I didn’t grow up reading comic books, as I have said many times on the podcast. I am 100% a newb, if you want to use that term.
In fact, the only reason I got into comics was because Arrow premiered on the CW network. After that, it was The Flash. Once I got into those stories, I started watching Daredevil on Netflix and then I was hooked.
I truly started to embrace my newly created comic fandom when I was able to, as luck would have it, get in on DC’s Rebirth and that’s why I’m more fond of DC characters than Marvel’s. (Don’t get me wrong: the MCU completely blows away the DCEU almost every time.) I haven’t been a lifelong fan; I never went to comic book stores as a kid.
But does any of that actually really matter? It shouldn’t matter how I became a fan or why I became a fan. It should only matter that I am a fan.
No matter what your “ah-ha” moment was, we should support each other because we are all here to believe in something bigger than ourselves. Something that grips us and takes us away from this crazy reality that we live in. Good days, bad days and whatever is going on in your life when you pick up a page or turn on a show for however long it takes you to complete the media you are consuming, you are somewhere else.
You’re a superhero fighting crime with powers that you cant even dream up. Maybe you aren’t a perfect hero like Batman or Daredevil, but your heart is always in the right place. Are you goofy like a Booster Gold? Or maybe you are Captain America where the good of the country is put above all else. Maybe you’re trying to be a playboy billionaire in an iron suit. Or are you just a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?
It doesn’t matter what you are trying to be when you read a comic or watch a show. The only thing that matters is that you have your reason and no one can judge you for that. I read a bunch of books, from mysteries to thrillers to biographies, but nothing else I’ve discovered has that crazy ability to take you to a place where you have never been. To visually blow you away with each page turn or swipe, depending on how you are reading your story.
That’s what has been the most compelling part of comics for me, how easy it is to visualize the story. To visualize that you are the one in the suit or you are the one with a cape. My wife can’t seem to get past the whole comic books thing. I keep telling her once you allow yourself to get past that initial stigma, you’ll lose yourself into something that is bigger than you.
I love the stories, I love the characters and the colors, and I love the fact that at this point I will never run out of material to consume. So please don’t make a big deal over why someone became a fan. Just welcome them into a world that can be fun and amazing if you let it.
I’m grateful to comic books for taking me to places I have never been. Thank you, comics.