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Comics 411: First Comic Book Memories

April 15, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we discussed Must Read Comic Books During a Quarantine. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Gold Any Ranger: “There’s so many great story arcs that are available in collected editions.

Secret Wars (1984)
Crisis on Infinite Earths (Which should have renewed interest thanks to the Arrowverse’s version.)
The Dark Phoenix Saga (Better than either movie version)
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga
The Death of Superman
Batman: Knightfall
Teen Titans; The Judas Contract”

Peter: “Batman: Contagion. I mean come on…

Phil Jung: “Bone”

Michael L: “Here are some of my favorite storylines from the 90’s (the time when I was most interested in comics):

The Death of Superman
Funeral for a Friend
Reign of the Supermen
The Death of Clark Kent

No Man’s Land”

John: “The old stuff I’m reading…

Miracle Man (Alan Moore)
Crossed (Garth Ennis)
Girls (Luna Brothers)
Y The Last Man (Vaughan)
Exiles (Winick)

The new Stuff
Age of X (Hickman)
Immortal Hulk(Ewing)
Batman Last Knight on Earth
Canto (Booher)”

redraptor: “Preacher
Brubaker’s Iron Fist
Morrison’s X-men
Superman: Secret Identity
Way’s Deadpool
Gotham Central
Annihilation: Conquest
War of Kings
Ultimate Spidey
Waid’s Fantastic Four
Hickman’s Fantastic Four”

Cami: “Rusty Brown by Chris Ware kept me entertained/bewildered/excited for a couple of weeks during the quarantine.Now I’m reading The Dark Phoenix Saga which is highly recommendable too.”

prowriter: “The Killing Joke
A Serious Night on Serious Earth
The Fix (you’ll laugh until you cry)
Manifest Destiny
Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing
Punisher Max
Miiler’s Wolverine
Dark Phoenix Saga
Kraven’s Last Hunt
There are others, but they are more niche”

D2Kvirus: “Preacher
Y: The Last Man
Murder Me Dead
The Sword
The Fade Out

Dexter Plisskin: “During two weeks of self-quarantine and a week of stay-at-home curfew I’ve revisited my love of DC and Marvel from 1976-1985. Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans, Levitz and Giffen’s Legion of Super-Heroes, Grell’s Warlord, Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men, Byrne’s Fantastic Four, Simonson’s Thor, Miller’s Daredevil, Michelinie and Layton’s Iron Man, Kirby’s Captain America and Black Panther, any Batman story drawn by Aparo, Newton or Colon… it was GREAT decade!”

William Jansen: “Judge Dredd – Day of Chaos. 350 million citizens killed by biological warfare. Not trying to be conspirational about Corona, just a rather obvious pick.”

Thank you to everyone who commented! I actually found a few books from the comments that I hadn’t read yet and went to Amazon to order them. Too many last week to run but check it out if you missed it. 
This week we discuss…

First Comic Book Memories

Hello everyone stuck inside! Hope you’re doing well. Last week I wrote something that got me thinking about what we’ll be covering this week:

“For many of us, we got hooked when we were young. I’ve mentioned it before I used to read random comic books growing up but the first series I followed actively was G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Yes, I fell for the comic book/toy line/cartoon combo. Years and years later, I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Hama, who wrote most of its 155-issue run. To be able to chat about that was a thrill and I could have easily went on for hours, talking his ear off. After that, the floodgates were open. I got hooked on the Legion of Super-Heroes and it grew from there.”

That’s what I want to talk about this week. What was your first comic book that you remember? It can be specific or something general, like a character. 

Like I mentioned, mine was G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1. The publication date says June 1982 but I distinctly remember getting it inside of an Easter basket. I was 8. The art and story drew me in and I must have read it over 500 times. My issue was held together by tape until it finally became too fragile to keep. Of course I bought another copy, along with the collected editions. It was the first series that I collected in total and, also as I mentioned, it made Larry Hama one of my heroes. There’s a weird comfort going back and reading it. I can almost remember where I bought each individual issue. 

Such is the power of your first comic book. At least for most of us. Be it a popular character like Spider-Man, Superman, or Batman, or a random issue given to you by a family member, you remember the first time looking at the cover, reading the story, and thinking, “This is cool!”

Since we all seem to have time on our hands, share your first comic book story below!
And stay safe out there. 

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!