San Diego Comic-Con has a special place in my memory because when I first went, it was all about being a fan of comic book stories, authors, and artists. Hollywood and its massive fandom wasn’t there yet. So I’m proud to say that I knew what San Diego Comic Con was like many moons ago. I had an appreciation of comic books at a time when lot of other kids did not. The characters with their fantastic powers fascinated me. Also, it helped me become a better reader as it supplied great imaginative story telling with fantastic visuals. Rereading familiar text developed my reading comprehension skills, both in fluency and being able to draw inference from characters that I’ve invested in. I loved super heroes since I was a toddler so it made sense that I (around the 5th grade) would read about them. Every kid should have a hobby and collecting comic books was mine. Going to the local comic book store every two weeks was like being a kid in a candy store. The Uncanny X-Men by Chris Clairemont and Jim Lee was my favorite book and since it wasn’t super popular, it was kind of like mine. The theme of being outcasts really spoke to me.
It wasn’t until I was in middle school that I went to my first ever San Diego Comic Convention. I went with my friends with no adult supervision. Total fun. Our parents dropped us off and we called them by pay phone at the end of the day. I know, right?
Some of the big names back then are still big names now. As stated earlier, X-Men was my favorite series. So I knew these characters like the back of my hand. So it’s pretty neat that there’s been several animated series and feature films dedicated to my favorite mutant heroes. I knew the X-Men before the rest of the world (humblebrag, right?).
A highlighted memory of the early days of Comic Con was getting to meet my favorite authors and artists. I met the legendary Stan Lee, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, long time X-Men scribe Chris Clairemont, and artist Jim Lee (who used to draw for Marvel and is now a big time editor for DC). Since there was no social media back in the day, getting a book signed by my favorite authors and artists was the best thing ever. Featured below are some of the books I got signed! Although these books have probably not increased in value (like I thought they would), they’re great keepsakes and I’m glad I have them. It’s a great reminder of a different time.
What (Comic-Con or otherwise) artifacts from your past do you keep and what do they mean to you?