I love comic books. I love the ongoing serialism, the visualizations, the collectability, the surrounding geekery–I love everything about the medium. My collection is literally bursting out of the cedar closet I’ve designated to hold it. And that doesn’t even count the two bookshelves of bound graphic novels and trade-paperback collections.

I read a ton of different comics. The only thing I really don’t read are mainstream superhero books. It’s not that I think they’re inferior–I used to be a huge X-Men fan back in the day. There are two reasons: 1) The continuities have become too difficult to follow easily and 2) You have to buy way too many books to keep up with even one sector of the universes. So I stick mainly to independent books and the existing properties that I like (see here). My favorite publisher is Archaia. They have yet to publish a single book that hasn’t amazed me. Other publishers/imprints I like include Arcana Studio, Desperado, Radical, and Vertigo. I also like European comics (especially French) and nab translations of publishers like G.G. Studio and Humanoids.

All that said, there are two series/properties that I read and collect above all others. Both are military comics: G.I. Joe and The Red Star. G.I. Joe is the book that really got me into comic collecting rather than simply being a casual reader (TMNT did the latter). It was partly nostalgia, but mostly that Larry Hama is a damn good writer who hooked me with the Snake-Eyes trilogy, which was on sale at the time. I own every Joe book Marvel and IDW have published, and I’m working on filling in the Image/Devil’s Due run.

The Red Star is so good that it brought me back into collecting. I quit collecting in college. It got too expensive, and being an X-Men freak at the time I couldn’t just cut out one or two books and keep the stories in line (see above). So I quit cold turkey. Dropped everything. I stayed on the wagon for about five or six years. Then I picked up The Red Star RPG. It was so good that I had to buy the trade paperback it was based on. That was so good I had to keep reading the comics. I waved to the wagon driving off after I fell off and haven’t looked back since. And yes, The Red Star was worth it.


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