Comic books were my birthright. I grew up with comics even before I could actually even read them. I remember just staring at them for hours lost in between the panels and my own imagination. I grew up in a family the youngest of three. My father read them as a child and pretty faithfully for a while up until he started a family. Eventually my older brother as a kid was old enough to develop a liking for them and my dad kept buying them for him. These comics and the ones he bought on his own are the ones that first started to hook me.
Comics were always around the house. As much as my brother and dad loved them, they were never forced on me like you'd see parents forcing sports and other things on their kids. They were just laying around the house for me to read if I wanted to. I couldn't get enough of them. To me, movies and cartoons and videos games were fun but they'd be over before you knew it. With comics I was able to take the story in at my own pace. If it was a really good comic I'd read it really quick then open it back up and see if I had missed anything. If there was a really cool action scene, I was able to admire the smoke and fire of a burning car, read facial expressions. I was able to take in the sights of a sky above a doomed city. I could point myself out as one of the hundreds of people walking around Gotham City.
Years passed and I grew older and my love of comics grew and grew. I'd gather up what little money I could to buy comics at a local shop. We'd go to comic conventions and I'd talk to guys who made comics. These were the stories I loved and to be able to see, let alone talk to the person who created something you cared so much about and loved was great. These guys were the people I looked up to and they were entirely reachable. It was a great feeling and always had me thinking, what would it be like to be on the other side of this? To talk to a random stranger who had such kind words to say about something you took the time to create?
I started writing really bad, horror fiction at a young age, maybe 12 or 13. My first short story was something about people turning into zombies after an airstrike. It was really terrible, but I showed it to my dad and he had nothing but nice things to say about it. I mean, of course you're not going to say to your kid, "Hey, that story you wrote? It was super shitty!" He said something to me like, "David. It was good. You used words and phrasing that's better than a lot of stuff I've read." After that, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Would it have been different if he had said something bad about it? Sure, maybe.
Fast forward 10+ years. I kept writing. I've had a few short stories published and last week my first comic book, Monster Dudes, came out in stores. A real, proper comic. It's such a crazy feeling for me to see it in front of me let alone sitting in a store on a shelf surrounded by all the other books I've been reading for years. Seeing my dad hold it in his hands was that much crazier. If it weren't for his interest in them as a kid who knows what I would have been into. I'm glad he picked comics.