In honor of Denver’s upcoming Comic Con, I think it would be appropriate for me to do a post about my love of comic books/graphic novels and how it’s influenced my writing and my life.

I don’t recall exactly when it was that I first got into comic books, but I do know that it’s been for quite a long time. I do remember really falling in love with the series “Slingers,” which was about four teenaged superheroes who assume Spider-Man’s alternate identities he had during a time where he wasn’t able to be Spider-Man. One of the members die in the first few issues, but is still a member of the team while another member has a palsied arm that he’s only able to use when he puts on special armor and another member named Prodigy is really only a part-time member of the team. My favorite character was Johnny, who had perfect aim, had Spider-Man’s spider sense and enhanced agility. I think what I really liked about the comic book was that the characters were such misfits and didn’t really fit your idea of what a team of superheroes should be. But like most things fantastic, it was cancelled.

At first I was more of a Marvel fan and really connected with the outcast heroes known as the X-Men. This is also where Susan Storm, aka the Invisible Woman,  became one of my favorite comic book characters. Growing up I was shy and didn’t talk much, so I always felt invisible. There were also a lot of things that I wish I could’ve kept away from myself mentally, physically and emotionally. I just wanted to put up a barrier, put up a force field like the ones Susan Storm can manifest. I also liked that she was considered to be the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four, that she was a woman and that she was intelligent as well. To this day Susan Storm is still one of my favorite comic book characters.

Now I would consider myself to be more of a DC fan. I guess I can relate to the characters more and feel that the storylines have more meat to them. Not to say that I’ve shunned all things Marvel, just that I’ve been in a DC phase for the past few years.

It really wasn’t until I started writing my first novel that I truly allowed myself the freedom of writing my own comic book in prose form. It’s a novel about superheroes, or at least people with superpowers, so I thought it appropriate that I take some cues from my beloved comic books. While lately I’ve started to realize that my first novel needs to be more of a novel  and less of a comic book, the experience helped me realize that I still would like to write comic books one day and work with artists, letterers, colorists and the like. I have no idea how to get started in the biz, but I am sure that it’s something that I’d like to try.

I’m proud to call myself a comic book nerd and I’m proud to admit to anyone that I’m going to Comic Con…dressed up as Superboy from Young Justice. Comic books helped me open myself up to being passionate about something and not being ashamed of being passionate. I remember after last year’s Comic Con that I went back to “the real world” feeling slightly…not necessarily depressed, but definitely disappointed. It’s like going to the Promised Land but only being able to stay for a few days before going back to life as usual.

So hopefully this weekend’s Comic Con will be even more spectacular. And who knows, maybe I’ll be able to make some professional connections as well like I did last year.

Take care out there