I nicked this off Rol!
1. Did you read comics as a kid?
Yes, started on ‘funny’ comics like the Beano and Nutty and ‘graduated’ to super-hero comics when I was a little older.
2. Who bought you your first comic?
I’m pretty sure my Aunty Doreen bought me my first funny comic – Nutty, I think it was. I loved it. It was a true slippery slope for me.
After that, I can’t remember who bought my first US comics. It might have been just me, although I’m sure my lovely Nanny Beatty was involved somewhere along the line.
Oh I'll tell you something vaguely amusing. My mom and dad have always been a bit bemused by my comic-buying, but my dad, bless him, used to get me 2000AD every week, aw! But when the comic got more and more racy - giant naked Slaine monster (with willy shadow) on the cover - my dad reeeeally started to get bemused!
3. Did you take any time away from comics? Why?
Not really. The US comics didn’t grab me at first, so I didn’t get right into it. With me, it takes a while for things to absorb. I bought Tori Amos’ new album and gave it a couple of listens, then put it to one side. And now look at me lol. Something just makes me go back to certain things – TV shows, books, etc - and it was like that with comics.
Comics have always been in my life. I think if you get bored of one kind of comic (like the X-Men), you just move on to other areas (indie).
4. What brought you back into comics?
Well in that early stage, I’d bought a Spectacular Spider-Man comic (issue 77), enjoyed it, and then not really thought much about it and put it to one side. Something made me want to buy more a few months later, so I got some John Byrne Fantastic Fours, and then I just started to slowly discover the Marvel Universe. It’s weird, because I didn’t actually understand that Fantastic Four issue – and I never have done – so I really don’t know what made me persevere.
5. Do you prefer getting comics monthly or in trades?
I’ve just decided to move to trades because they are cheaper and because I can’t be bothered going to the comic shop every week! There feels a bit of a ‘pressure’ to go each week now, in case things sell out, so I can’t be arsed any more.
I’m also rapidly running out of room in my flat, so I just don’t want to get more comics. It’s a real shame as I will really, really miss the ‘thrill’ of just splurging money on comics, but I think I just end up buying stuff I don’t want, when I go regularly.
The only floppies I will miss are Powers and Walking Dead, Powers for the letters page (even Bendis’ ‘No Life’ section is something I look forward to) and Walking Dead for the gorgeous colour covers, which you don’t get in the trades.
And it’ll be hard to resist the new Zatanna series when it comes out…
6. Do you know the name of your Local Comic Shop (LCS)?
Well… The nearest one is in Clapham Junction, Avalon Comics, but it’s up a hill and I don’t get any discounts so I don’t go there lol. There’s a Forbidden Planet in Croydon, but I tend not to go there, because they don’t always have everything. My favourite comic shop is Gosh and Orbital is great too, but I shop in Forbidden Planet as I get a 30% discount there. If I didn’t get a discount, I doubt I’d buy anywhere near as many comics.
7. Does your LCS know your name?
Not really. I chat to the FP staff cos I have to give them my discount number, and they’re usually friendly and ask me where I work. In Gosh, some of the people knew my name, because I used to sell O Men through them, but I think the main people have left now.
8. Do you own any old number 1 comics (must date before 1980)?
Well, nothing before the 80s... I only started when I was 11 or so. A lot of my comics are at my parents’ house in Birmingham! I have a ‘special drawer’ for the cooler comics that might be worth something.
9. Do you own any original comic art?
No, just sketches from pro and indie artists from cons.
10. Do you bag and board your comics?
I do bag some comics – in batches of 4 or 5. I have a damp problem in my flat, so I need to bag them! I don’t board them, it’s too clunky.
11. Where do you store your comics?
I have thousands of comics still at my parents’ house. I think they want me to get rid of them lol! Everything I’ve bought in the past 15 years is down in London in my flat. A lot… They’re all hidden away at the back of my DVD shelves, while more current comics are in my bedside drawers.
12. How many comics do you read right now, in either floppy or trade format?
I read Powers, Walking Dead… I dip in and out of the X-titles… I read most of the Avengers titles, but I think I’ll switch to trades on them – or just read them from ‘downstairs’ (Titan Books get most of the week’s comics in, and you can read them for free).
I read some indies, like Love and Rockets and Optic Nerve, but they don’t come out very often.
13. What would be your number one, all-time desert island, favourite comic series?
14. Do you follow comic creators on Twitter?
Nah, I can’t stand Twitter, I think it is a waste of time. Some people just seem to descend into ego-mania on there and think they are mini-celebrities. Why would I care what someone had for breakfast, or why should I listen to someone whinge all the time?
I like Facebook and I’m friends with a few artists on there. It’s interesting to hear what some artists get up to – Francis Manpaul is fun to read about. I like hearing what Andie Tong is doing – he’s in a very unique position as one of the UK’s only current Marvel artists.
I get fed up of artists who moan though. “Ooooh woe is me, I’ve got to draw this today…” er hello, I’d love to do what you do.
15. Do you have a favourite comic creator?
Maybe Grant Morrison, but not so much now.
16. Do you harbour any aspirations to create your own comics?
17. Do you access comic news online, if so where?
I check out Newsarama and silverbulletcomicbooks.com when I remember to. I’m not a huge internet person, to be honest – I don’t have the patience.
Time to pick sides:
Marvel or DC?
Marvel, all the way! I’ve always been a Marvel Zombie. The characters are more relateable. I just didn’t ‘get’ DC when I was a kid – why’ve they got such boring, stupid names – Elongated Man??
Yeah I’ve read some great DC and Vertigo comics, but my loyalty is always with Marvel. I actually don’t even understand some of the DC history. I really don’t know (or care) what the JSA is all about, for example.
Superman or Batman?
I think Batman. I never really understood Superman, although I did go through a phase where I understood his charm. ‘Ah, he’s invulnerable, so the trick is to see what really lies beneath and how he can be beaten’.
Spider-Man or Wolverine?
I guess, Spidey, although I think I’ve outgrown him a bit? And I don’t think the Mary Jane thing can ever work. Wolvy’s okay, but waaay over-exposed. And I really hate having Spidey and Wolvy on the Avengers. Nooo! Avengers should be for ‘Avengers’! Characters who are good, but not quite good enough for their own book!
I think it’s insulting really to have Wolverine on every team possible. How can he do it? How does he have time?
Iron Fist or Luke Cage?
They’re both so cool. Well, they were…
Iron Fist, I think. I don’t like the way Luke Cage has strayed too far from his yellow shirt and tiara! How is he recognisable now?
Nick Fury normal or Nick Fury Sam Jackson?
I don’t like how they change things too much in comics, so original for me – but he’s not really a favourite of mine either way. I’m surprised there isn’t a SHIELD series in the vein of The Wire or The Shield or something. I know there’s a SHIELD series now, but it’s not the same.
Spandex or real life stories?
A mixture? I like superheroes when they are done properly, and when there’s a bit of thought behind it. I don’t like real-life stories when it gets embarrassingly personal.
Golden Age or Silver Age or Modern Age?
The 80s was my Golden Age. Comics of the Modern Age seem to be trying to commit suicide.
Digital or paper?
Paper. Digital just isn’t the same.
Gotham or New York?
Gotham is scary fun… New York is big and fun. I’d say Gotham.
Hero or villain?
Villains can be cool.
Cape or no cape?
Cowl or domino mask?