Harry Potter and other teen lit are devoured by young teens now a days like a Shark feeding frenzy. Book stores have midnight releases that people line up for days in advance . In my day I think young teens had the Tired Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series ( That I believe the last book was written in the early 60’s) and nothing more. But we did manage to find a outlet for our literary void in the story’s of Marvel and D.C. Comics.
I hated DC comics ( with the exception of their War titles)... I never liked their heroes... my first introduction to marvel was Sgt Fury, My Friend up the street gave me two hard bound small books that were compilations of the Fantastic Four, my Super Hero eyes were at last opened.
Captain America (Spoiler Alert: AKA Steve Rogers) was my early favorite and still holds a warm place in my heart. As I got older I turned to the Uncanny Xmen, though not the originals ( I.E. The Beast etc). I am still amazed at some of the story arcs they had, The graphic novel “God Saves, Man Kills” and the Phoenix Saga were but a few. I also was a follower of the “New Mutants” books from issue 1, allot of angst filled stories. I read some less popular titles, Vietnam, G.I. Joe and the Micronauts and I actually thought G.I. Joe had some good stories as well.
I remember the Secret Wars, The Beyonder and all the Franklin Richards jokes all the Comic Geeks used to toss around with nerdy abandon. The thrill of my first Comic convention up in the Radision in Wilmington... then a larger one in Philadelphia.
Comics were my geeky crack for a while... always stopping by Captain Blue hens (when it was in the house on main street) to see if they had the latest version of this or that. I still remember my favorite Comic female... That would be Rogue from the Xmen... and my favorite sound effect... When Thunderchief hit Wolverine square in the jaw “SPANG!”.
Sadly I also remember the day I stopped being a diehard comic fan, when I stopped going to the Comic Store every week. I picked up my latest issue of the Xmen... and there emblazoned on the cover, was the title “Phoenix lives”...”WTF” I thought, hadn’t I just lived through the original Phoenix saga... were they that desperate for stories that they were digging up Jean Gray that fast? I havnt picked up a Mutant book since.
I began to move from the DC/ Marvel world, Direct Comics ( Man...The Rocketeer is still one of my fav’s) and the new world of Manga. In High school I started to read Fantasy but I’ll still picked up a book now and then. I don’t think the Kids these days eat them up like we did, I could be wrong. I wonder if they still have that excitement...the anticipation... getting that book and cracking it open for the first time and getting to one of those “No Flaking way!!!” moments that twenty years latter you still talk about (“Watchmen” or the “Dark Night Returns”for example). For some of my generation the Graphic novel and comic were the finest literary works of the age.