I am a comic book enthusiast. You might be surprised as I am the editor-in-chief of this blog, but I am. I don’t have much of a memory left after some recreational drug use, but my earliest memories involve comic books. I wish to share my comic book journey with you.
I grew up in the tiny town of Jaffrey, New Hampshire and although we didn’t have a McDonalds, we had a comics and cards shop. I remember looking at a 1990s Ultron collectible card at the store by the post office and thinking “That…looks really cool!” As a child below the age of eight, I didn’t know what the heck that was, but I knew that I liked it.
When I was in high school, my best friend Freddy sold me a box of comic books for $35. He gave me a great deal, but that’s because he’s a great friend (also, my brother in law now). I tore it up and read them all cover to cover. Spider-man, X-men, early issues of Venom, the Maximum Carnage series, some Mutant X issues, and a little Batman Adventures. I then took them and re-sold them to Chris Nelson. Chris Nelson was happy to pay discounted prices for Freddy’s old issues. I used this influx of cash to build my collection of current comic books. I went to a hole in the wall comic book store called Southside Comics. It was shady, but it had comics and that is all that I cared about. I was casually interested from then on. Then, I went to college.
From 2002-2010 I had been an informed and decently well-read comic book fan. I would read Wizard magazine to fill in the cracks about comics that I didn’t read and effectively kept my finger on the pulse of what was going on in comic books. College was a magical time where I would have Wednesday afternoons off and so I would clean my dorm room up a bit, buy my books and lay down to read and nap. Now that I am old, I have dreams about these possibilities in my current life. I kept up with things and found love for the Ultimate line of Marvel books. My life changed a lot through school, leaving school, working, church jobs, and finding marital bliss, but comic books stayed constantly interesting.
In 2010, I got an anonymous tip that you could find scanned comics on the internet. In like 1 week, I became the most proficient comic book scan finder ever. I didn’t have a problem with it, because I figured that it was the same as if someone just lent me an issue. This opened up new worlds to me and I was able to try things that I had never seen before with no risk of financial loss. This opened up my mind and made me interested in other publishers, properties, and genres. With an expanded palate I was ready to encounter something different. That is when I found Ifanboy.com.
In Ifanboy, I found recommendations and a desire for community which I supported with scanned books and listening to their podcast. Ifanboy told me a comic was good, a scan was just a download away, and my interest grew and grew. I began listening to the POTW Podcast and actually went back to episode 1 and listened to all 300 of them (they are on 462 now). In listening to podcasts from the early days of Ifanboy, I got it in my head that everybody needed to hear about comic books and that I could help in the cause. I started a book club of a couple friends and would give them scans, which we would meet and discuss. It was fun and I found community and group interaction as I helped other people like something that I loved.
At some point, I decided that although I still thought that there was nothing wrong with scanned comic books, that distributing them to others was wrong. So I shut down the comic book club after only a month or so. I still had an evangelistic urge, but wanted to do it right. If you listen to the original episodes of Ifanboy, their passionate, infectious, and entrepreneurial spirit flows through each episode. It got me thinking that I should get a comic book blog going.
I got a Blogger account, figured out how to navigate it a bit, and became a blogger. I was ready to light the world on fire and put comic book suggestions into the hands of anyone who would read my blog. As I set self-imposed deadlines and began to make things that I was actually proud of, I found that blogging did more for me than I was hoping to do for the comic book reading community. I really enjoyed it! Expressing myself in a journalistic (albeit AMATEUR) way was a kick and I was proud of it.
My friends liked it too. So much so that I got 9 of them together to write on it with me. Though shortly lived, The Writer’s Blok (our clever name) was fun and allowed me to share the joy that I got out of blogging with my friends too. Comical Musings was like a great pig positivity share-a-thon, with me liking most things that I read, as the icing upon the cake. Fun stuff. Mark (Romeo Sid Vicious to you) offered to host the site on his server and we were off to the races. Blogs and blogs and blogs were created. Themed weeks were fun. I got to interview creators. I remember my interview with Mike Romo as the pinnacle of all things. Archaia quoted me on a post on their blog and I was just over the moon. Later, I would realize that scanned comics were no longer something that I would take part in and actually became a real-life comic book consumer again. For those of you that scan comics, trust me when I say that it’s a much more satisfying experience to have some sort of collateral in the game and creates a fiscal connection between the reader and writer. I “went legit” some time ago and love comic books even more.
The blog is still fueled by my desire to reach others and provide them with comic book fuel to stoke their interests, even though I cannot afford to read EVERYTHING anymore and am not in a place to write all day with my current employer. Over the years, we have had ups and downs. Weeks with mounds of content followed by scarce times. I am thankful to everyone who reads this blog and that you are a part of my comic book journey. I hope that somewhere along the way, Comical Musings has been a part of your experience in a positive way. That’s my comic book journey, what is your’s?
~ Scott Deaux ~