The past few weeks I was thinking about changing the way of writing articles on this Blog. This week I will start a new routine – each day I will publish one blog entry for a different topic, Monday will be Comic Book Day – there will posts about things that I reread, I am reading actually or which I rediscovered a nostalgic feeling about. Believe me – it will be quite actual. 😉 Furthermore due to the reason that I am from Austria I want to write more often about comics that are published in german language, mainly from local artists. Hope it will find your interest, too.
So, here we are, first something about Comics and me. I remember reading Comics from the very first days of my life, kinda got my first hands (and eyes) on stories from the Duck Family, especially Scrooge McDuck (Dagobert Duck, in german) and his Indiana-Jones-like-adventures with Donald and his nephews interested me the most. As you may imagine, apart from that superheroes were my thing, too. I loved the stories of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman and many others. This all happened to be in the late Seventies and early Eighties, when I was travelling with my mom and her grandmother I always had some comics with me. The wonderful Superman vs Muhammad Ali comic accompanied me for a very long time in those days. I read it many times and it was always fun to read.
Later I started reading Ghost Stories and Stories of Magic, we had – you may call it Pulp Magazines – more or less comic books that were filled with those kind of stories, filled with magicians, deals with demons, ghosts and other undead creatures. They were published on a regular level, as far as I remember it was monthly, some of them bimonthly. I kinda bought them on flea markets, many people read them once and put them somewhere to get at least some profit out of it. Mine actually got lost over the years.
The funny thing with reading comics which were translated in german in those times (especially from the US market anyway) was that it was seldom mentioned who the author or who the artist of a story was. Even if you would be interested in those things as a child you wouldn’t even have the chance of finding out easily.
It was a total different thing with comics from France and Belgium, it was huge market with a lot of talents, Andre Franquin, Rene Goscinny and the amazing Moebius just to mention some of them. There you were confronted with books that were published in a much more respectful way and mentioning the artist and/or author was part of the job.
When I grew older I kinda lost interest in reading comic books, other things got more important. Until somewhere in the early Nineties I met people – who were a bit older than me – who showed me that comic books became cool again. I got in contact with DC Vertigo, a publisher which is still nowadays closely connected to the DC universe with the intention of publishing stories for mature readers. They somehow recognized that their audience grew older and the interests changed. Therefore they asked authors and artists to write stories for a grown-up audience. They did a wonderful job, I read stories from Neil Gaiman, Peter Milligan, Garth Ennis and many more and my love for comics returned. Ths time I also started collecting them, I tried to get my hands on single issues as soon as they arrived. This time I also changed my focus a bit, I was not anymore interested in following characters alone but in artists and authors. It was not easy in those pre-internet times and far from the US market to get the information in due time but there were some shops who helped you a lot.
From this point on until today I collect comic books from anywhre in the world, it doesn’t matter who wrote it, what it’s about as long as it is ineteresting, entertaining and what became more important has an influence in knowledge and perspective. People like Cyril Pedrosa, Will Eisner, Guy Delisle and their works became more interesting.
From this day on you will receive each Monday a snapshot at what may or may not be interesting within the comic book industry. Have fun and leave a comment if you want to. I am always interested in opinions of other people because exchange of opinions helps us widen our perspective.