To Patrick and Ken…

My name is David, and I am a comic book nerd.

If you see me in person, that statement actually becomes kind of comical. There is a big, muscular, black guy who frequents the local comic shop where he will hang out there for hours. Yes, I know, I am being stereotypical, but really, go to your local comic book store and see how many patrons fit that description. Good luck.

My love of comic books started in the fifth grade; In Mrs. Bowen’s classroom. We could earn points for things like etiquette and behavior. At the end of the quarter, we were able to use our points to bid on items in the teacher’s desk. This quarter, one of the items was a comic book. Excalibur; Inferno. There was only one problem. The resident cool-guy wanted that comic also.

We will call this cool guy, Patrick.

Patrick was literally the resident cool guy. Everybody loved this kid. He was in the sixth grade, had spikey hair, a sparkling personality, and could draw. His. Ass. Off (Years later, he would inspire me to draw, but that story is a story for another time).

Patrick and his friends had been looking at this comic for a few weeks now. I could not figure out for the life of me why this was so valuable to him – but it was. What he didn’t know was that I had one-hundred more points than he did – and I planned to dethrone the “king of cool.”

The comic.

When that fateful day came, and Mrs. Lower held up the comic book and said, “Do I have a bid?” I exclaimed, “Threethousandsixhundredtwentypoints!”

As I sat back in my chair, daring someone to outbid me, I had not notice everyone else’s disgust with my showmanship.

No one wanted the damn comic.

I didn’t care.

I won.

I beat Patrick.

And I got the comic.

What the Hell was I supposed to do with it now?

I did what any nerd would do – I read the thing from cover to cover. The one problem I had was that I felt as though I would have liked the storyline a lot more if I knew the back story. It was obvious that Excalibur was a group that had been through a lot of adventures together, I just needed to know how they were formed, how they got their powers, and how was I going to pay for more issues.

A little boy’s…er… man’s dream.

I know! I will save some of my lunch money!

I figured about every two days I would be save enough money to buy one comic book (which would also do me well health-wise because I was quite the pudgy little thing. Cute, but pudgy).

Enter Ken.

Ken was the owner of the local comic book store about three blocks away. He was a grey-haired guy who (not shit) resembled Stan Lee. I would go in there almost every day and hang out. Ken would tell me about the different superhero groups (of each company) and how they functioned within/with one another. He would also slip me some cool comics that weren’t worth anything for my birthday or when I had good grades.

From that point on, I was hooked. For the coming decades, I was a fanatic.

Fast forward – three kids, a wife, a mortgage, and hundreds of comics later…

My wife: Not interested.

She is so not happy right now!

My kids: Somewhat interested (there is hope)

She is either interested, or disgusted.

The comics: In the crawlspace.

My collection.

Do I still collect? The old stuff. I find that the newer storylines are just regurgitations of the old.

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