Friday, February 19, 2016
The Intriguing Airboy
Last year, a guest at a dinner part asked what comics I collected. I found this a surprisingly difficult question to answer. My immediate answer was "Cheap ones," which was mostly true, but does neither me nor my hobby any credit. The fact is that a visit to Stan Lee's Comikaze in Los Angeles reminded me how much I had enjoyed collecting and reading comics earlier in my life, so after the convention I investigated my local comic book stores. I quickly discovered that I could secure missing issues from series I had collected cheaply or expensively. Some sellers sold their copies for a dollar. Others wanted five or ten dollars for the same issue. As the issues I had picked up over the years probably weren't worth that much, I opted for the less expensive copies. After all, what I was buying were images and words printed on pieces of old, stapled-together newsprint. How much would you justify spending on something like that?
Besides, I was interested in the stories, and building a larger, cohesive story out of unconnected individual ones, some of which ended on cliffhangers. I wanted to know how the cliffhangers ended. I also wanted to learn the crucial events that set up the scenarios depicted in the issues already in my collection.
While I initially began by trying to fill out series I had previously collected, I found other books that intrigued me. One good story led to another, and soon I was collecting all sorts of books that I had not previously heard of, nor had any interest in. A perfect example of that is Airboy. A publisher named Eclipse produced the series in the 1980s. The title and covers suggested no reason why I should desire it. It offered no visible links in subject matter, characters, or authors to Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars, Star Trek, or any of the other Sci-Fi/Media titles I had ever collected in the past. But when I found a few issues of the comic in the twenty-five cent boxes of a local comic store, I found myself picking up one and flicking through it. The story looked interesting. Should I buy it?
When the barrier to entry is so low, what did I have to lose by investigating the series?
As I read that issue, what I found was a series that excited and intrigued me. It made me want to know more about the central character and his world. What stories have you discovered recently, that surprised you by making you a rabid fan of the author, the characters, and the new world you discovered in its pages?