Saturday, April 11, 2009

Staring Down the Comic Bookshelf

In the apartment I share with K, there is an entire bookshelf filled with comic books. Not just one shelf of the bookshelf, but all three, and the collection continues to grow. K loves comic books, but it is not a shared hobby. To be honest, I think I've been a little intimidated by the whole scene. When K bumps into other readers of comics, they ask each other "What books do you read?" and use buzz words like '90's-style comics' and 'underground comics' and I cannot participate because I have no knowledge of comics and do not know what these terms refer to.

This week, I've decided to take a step towards changing that. My assignment: to read 38 comic books - the first 16 of the Spawn series and all 21 issues of Hack/Slash.

Why these two particular titles? you might ask. Well, first I wanted to choose something I already have on hand. And looking through K's comic books, I selected Spawn primarily because of its interesting artwork. Also, it's a name I already know, so maybe that signifies that it is representative of popular, semi-mainstream comics (I will have to discuss this further with K). According to wikipedia, Spawn is now published by Image Comics, founded by seven artists including Spawn creator Todd McFarlane; but the issues I'll be reading were released by Marvel in the early 90's.

Unlike Spawn, which is currently on issue 191, the Hack/Slash series has only been around for a couple years, with 21 books out so far. And there is a woman on the cover - her name is Cassie, I've learned - who is clearly one tough chick. Following her lead, I will refuse to be intimidated; I will forge on until I have read all 21 issues of her book; I will not be bullied by comic book geekdom into thinking that I can't read comics because I don't know what a splash page is.

I also happen to think it's cool that Devil's Due Publishing is located just a half-mile away from our apartment in Ravenswood. So Cassie is a local bad-ass (created by Tim Seeley).

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