Why am I still reading comics?

Wednesday is new comics day and I’m reasonably excited even though I don’t think there’s anything at the store I pre-ordered or interested in adding to my collection. This Pavlovian response to the middle of the week has come after nearly a decade of new comics days. So even if there’s nothing I want to buy, I feel compelled to walk into my store and see what’s on the shelf.

This, I think to myself, is my hobby. Just like collecting baseball cards, snow globes or stamps. I have a pretty extensive collection, but I rarely go through my long boxes to find something to read. My comics aren’t easily accessible and I’ve simply moved to trades and hard covers for the majority of my books.

Why do I keep buying these graphic novels. Why am I on a first issue kick as of late? Why am I still reading these expensive combinations of staples and paper, pencils and prose?

I would say without comics I wouldn’t have been reading at the level I was at a young age. In fact, I’ve been reading comics since I could read. I fell in love with the four color adventures of DC’s silver age my Dad bought when he was a kid. As an aside, his collection is unbelievable. As I grew older, I gravitated toward Spider-man and X-Men comics, but I still loved Batman, Teen Titans and Legion of Super Heroes.

In high school and college, I gravitated toward Camelot 3000, Watchmen, American Flagg!, Alien Legion and Jon Sable. As I grew more sophisticated, I found more sophisticated offerings.

Today, I rarely read many mainstream New York-based company comics. Sure, I’m buying Legion of Three Worlds and the last Marvel book I bought was the trade paperback of Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man, but I’d much rather read the latest Fables collection or my Starman Omnibus editions.

I think what keeps me into comics has always been the storytelling. From Shooter’s Death of Ferro Lad story in Adventure Comics to my friend Grant Chastain’s Corrective Measures to Bendis on Powers, I love the comics medium.

There are things you can do in a Green Lantern comic that George Lucas never dreamed of doing. I can think of half a dozen better Wolverine stories than the tripe Jackman stars in. The diversity on my comic book shelf is something my Dad never imagined: Sin City, Danger Girl, Casanova, Sleeper, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Transmetropolitan, Top 10, Global Frequency, Planetary, Hawaiian Dick, Wanted, Jinx, Sandman, Ex Machina, DMZ, Scalped, The Boys, Blankets and Bone to name a few.

My buying habits may change, but I just don’t see a future without new comics in my hand on a semi-weekly basis. Why am I still reading comics? Because I love the stories.