By Big Bear
April 9, 2005 - 22:10
I grew up in NYC. I am religious guy who fell in love with science fiction and fantasy because of the stories and the art. I used to read mythology, JRR Tolkien, and the Bible. I fell in love with comic book art because of my father. He taught me the basics of drawing, and his two prime examples were Godzilla and Spider-Man. I believe that my first comic books that were given to me where of the DC characters, Superman and Batman. I would spend hours trying to draw the Superman "S" shield so that I could get it right. However, I fell in love with Marvel comics after reading stories of Spider-Man, the Avengers, and my favorite hero from mythology, Thor.
Growing up, I would take the art test tests in school and in the TV Guide ("draw Tippy the Turtle and send it in"). I would create my own characters and even write out my own stories, but finances were an issue so I never was able to atend an art school. Instead, I spent some of the monies I earned on comic books. X-Men by John Byrne, the Avengers by George Perez, Iron-Man by Bob Layton, and Thor by everyone from Ernie Chan, Walter Simonson, to Keith Pollard, were some of my favorites.
This love for the visual art of comic books would eventually grow. And from time to time, I would collect certain titles. Even my family has grown to love some of my favorite characters. Whether it is from the comics I buy, the movies I watch, or the figures that I collect, even to my own artwork, the influence of comic books weigh heavy on me.
When comics book began to sky-rocket in price, I started to taper off. Too many companies, too many variant covers, too many crossovers, and too many crappy stories came out in the early 90's so let comic books go. Very few books were good enough to bring me back to comics. Throughout the years the best ones were: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, The Infinity Gauntlet, Secret Wars, the Age of Apocalypse, Walter Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor, and a few of the Image titles.
As a direct result of my love for comics, I would buy action figures to compliment my favorite heroes and villains. When Toy Biz first took over the license for Marvel Comics, it was heaven. In the early 1990's I was able to get everything from the Avengers, to the Fantastic Four, to the X-Men. Once again around 1997, I left toys and comic books alone. Every now and then, I would hang out with some friends who had comic books that I would read and play catch up with, but my goal of puchasing comics and toys had stopped. However, this would not last for very long.
Back in early 2003, I just happened to be browsing Amazon.com, just to learn more about that company. I saw that they sold everything from music (my other passion), to graphic novels and action figures. I was hoping to find the whole Ragnarok/ Beta Ray Bill saga from Walter Simonson. To my surprise, one of the response to my search was a Mighty Thor figure by Toy Biz, under the brand, "Marvel Legends." Here I was looking at a figure that was the best looking version of Thor since the days of Mego, and suddenly I wanted to own him. Sure enough, by the end of 2003, I finally found Thor and Wolverine from Marvel Legends series 3, and that jump started my current collection phase. Suddenly, I looking for all the characters I fell in ove with as a youth. I thought that Marvel Legends was just a limited run project, but I collected the best of all 15 sets that Toy Biz released. My only regret was never being able to own the Namor of series 2. Before I knew it, I was buying Batman figures, Hulk figures, X-Men figures, and the Fantastic Four box set. I even tried my hand at customizing to have my own version of characters that Toy Biz had not made.
I now even include the DC Super Heroes by Mattel, and some of the DC Direct brand to my collection. However, Marvel Legends always stood out. Toy Biz gave me the action figure with a comic!!! Talk about nostalgia and value. Now I have so many pieces to my collection that it took several boxes to store them in. I am finally starting to open them all up and even started doing figure reviews on some. So here I am, in 2007, four years later and still hunting the aisles. I have moved from NYC, to Florida, and now to Alabama, and I still can't get enough of my favorite heroes. plain and simple folks: I am hooked on plastic!!! The difference now is that I am just a little bit more picky with what I spend money on. However, if Hasbro steps up, and with Toy Biz now getting ready to produce figures based on Image characters, my collection may just continue to grow and grow.
A little extra about me
Favorite Comics company: Marvel
Top Ten Favorite Marvel Heroes:
Top Ten Favorite DC Heroes:
Green Lantern (go John Stewart)
Wildfire (Legion of Super Heroes)
Shazam (Captain Marvel)
Best Villains (various companies):
Dr. Doom (Marvel)
*Darth Vader (Lucasfilms/ Dark Horse)
Favorite Movie Translation of Super Heroes: Spider-Man series. I can't
wait to see movie # 3.
Best Cartoon Based on a Comic Book: Justice League/ Justice League
Comic Book pet peeves: The way they treat Thor, Wolverine, Captain Marvel
they have these particualr characters going from "A"-grade powers to
"D"-level abilities. Nothing is consistent with those characters
Other Passions: Writing, Music, Poetry, Reading, Sketching