In the late 1990s I got into graphic novels mainly through Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. The storyline took me along the dark magical paths of Books of Magic, Fables, The Dreaming, Lucifer, and an all-time favourite, John Constantine the Hellblazer. But I always shied away from going deep into comicbook territory because of the costs and the intimidating catch-up job to be able to speak about any character or storyline without sounding like an idiot. I did not even really go very deep into the graphic novels I loved.
Even when the movies and TV series started coming out in earnest I held my ground. I watched most of them but still refused to go into the back stories and original plots.
Then I stumbled into The Big Bang Theory eight years after it began and I got almost all the references but I could not bear to stay out of all the comicbook madness. Not after repeatedly gawking at the displays in the comicbook store that serves as a backdrop to their geeky dramas. (And to be honest, I really wanted so badly to belong in apartment 4A. I even looked for a book that could give me a primer on physics...)
I thought, if there is Kindle for books there must be a version for comicbooks right? I won't have to worry about space and finding back issues and digital copies are always cheaper than paper copies...
Comixology app downloaded into my iPad. Then all hell broke loose. Especially when I found out that there is a brand new Constantine series and it is only on issue no. 5. And somewhere along my crash course research on catching up I found a bit of news that Constantine will be showing up in an Arrow episode and that got me into wanting to know about the character crossovers and who belongs where and how the universes intersect, overlap and all that.
So twenty years after my foray into graphic novels I return to the forest and go in farther than I ever did. One more thing that sets me just a little bit more into the Odd/Eccentric Woman Of A Certain Age category.
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I am an artist-in-progress. I started my creative journey in 2012 and have never stopped taking steps since. Always one step at a time. Always moving forward. It has been an increasingly tough and occasionally rewarding road.
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Emily W. Martin
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