The authors of ACB come together to tell their story of how it all started.
Geoff Arbuckle Marvel reviews, Geek Life, & editor
I got into comics at a young age. I was always into cartoons and in the early 80s, there was no shortage of superheroes on TV, but comics came a tad bit later. It was Thor #381 that a friend of mine had. He let me read it and that was all I needed. The next thing I knew, I was forgetting all about baseball cards and getting comics whenever I could from wherever I could. I had to get out of it for a little while, but when I came back, I knew there was no leaving again.
John Barringer Head Editor & Batman reviews
For as long as I can remember I’ve been into superheroes; I remember dressing up as Superman one year for Halloween and having my sister dress up as Lois Lane (this is before I really understood their relationship mind you). But my first real introduction to the comic art form belongs to Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes; from sharing the morning paper with my dad to collecting all the books, I was hooked. Then when I visited my first comic shop and was exposed to the comic form of my favorite heroes it was really over. In preparation for a family road trip I saved up for volumes 1-3 of Batman: Knightfall which had just come out – the rest is history.
Phillip Carson Superman/TV reviews & editor
I’ve been buying comics since before I could read. In fact, my only real motivation for learning to read was so that I didn’t have to keep bugging my parents to read my comics aloud to me. I’ve been into Super Heroes since I was born, and thought guys like Spider-Man and Batman only existed on TV. Then when I was about 4, my dad bought me a Batman comic, Batman # 442, the first time Tim Drake wore the Robin costume, and I was hooked. Comics were always so much better than TV for me, because they could be taken anywhere, like in the car or my mom’s office, and they could be enjoyed by me, alone, whenever I wanted. As a kid, that sense of autonomy was very important, as I didn’t need anyone else to enjoy my comics. Well, after I learned to read, I mean.
T.A. Ewart Superman reviewer & writer
I got into comics thanks to my Mom and my uncles. My Mom bought me a copy of Daredevil #177. It wasn’t a great issue, and to be frank, it was in the middle of a storyline, so I should have been disinterested, but I got the next issue and kept reading. Part of this was because of my uncles having comic of their own, and I wanted to have a collection like theirs. I still have that issue of Daredevil #177, though I don’t read Daredevil any longer, after Bendis ruined the book for me, and Superman is my favourite character, but I’ll all ways have Mom and my uncles to thank for years of enjoyment and more to come.
Victor Kutsenok All-over-the-place reviewer & writer
My first exposure to comics was when I went upstate to a sleepaway camp. A boy there had some Avengers comics and let me borrow a few to read. Being a huge bow and arrow fan, even going so far as to make one while I was upstate (it even shot arrows pretty far), I became an immediate fan of Hawkeye. That boy was a huge Iron Man fan. Sure enough, the West Coast Avengers were born and we had plenty of adventures. Another friend of mine had Wolverine as his favorite character and let me read his limited which sparked my second favorite love, swords and swordsmanship (beautiful weapons). When I got back home, that weekend, I purchased my first two comic books. West Coast Avengers #1 and X-Factor #1. Eventually, after the Mutant-Marauder-Massacre (Wolverine vs. Sabretooth), those mutants became my obsession and I’ve been a hard core X-Men fan ever since. (I own all of them from #1 till now.) In September, I will begin my 25th year of collecting comics.
Paul Mallory Brightest Day (+ more) reviewer & writer
I got into comics at the time of The Death of Superman, believe it or not. I collected Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man for a few years, then Marvel ruined it for me with Heroes Reborn and that whole fiasco. I returned to Marvel a few years later and have been collecting ever since.
Tom Parry Green Arrow reviewer & writer
When I was younger, I would read comics from time to time. Never really on a regular basis, and mostly only those focused on Hal Jordan (this was during his time as Parallax), but upon the characters death, my interest in comics waned and I pretty much stopped reading them altogether. Thus it is that my interest and love for comics came as a surprise turn around in 2004 when I was walking through an anime shop and saw my once favorite hero on a shelf of comics. It was Green Lantern: Rebirth #2. After a quick search, I found issue #1 and they were both mine a moment later. From that my casual fondness of the character Hal Jordan ignited across the board, and with it came the birth of my true comic fandom, and being older and just out of High School, it was easy for me to obtain and collect everything. Of course had I known then what I know now… that the hack job of a writer that set me out upon that first true step would eventually make me hate Green Lantern and the world surrounding him so much, I likely would’ve never purchased those issues… but that’s another story altogether.
Claire Smith Bat-reviewer, writer, & editor
I was in the 7th grade and a girl I knew, Tracy, had a binder of Fleer Xmen cards. We both felt really compelled by the collecting aspect so one weekend, her mother took us to a shop and we just randomly picked up books. The first one I got was Uncanny X-Men #1, right around 1992 or 3. I collected actively for maybe four years but when I moved, I gave it up, though never losing interest. Then about two years ago a friend of mine gave me a bunch of Batman comics and I never looked back.
Wayland DC reviewer (+ more) and writer
When I was a kid (longer ago than I care to think about now), the year I was in kindergarten, my mother and step-father were particularly close with one couple that lived in the same neighborhood. We ended up over there for dinner a lot on weekends. The guy, Toby I think was his name, had one room upstairs as his study. Off the study was a closet, and it was filled with piles of comics, Marvel and DC both. I’d spend hours up there, letting the grown-ups linger over coffee, dessert, and drinks, while I learned about Batman, Superman, the Thing, the Fantastic Four, and so very many others. The habit of a lifetime was formed, and while I’ve taken occasional breaks from comics over the years, I’ve always come back, almost always predominantly to DC. I have no idea what became of those people, we moved about a year after this started I believe, but I owe them a debt for a decades long love of comics and super heroes.