I've been into comics for a long time, I first fell in love with them through the bande dessinée, Tintin and Asterix but when a friend lent me Iron Man #256 my mind was blown and it was love at first sight.
I'd go weekly to my local comic shop, Rodney's Books and Games, in the town centre for my pocket money infused fix of comics. By buying grab bags for £1 I'd find a wide mix of stuff, some great some dreadful but comics nonetheless.
I fell out of love with comics in the late 90's when there were too many titles to keep up with and so many 'event' comics that I couldn't keep up with the pace. I went instead into manga and anime, which at that time was smaller and more focused here in the UK. It was here that I discovered Battle Angel Alita and GTO and again it was love at first sight. I also discovered Vertigo and voraciously devoured Sandman, Preacher, Hellblazer, Y: The Last Man and Fables.
Since then I've fallen out of favour with anime and manga for the same reason I had fallen out of love with comics in the first place and now once again, over the past 4 years have delved back into mainstream comics.
There has been a sea change in the mainstream comics as I feel the higher ups have realised that they had huge successes with their films but this didn't correlate with their comic sales. The reasons are numerous but I'd say it was due to the fact that the comic scene is overwhelming for newcomers and that the comics didn't cater for all tastes. A lot of the comics were created in the 50's ,60's and 70's and were often white male power fantasies, not a problem in itself but when you are catering for a world market you do need to appeal for a wide range of people.
In the past few years there has been a push for diversity with a black /Hispanic Spiderman in Miles Morales, an Asian American Ms Marvel with Kamala Khan and a female Thor.
However it's not just the mainstream where comics are diversifying, the fringe comic scene has always been the champion of change and difference and there is a huge market here with Junji Ito, Emily Carroll, Raina Telgemeier and Noelle Stephenson catering for different tastes.
I'm introducing my pupils to comics as I feel it opens up worlds, encourages reluctant readers and promotes creativity. I will be reviewing the comics I buy for them here and hope to encourage other schools and people to push comics and graphic novels into their world. As well as comics for my pupils I will also be writing reviews about comics I buy for myself.
Come join me on my journey and if you get into comics I'd like to recommend a couple of comic podcasts I listen to which are linked below.