At work we have a newsletter and in this newsletter we often have members of staff do a “my life in…” article. Usually this is concerning movies or books, but typically I decided to do comics instead.
My Life in Comic Books
1) What book first made you love reading?
I was six years old and I couldn’t read a word. My mother, concerned by this, consulted a teacher who noted that I liked to draw, suggesting perhaps a comic book might change my view on reading.
The same week issue 1 of 2000 A.D. was released and she bought it for me, I still read the comic to this day. (Sometimes people tell me that their Mom is “the best”, I smile politely; but I know they’re wrong…)
2) Please list the top three books from your childhood?
Erich von Daniken’s “God’s From Outer Space” series
3) Who is your favourite author and why?
Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore (I couldn’t choose between them).
4) What book did you hate/left you cold?
Domu: A Childs Dream
(Actually this list could go on and on…)
5) Name a book that made you laugh.
“Bone” by Jeff Smith made me smile through the whole series, occasionally it made me laugh but mainly the word “wonder” summed it up for me.
6) Name a book that made you cry/feel emotional.
J. M. DeMatteis’ “Moonshadow” is a sci-fi story that follows a man from birth to death, the last page made me turn back to the first and start again.
7) What book are you reading at the moment?
Rereading “Excalibur” (and all things Captain Britain) from the start, as well as considering getting volume 2 of “Wonder Woman” (226 issues in case you were wondering).
8) Please list your five favourite books of all time and explain (briefly) why you like them.
The Sandman (1989-1996 – Neil Gaiman)
The Sandman is the epic tale of Morpheus, the anthropomorphic personification of dreams and symbolic of both imagination and human endeavour, as he influences the human race through our dreams.
Sandman is filled with EVERYTHING you could possibly want from a story, even a brief analysis would take too long to write.
V for Vendetta (1982-1989 – Alan Moore)
V for Vendetta is about freedom through disobedience, the constant battle a person has within themselves between order and chaos.
V is a book that changes as the reader changes, its heroes sometimes becoming villains and vice-versa as the reader’s own attitudes change. As such it is a book that is challenging, interpretive and often disturbing.
ROM: Spaceknight (1979-1986 – Bill Mantlo)
ROM is about as clear and uplifting a book as a man can read. It’s masculine and chivalrous, idealistic and poetic. I grew up on these comics and if I had a son these would be his bedtime stories (as they were mine).
Captain Britain (1976 –Ongoing – Chris Claremont, Alan Moore)
Captain Britain is the sober complement to ROM, its just as masculine and chivalrous, just as idealistic and poetic, but also dark, self debasing and slightly nuts. Captain Britain is a lot like Britain itself in fact, and the book often makes the reader wonder what being “British” (or in my case “English”) really means.
2000 A.D. (1977 –Ongoing – Various Authors)
2000 A.D. is an absolute treasure trove of story. Much like Sandman, even a brief analysis would take too long. I could write you an article a week for a year and not even brush the surface. The book is irreverent and holds a pin-sharp mirror up to the reader and the world, while never failing to bring something fresh and entertaining to the page. It’s no coincidence that nearly all of the best modern writers of comic books started in this weekly publication, if you want to read the writers of tomorrow you read 2000 A.D.