by Ignacio Segura
Today’s article is gonna be what most people in the medium like to call a “Whole Episode Flashback”.
So if you hated the last years of the Y2K, I definitely suggest getting busy with something else. I’d suggest Mudman or maybe some Vampirella. It’s all good.
Also, to the people staying, you MAY do the wavy hand thing that Garth and Wayne did right now before we go on to the subject if you are inclined to do so.
By all means, knock yourselves out.
It is somewhen in the year 2006, and while visiting a friend from college at his apartment, I discover much to my surprise and delight that his roommate is a HUGE comics fan. The words obsessive-compulsive would not be out of place here. So we get to talk and by the end of the evening I had left the place with the first six issues of Brian Michael Bendis’ “New Avengers”.
Now, I honestly can’t give you that many details because even to me they have become rather sketchy. I can clearly identify the start of it all, but not the complex chain of events that unraveled after that, but by 2007 I had not only found the ONLY comic book shop in Costa Rica (think about that the next time you complain about not having a comic shop near you), but I had become a regular of the locale, with a pull list comparable in number to Larry King’s age.
For me, it became a comic book love-in. My own personal Summer of Love.
I instantly became enamored with anything that came into my grubby hands in those days. Captain America, Teen Titans, Iron Man, Daredevil, Immortal Iron Fist, Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Justice Society of America, Blue Beetle, Witchblade, Invincible, The Walking Dead, Hellboy, B.P.R.D. Not only new stuff, but old stuff I’d missed out on too. The bulk of my comic library was built during that time period.
We jump forward to 2009. January. 100 Bullets was getting ready to take a bow. Cap had been dead for a while and we were all starting to buy it. 10’000 kryptonians had just been released from the bottled city of Kandor. Matt Fraction was just getting ready to start the best of his Invincible Iron Man run. We’d just recently lost Batman. Sorta. It was… Complex. Marvel had just gone through a Skrull invasion and was getting ready to suffer a Dark Reign. And in the midst of all those imaginary events, an actual true life event took place in my life.
I got married to the very beautiful and talented Paula Cob.
The next two years, even with all the new expenses that can come with marriage and maintaining your own place to live, my comics buying habits barely even changed. To the contrary, they reached their peak: Without including the (not really) occasional mini-series or TPB/HC/Absolute purchase, my monthly pull list had already reached triple digits.
If somewhere out there is a meeting for Comic Readers Anonymous, I’m pretty sure there is a chair set aside for me there.
Now, the question of whether or not my situation would have continued the same is kinda nebulous and filled with “What Ifs?” not of the Marvel brand. I’m sure many of my friends at the time can confirm that I was already reaching a breaking point, if not yet monetarily. Now, I feel compelled to explain that comics are pretty much my ONLY luxury. They are 90% of what I do for fun and leisure which is why my four colored addiction, which consisted of coming home from the store with 20 or even 30 books every week, never threatened my household finances. Plus, we have separate bank accounts. As all good marriages should, I like to think.
But like I said, even then I had already realized that although I had the money to buy half of the Previews catalog every month, I simply didn’t have the time to read all of that stuff.
Now, I know what you’re thinking right now (at least some of you. I’m not a mind reader. Yet), but believe me when I say that I’m a comic book reader first and foremost. Never a collector or “horder” I believe is now the acceptable term. If I buy a comic, it’s because I genuinely enjoy it. There is something in those pages that I like and causes me to come back to it month after month. So you better believe it wasn’t a matter of just buying the same stuff out of habit. I WANTED to read those comics. And not having the time to get to all of them was, and still is, the crux of my existence.
Real First Class troubles people, I tell you.
But before I even had time to start thinking what could I shave off the ol’ pull list, I found out on January of 2011, only after roughly two years of marriage, that my wife was pregnant with out first child. Before I knew it, it was already August and I was no somebody’s daddy
Priorities dramatically changed. They just had to.
Yes, money was a part of it, because there are hospital bills, pediatricians’ bills, diapers, clothing, toys, shoes that I have no clue why they keep buying for her if her feet have NEVER touched the damn ground in the entire span of her life so far, and even more stuff I’m not gonna bore you with. Today.
But there was also the time factor.
I simply refused that my daughter became a “comic book orphan”. If I was gonna be someone’s dad, as I had promised myself many years ago, then I would have to be an actual dad. Not just in name, but in my actions and interactions with my daughter. And though it’s not always easy, and conflicting schedules always conspire against me spending quality time with her, I try to do my best with the time I do have.
So, yeah. The pull list, or as much of it as was possible, had to go.
And. It. Was. HELL.
And we’ll get an in-depth play by play of that particular bit of carnage NEXT week. For this week, I believe we’re pretty much done.
As always, there is no finer way on this side of the Milky Way to get your neurons to give up and commit massive suicide than by following @the_kiai on Twitter, +Ignacio Segura on Google+, el-kiai on DeviantArt and whoever you feel like following on Facebook because I am so not there people.
NEXT WEEK: GOOD NIGHT PULL LIST…