You Never Forget Your First (Unless You Actually Sort-Of Do)

March 1st, 2021

I read a lot of interviews with creative types. I can’t help but compare everything I do to everything everyone else does (and I don’t recommend it, especially when the stuff you make is as weird as mine).

My brain is always blown when people can recall the exact issue of the first comic they ever picked up. Not because it’s not a mind-blowing moment; it is. But because for most of my life, all I could ever remember were the covers.

I knew they were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and X-Men books. I had no idea when they were released, or who wrote or drew them. But I knew exactly what they looked like.

If you read my writing regularly, you know how often I talk about nostalgia. I love going to thrift and antique stores; the one in Burnsville is legendary. It’s like walking through a museum that sells the dinosaurs.

I was there last Monday, looking for nothing in particular, when TMNT Adventures #16 (bottom left) slapped me right in the face. OMG. That was one of the covers. I bought it and then ran home to scour eBay, finding the other cover I knew (#14). I learned that X-Men Adventures (a comic based on a cartoon that was based on a comic) existed, leading me to yet another cover I remembered.

I wanted these because I wanted to be able to say the first comic I ever picked up was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #14, which came out in September 1990 when I was 5 years old. I got it at the local drug store on a spinner rack when I lived in Minneapolis.

I wanted these because I wanted to know what my earliest artistic influences were. What shaped me as a kid and gave me such a love that I obsess over these stories, characters and medium to this day.

Speaking of which: my Mind’s Eye t-shirt arrived, too. The comic I picked up when I was 5 put me on a path to make my own comics and have relationships with the comic community and shops like the one on this tee.

Some love fades away — and some love just never dies.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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