Editor's Note: Today I present a another guest column by Pop Box creator Clayton Neal. Clayton has written one or two columns here in the past and has kindly agreed to help me with posts on Flashback Universe while I letter his comic - The Agency. Today he tells us how he was introduced into the world of super-hero comics.
Welcome to Clayton's Corner! Here I will regale you with my memories and opinions of the great comics of my youth. Like many of you, it seems like I can almost always remember a time when I was reading comics, but I think there comes a turning point in every comic collector’s life where he graduates and goes from casual reader to devout fan.. At least that is the way it was for me. I grew up on Archie and Richie Rich, I enjoyed them quite well. They were simple, and entertaining. I mean, c'mon...what kid wouldn't want to grow up in the Rich mansion, have a faithful butler and a robot maid?
But then, all that faded one day while standing at the spindle rack in the local grocery store. There I saw it! There on the cover of this comic book was a Man with wings behind his ears, a little guy standing on another costumed man's shoulder, and another man whose neck was stretching out of proportion! Unknown to me at the time, this was my comic book baptism! I think I was seven (don't want to add it up and remind myself exactly how old I am) and the comic: Justice League of America 109!
In the store, I thumbed through it, and was entranced. There was a blank eyed robot that could turn his bottom half into a tornado, and an elfin eared villain with two colors on his face! (Eclipso), and a blonde haired heroine in stockings. (Up until then, I thought the only females in comics were Wonder Woman and Batgirl.)
That is the issue that Hawkman quit to go back to his home planet. I remember it being such a letdown because I really liked the character! I kept telling myself that he would be back the next issue, but when I finally got my hands on that (one of the first 60 cent 100 page giants that introduced the Injustice League) he was still gone!
Needless to say, this became my very first “must have”. I don't even remember how many times I read and re-read, and re-re-read that comic! Len Wein, Dick Dillan and Dick Giordano will always be the heroes to me who brought me to the moment of my conversion.
Now here it is years later, and I can still say I love comics as much now as I did then.
I am wondering, how many people remember their moment of conversion from comic reader to comic fan?