I rediscovered comics at a time when I really needed them. I was in Jr. High (already a perilous time), and my parents were splitting up. I found some comics at the 7-11 in my neighborhood, and then found a comic book store in downtown Overland Park. I could ride my bike to the shop, and I did so frequently one summer, seeking out affordable (on a teen allowance budget) back issue treasures.
Comics were MY thing. I could afford to buy them with my own limited funds. I could enjoy them on my own terms, reading and re-reading them, escaping from the stresses I didn't want to acknowledge. I would sit in my walk-in closet/fortress with a few candles and a stack of comics, and let afternoon hours slip away.
On one of my trips to the comics store (sadly, I don't remember what the shop was called), I discovered a table of "First Issues!". Elated by the notion of discovering a series from the get-go, I bought several. The one that really clicked with me was a Jack Kirby book with an amazing title and even more amazing lead character design. It was called OMAC. (One Man Army Corps). It was full of typical Kirby madness... imagination leaping from every panel. I went back to the store as quickly as possible, buying up all of the other issues they had in stock. There were eight of them.
Those eight issues consumed, I returned to the store to ask the owner (Bud) if he had more. "No," he snorted. "That thing was cancelled a long time ago."
I mean... I knew that I'd been buying back issues. I knew that the book was old by then, but it was still a blow, particularly because Kirby had not been given a chance to resolve things.
I moved on. I discovered Shogun Warriors and Iron Man X-Men and such, but OMAC has always had a special place in my heart.
And, today, as a grown-ass man with kids of my own, I am sitting at my drawing table, and DC comics is paying me to draw OMAC, and I find that I keep getting a bit choked up.
Emotional this particular job may be, and a little intimidating. Mainly, though, it's just damned thrilling. So grateful to be inking my dear friend, Phil Hester, on this story (which was written by the amazing Paul Levitz). Look for it in DC's big Kirby 100th Birthday anthology thing... coming soon.