grandparents. I never asked my parents for money so I could buy them. That's simply how they kept me entertained.
I can also remember a bunch of these UFO comics. I liked astronomy and dinosaurs a lot as a kid. Which is why it makes sense that some of my first comic books were, well, space ships and dinosaurs. Although, really, my parents never read these comics before giving them to me. These were filled alien abductions and cattle being melted my alien death rays. I suspect if they knew what they were giving me, and that I was eagerly devouring, they might have changed their minds.
The first comic that I begged my parents for was this one. Given the dinosaur fixation, not really surprise that I went for the giant, radioactive T-Rex (Plus, my dad's name was Rex. Which, when you're seven, is a pretty cool thing that your dad and the scariest dinosaur ever had the same name).
When I was a kid I used to go to the old Capitol theatre every now and then to see Godzilla films. So that there was a comic book featuring Godzilla, well, that was something I clearly needed to own. Also, this story didn't end. The other comics were normally self-contained. But with this issue I realized I needed to beg my parents at some point in the next few weeks to get back to Trans Canada Drugs (at the Avalon Mall. Anyone remember it?) to get the next issue. It was oddly addictive, having to go to the comic rack every few weeks to see if I could find the next part of the story.
The next couple of series that I bought were toy based. Again, I'm seven or eight years old. Not really a surprise. I had the Micronaut toys and was over the moon when I went to a local store and saw them on the rack. I discovered a local store carried comics, meaning I no longer had to bed to go to the mall. I had yet to discover the Escape Hatch, which sold only comic books. Then I drove my parents insane.
Anyway, the Micronauts was a pretty good series as I recall. And the popularity of the comics outlasted the toys by years.
And then I found Shogun Warriors. It only lasted 20 issues, but it was giant robots fighting giant robots and monsters. Plus I had some of the toys. Sign me up for some of that.
And while I don't remember how I acquired it (I seem to think it was at a flea market at my elementary school), I do remember my first super hero comic. I can't tell you why I wanted it, but I did. And I've been a fan of the Fantastic Four ever since.
All of which is a pretty long winded way to say that Godzilla #4 was the one that hooked me. And it must have been a powerful hook, because 30 years later, even with my spotty memory, I can still remember grabbing that comic from the magazine rack, running up to my mom, and asking if I could have it.
I suspect if she knew what she was unleashing, she might have said no. But I've always been glad that she gave me the 35 cents to buy it.
1. Today will be better, I swear - Stars
2. Something beautiful - Tracy Bonham
3. Xavier says - The Magnetic Fields
4. Move away - The Killers
5. My name is - Eminem*