31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 4 First Comic Series You Seriously Pursued

uxm239In Middle School I bought GI Joe comics from time to time to augment my action figure adventures. Then I let my friend Ted borrow them and he lost them. To make up for it, Ted gave me Uncanny X-Men 225-227. Otherwise known as The Fall of the Mutants. I had no idea who or what the X-Men were at the time. These stories by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri were like nothing I’d ever read. In the space of three issues, these heroes fought Native American gods, dinosaurs, cowboys, robots, and ultimately ended up sacrificing their lives saving the world. It was the most amazing story my twelve-year-old mind had ever read.

Within three months, Ted was asking me about the X-Men because I knew more than him. The first issue I bought on my own was Uncanny X-Men 239 which began another crossover called Inferno. I collected Uncanny X-Men pretty much ever since.

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– Jack Cameron

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31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 3: Great Adaptation or Remake of Another Work

ultimate spider-manOne of the more difficult things about comics for newcomers is that when it comes to the classics, there is decades of continuity to contend with. Spider-Man has been Spider-Man since 1962. It can be daunting. In an effort to find new readers, in 2000 Marvel had Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley reboot Spider-Man in the brand new ‘Ultimate Universe’. We all know the origin of Spider-Man but I have to say that Bendis’ version is my absolute favorite. It’s everything that Spider-Man should be. It’s full of teenage angst, diabolical villains, and pure fun. I still own the first five hardback collections of Ultimate Spider-Man. As remakes go, it’s a great one. Unfortunately the Ultimate Universe these days is mired in just as much continuity issues as the regular Marvel Universe, but that’s another story.

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– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 2: A Comic You Recommend to Everyone No Matter What

astro cityAstro City #1/2. I’m a big fan of long-form storytelling but sometimes a great story only need eight pages. For almost 20 years Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson have been publishing Astro City and there hasn’t been a bad issue in the bunch, but their promotional issue, Astro City #1/2 is an eight page masterpiece.

The story is about an average guy who dreams of the same girl every night. He seems to know everything about her and yet in his waking world, she doesn’t seem to exist. He asks around to see if maybe he somehow forgot an old girlfriend or something but no one knows what he’s talking about until one night a spooky supernatural hero known as The Hanged Man shows up and tells him about a group of heroes who fought a time-traveling villain. And then he finds out who the woman in his dreams was. (You can read the answer in the image if you like.) The answer is heartbreaking and powerful and everything that makes comics great. I recommend this issue in particular and the series in general to anyone interested in comics both because of its quality and because you don’t need to know any back story to pick up an issue of Astro City and enjoy it.

Click here to download a Kindle Edition of Astro City 1/2 for Free.

Click here for more information on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge
– Jack Cameron

31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 1: Your Favorite Comic

chairleg_of_truth

I’ve decided to take CSBG’s 31 Days of Comics Challenge. Day 1 is your favorite comic. Mine is the one comic I have original artwork from. The wonderful Transmetropolitan. Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s five-year 60-issue epic about journalist Spider Jerusalem taking down all phonies and corrupt politicians by being a journalist. The twist? He’s doing this in the distant future. I’ve described Transmetropolitan as ‘Hunter S. Thompson in the Blade Runner universe’ and that’s fairly accurate. The story starts out with Spider hiding up a mountain and ends with him taking down the President of the United States. There’s plenty of humor and violence along the way, but more than anything the series is a searing attack on much of the worst our culture has to offer. Back in a creative writing class I took many years ago we had an assignment of taking a social issue and then projecting it into the future to make a point which is basically what the best sci-fi tends to do. Transmet does that every single issue. While it’s a comic I miss, I’m happy that it had a beginning, middle, and end. Great stuff.

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– Jack Cameron