My name is Mocha Dad and I’m a comic book geek. I’ve been collecting comics since I was a young child and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. I can speak ad nauseam on the merits of Marvel vs. DC and I’m a virtual encyclopedia of comic characters’ origins, powers, weaknesses, and genealogies.
DC Comics‘ new 52 series has me excited about actually reading comics again. I really like the reboots of Nightwing, Justice League, Teen Titans, and Static Shock (sadly this one has been discontinued). I’ve discovered some new titles such as Red Hood and the Outlaws, Mr. Terrific, and Batwing. The new Marvel Comics Avengers vs X-Men series is intriguing as is Ultimate Spider-man.
I still remember my first comic book. It was X-Men #35. I found it at a used book sale at the public library and read it so many times that it fell apart. After that first dose for super hero fantasy, I was hooked. I spent countless hours of my childhood devouring issues of my favorite titles: Batman, Daredevil, Avengers, Spider-man, X-Men, Teen Titans, Fantastic Four, Thor, and Iron Man.
As an African-American child, I was especially excited when black characters such as Black Panther, Falcon, Black Lightning, Cyborg, and Luke Cage (aka Power Man) were featured in books. As I look back on these issues, I realize than many of them portrayed African-Americans in a stereotypical manner, but back then I was happy to see some diversity.
My grandfather would always chide me for wasting my time reading those “funny books.”
“Why aren’t you like other boys?” he would ask. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I was like other boys. The guys on my street shared a love of comic books and we would have regular trading sessions.
My friend Darrell Brown (we used his full name to distinguish him from Darrell Wayne who lived around the corner) and I would often take the bus across town to visit the real comic book stores. Although the local convenience stores sold comics, they never had a good selection. Darrell Brown and I spent many weekends searching through the rows of boxes trying to find rare gems.
Now I spend my time in comic book stores with my kids (shout out to Jeremy at 8th Dimension Comics and Games). They’ve become comic book geeks in their own right. My 8 year old son enjoys reading Sonic, Mega Man, and Super Dinosaur. My 11 year old daughter likes Archie, Super Girl, Batgirl, and Young Justice. They also like to peruse my older comics from the 70s and 80s.
It’s exciting to share one of my childhood past-times with my children. Best of all, my kids are improving their literacy skills while expanding their imagination.
Question: What type of geek are you?