I’m unbelievably tired of all the snark and hate on the internet. It seems that every time I go to any comic book news site, message board, facebook or twitter there’s an overabundance of people bashing books or complaining about the pricing of comics, the creators, the companies and even other fans. Anything people can find to complain about it seems they do.
You have the audacity to like something that someone else deems awful? “Well, how dare you!” You enjoy event comics in the same way a majority of the planet enjoys big budget summer movies? Well, let me tell you… “You’re part of the problem! You’re why things suck! You’re the reason I suffer from event fatigue!” You want to tell a creator that you hope he dies in a fiery car crash? Just give yourself an anonymous internet handle and go to town. Why have a heart when you can have anonymity?
That’s my biggest problem. You see, I love comics. I’m also incredibly aware that my time on earth is fairly limited. So why would I ever want to focus so much on things that I don’t love and enjoy? I’d much prefer to work hard on creating an atmosphere where people can appreciate and share things that they enjoy. I don’t feel that I’m any good at reviewing comics. I’ve tried (as you can see in a few videos on this very site) but I’ve never felt very comfortable in the “reviewer” role. On one hand it’s the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say” and on the other it’s that I feel like it would be pretty bad of me to review a comic, having never even tried to create one.
What I can get behind is spreading my enjoyment of comics and everything pop culture. Comics, movies, music, television shows. I even tend to give a little bit of personal history in there as well, all while not using an anonymous internet name. This way you know that what I’m saying is what I actually feel instead of hiding behind anonymity.
The idea for this column hit me while I was riding my bike home from my local comic shop after listening to some friends talk about 1990s comics. They weren’t being overly harsh, but the ‘90s tends to get the broad stroke treatment of, “It’s all foil-embossed crap with a hologram card slapped on it.” The ‘90s comic era gets a bad rap. Some of it very well deserved, but a lot of it not. I have a problem with the overall distaste for ‘90s comics because that was my golden age of comics.
I was 12 in 1992 when I first discovered comics. If you were around for the actual “Golden Age” you were witness to the birth a time lost-soldier named Captain America who fought a war for basic human rights. In my “Golden Age” I witnessed the birth of a time-lost soldier named Cable who fought a war for basic human and mutant rights. You might laugh at the comparison between the two characters and that’s fine, but to my 12 year old mind there is no difference. It’s the experience of discovering something new, something for yourself that is so wonderful.
My father thinks that “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart is one of the greatest songs ever written, while I tend to think that “Stars” by Hum is. There is no right or wrong answer in our observations. There is just our perception which is affected by our own memories and personal nostalgia. My comic taste is deeply entrenched in my first discoveries of comics, as well is my musical taste, or even what my favorite foods are. I feel like everyone holds a special place in their hearts for their first discoveries from childhood. Things that spoke to them, that they felt were created specifically for them, at that moment in time. This is why I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Avengers wearing brown bomber jackets.
Going forward, I’d like to focus this column on discussing my love of comics. It might not always be ‘90s comics. If I feel the need to talk about older comics, and how I discovered them, the impact that they had, and particular memories that I have with them, I will. I’d also love to hear other people’s thoughts on the things I’m discussing; what your first introductions to comics were. I’d just like to create an environment where there’s a little more excitement and happiness about comics, and a little less snark. I’d like to shine a light on my discovery of comics and all the pop culture things that I love and appreciate in the hopes of being able to wax nostalgic, spark conversations, reminisce about my youth and show an appreciation for the things that influenced who I’ve become.
So there it is; my personal mission statement to add a little more positivity to this corner of the internet. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to share some of your own personal Golden Age stories as well and continue to join me on a trip back to my past.
Tune in next time for another installment of My Golden Age. “Our heroes secret origin: How our hero learned to the fight the power!”