My First Comic Book: Anthony Fograse
Commentary by: Anthony Fograse
I jumped at the opportunity to write about my first comic book for this newsletter the moment (Plainfield manager) Johnny asked me if I was interested in giving it a shot. The prospect of being able to share something about myself on a personal level with the Graham Crackers community was certainly exciting, especially as the “new guy” at the Plainfield location. No particular book immediately came to mind, but I figured if I thought about it long enough, I could think of something I read in my formative years that was solely responsible for my falling in love with the medium. One book that would impress all the Graham Crackers stalwarts and lifelong comic book fans so much that they would demand the Street Cred Truck be backed up to my house and dumped onto my driveway and I would dive through it all like Scrooge McDuck himself.
This is basically a long way of saying I have absolutely no clue what my first comic book was. My comic book reading life started in the very early 2000s, in 25-cent bins once every couple months while my Dad scanned the racks for new releases/anything Howard Stern might have been recommending at the time (a recurring theme in my house, for better or worse). The only thing I knew for sure was every comic I pulled out of those bins, no matter how good or bad they actually were, I was CERTAIN that each one was the best thing I had ever read. Every beat-up comic with embossed, holographic, die-cut covers or had Spider-man and Scarlet Spider trading punches was a freaking steal at 25 cents as far as I was concerned. It wasn’t until the GC location in Plainfield opened that my comic book reading leveled up in a big way. I was finally able to ride my bike to the comic book store, so I didn’t have to beg anyone to take me anymore. At 14 years old, everything was starting to come up Milhouse.
My first series I ever bought from start to finish was Wolverine Origins by Daniel Way, with the gone-too-soon legend Steve Dillon handling the art for the first 25 issues. Before I completed the 50-issue run, I added other titles to my pulls and I was off to the races as a real, grown-up comic book reader. Ol’ Wolvie was my guy, Daken was his angst-riddled kid (I used to be one of those!), and Romulus was…well, he was definitely there. I know the majority of that series was universally panned, but it was the mid-2000s and I actually LIKED Tom Jane’s Punisher and Motörhead’s Inferno, so “universally panned” might as well have been my middle name (and continues to be 15 years later). The moral here is that I guess we don’t all have romantic stories about one particular comic we read as a kid that was the catalyst for our love of the medium, as much as we might wish we did. It doesn’t matter how any of us got here, as long as we got here, y’know?
That street cred would’ve been sweeeeet, though.