In the next post I’ll recommend five new comics titles I’ve read and loved, but first, a retrospective.
I grew up reading comics. When I was a kid, my dad would take me to our local comic shop in the Bronx and to monthly comic book conventions in Manhattan to stock up on titles like Excalibur, Uncanny X-Men, and Archie Comics.
Archie Comics has revised their brand (the Twitter account is A+), but I haven’t read any of the new comics yet. (I will, though.) I was a fan of Archie Comics back in the day, but I could never understand the level of vitriol between Betty and Veronica. (#TeamBetty all the way, but seriously, all that over a goof like Archie?) I liked Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats, but didn’t have as many issues of those. I loved reading (and sketching from) fashion comics, like Barbie, Katy Keene, Millie the Model, and Patsy Walker (yes, that Patsy Walker), but many of these stories also revolved around “frenemy” relationships.
In middle school and into my late teens, I read a lot of manga, although many of the shojo titles also centered on a frenemy (like in Peach Girl) or the drama of young love/crushes (Kare Kano, Mars, Love Hina). The ones I read that depicted positive female friendships were usually the magical girl groups, like Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth.
When I worked at a bookstore in my early 20s, I made an effort to get back into reading comics, since I got a good discount on graphic novels. I picked up a bunch of the X-Men titles again – like Astonishing, New, X-Treme – along with some Vertigo titles such as Y the Last Man, Fables, and stuff by Alan Moore.
Still, while I’ve been reading comics pretty much since I could read (with the encouragement of both parents – thanks Mom and Dad!), I go through phases with them. This year, I’ve read a lot of middle grade graphic novels with one of my students, and I’ve also gotten into reading newer titles that center on female characters, like the five listed in the next post.
What comics did you grow up reading? How has your comics reading changed over the years?