The inscription in my copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way says the book is from my dad, Christmas 1981. So I’ve been reading comics at least since the age of eleven, but probably since even earlier. The first comic I remember having bought was probably an issue of Master of Kung-Fu. Early inspirations included The New Gods, The Eternals, and the Fantastic Four (think: the Silver Surfer and Galactus).
I also read Tintin and Asterix, and had a love for Peanuts, Barnaby and Pogo Possum after finding bound volumes of these three classics in my grandfather’s library. I scoured the Sunday funnies, and recall reading a lot of Prince Valiant, The Spectre, Mandrake the Magician and others in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, also when visiting my grandparents. So given all this, the kicker was getting a copy of The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics.
From the age of ten, I had a paper route–it started out as a weekly gig, and when I turned twelve or thirteen I shared a daily route with my best buddy Steve. Thus, I supported my comic habit until moving onto more lucrative forms of menial labour.
At twenty-two, my purchasing frenzy curbed for a couple of reasons. Increasingly I began to appreciate fiction and non-fiction alike, especially because of my exposure to some great books while studying in university. The tired cliché writing of the superhero genre no longer grasped me by the throat. But most importantly, my girlfriend at the time, and now my lifelong wife and partner, Johanne, gave birth to our son. I was close to finishing a degree in philosophy and had little in the way of marketable skills. I turned to selling off a good part of my comic collection to subsidize my meagre minimum-wage earnings.
Time has passed, we now have an adult son and a daughter, and I am employed as a project manager for a cost-recovery educational publisher, specializing in the development of distance education courses.
The love for comics has never left me. Thanks to our local library, I can appreciate many finely bound volumes and not spend the thousands of dollars that I would otherwise be investing in graphic novels. All the same, when a book blows my mind, or when the library doesn’t have it, I am likely to buy a copy.
That’s all for a brief bio, I hope to continue posting regularly and sharing more of my thoughts about this ineffable medium.
September 2014: I’ve been trying to understand Tumblr. I’m probably overanalyzing it…
November 2015: I’ve been experimenting lately with wood burning on plywood, and have also done a few other wood building projects that I’ve decided to put on this site. It’s not just a site about comics any more, but also about my creations, reflecting some of my recent inspirations.
Visual design remains the common thread through all of these projects, so I think the name of the blog still applies; I’ve just broadened its scope.
If you like what you’re reading on this blog and would like to submit work for review consideration, send me an email at bodkinsodds.at.gmail.com.