I know I promised you geekery within this blog, but let’s start with a confession. I have read precious few comic books in my life. This is not due to disinterest or lack of availability, but more so due to the fact that I have difficulty reading them without missing a lot of information.
I am a reader by nature. A natural introvert who spent her whole childhood moving every few years, books were my constant companions. They are wonderfully portable and easily picked up whenever it was convenient. Additionally, I have parents and grandparents who happily purchased books by the dozen at Goodwill or garage and library sales, and who never told me I couldn’t read something that interested me. Books were frequently gifts at Christmas and for birthdays. By the end of second grade, I had long since put aside picture books in favor of chapter books for entertainment. Even they were rapidly losing even the occasional picture plate.
The point I am trying to make is that for the past two decades, I have been accustomed to getting all of my pertinent information from words, not pictures. Aside from the odd Star Wars comic book borrowed from my little brother’s collection when I was in high school, I didn’t really read any comic books or graphic novels until my early twenties. I was majoring in English Literature in college, and was taking a class titled The Literature of War. One of our reading assignments was Maus.
I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me a very long time to read. I kept forgetting to look at the artwork that accompanied the text. Then, when I remembered to look, I lost track of the text. I read it twice before I had a good handle on the story, and then read it a third time for any real critical analysis.
As counter-intuitive as it was for me to read, I found that I enjoyed the medium. When I finished, I worked my way through V for Vendetta and Death Note. I started reading graphic novel forms of my favorite classic novels, beginning with Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I picked up Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time while it was still in its weekly run and I purchased a first printing copy of No’Madd while I was at WonderCon in 2014. I really want to start reading The Avengers, especially anything about Captain America and Ms. Marvel. I’ve read a few of the newer comics covering Carol Danvers after she assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel, and am reading more of her story arc sort of piecemeal. My husband is helping introduce me into some of the larger story arcs by providing me with his copies of the X-Men: Days of Future Past story line.
It still takes me at least two readings to catch everything; one for the words and one for the pictures. I’m still way behind on anything with an ongoing storyline. But I’m giddy with the prospect of how much there is out there for me to read. Attending conventions and frequenting comic book shops has certainly opened wide the floodgates in that regard. My recent attendance at Awesome Con in Washington D.C. is certainly testament to that. But more on that in another post.