Monday, July 9, 2018

Getting Graphic: The Journey Begins

It all started around the middle of last year when I suddenly had this vivid memory of a graphic novel/comic I owned as a teen. The only thing I could remember was this image of a kid with a yo-yo which somehow turned into an owl (the yo-yo, not the kid!). For the life of me I couldn't remember the title. My copy must have gotten lost when we moved since, after an extensive (and I mean EXTENSIVE) search I couldn't find it. The whole thing nagged at me. My OCD brain just wouldn't give it a rest until a) I found out what it was and b) I could get a copy again.

Internet to the rescue! A desperate plea on Twitter resulted in the revelation that the comic in question was in fact The Books of Magic written by Neil Gaiman. Thankfully it was still in print and I managed to track down a copy again which sated my brain's desires and allowed me to once again get a peaceful night's rest.

This whole episode sparked a newfound interest in comics/graphic novels and prompted me to test the waters to see if this whole comic thing is for me. Growing up I didn't have access to any comics aside from those trusted staples of libraries everywhere - Astrix and Tintin (technically both are graphic novels if I understand the jargon right) and the aforementioned Books of Magic which, if memory serves, I received as a gift from someone. So with this very limited background I'm going to start a journey of exploration into the graphic side of things.

Comics are extremely expensive over here in South Africa and availability can be quite limited too. I can't just pop into a local comic shop and see what's on offer. My only avenue is ordering online and since I can't try before I buy it complicates matters quite a bit. Since this is a visual medium there are certain styles that just doesn't appeal to me. Digital comics are an option, but to really experience them as intended I think physical editions would be the ideal way to go.

To start things off I picked up some trade paperbacks of Wytches, Descender and Monstress.

I also got copies of Super Sons and the second volume of Monstress (based solely on the artwork after paging through the first volume).

I guess my fledgling collection is all set for me to give this a try. Hopefully it doesn't turn into another expensive obsession!

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