When I met Garbanzo, I had no idea that he was into comics. About four months into the relationship, his friend who lived down the hall from him took him to a comic book shop. His friend who had been knicknamed Gap Boy was a senior business major, and I guess they had had a great conversation the night before a particular comic book which lead to the decision to visit a comic shop. I was a bit floored by this turn of events. I mean, how did I miss this passion he had about comics? Yes, it was only four months, but still….it seemed to me to be a pretty big discovery.
I found out later that day that Garbanzo had gone through a “get rid of childhood” phase before he left for college. He gave up comics, he got rid of all of his original Star Wars action figures, all of his transformers, everything. He believed (likely thanks to his father) that being an adult meant you no longer were allowed to have child-like enjoyment about things. I was pretty floored, but it gave me considerable insight into the fucked up relationship he had with his dad. Between me not being repulsed by the comic book enjoyment and the interest he found many others had in comics, he started picking them up again.
If you read Garbanzo’s blog, you may have caught his rant a few weeks ago about our friends who are reading things like War and Peace. He kind of neglected to mention that he was an English Major. So, during this time in college, he was reading all of Virginia Woolf’s books, Shakesphere, James Joyce, all of the major writers in English Literature, etc. And we went to a college where classes were taken one-at-a-time for three-and-a-half weeks, so if you were an English major, you were reading an entire book a night. After doing that so long, the only thing you can handle reading for fun is comics or something else that can be read in about 20 minutes.
That all being said, there are times I make fun of the fact he has over 4000 comics. I sometimes get frustrated when I do the math on how much he has spent on them….or when I find them all over the house in piles. And, I make fun when he has freaked out about how I am holding the comics (don’t bend them …. at all….even if it is gently.)
About four months ago, Garbanzo gave up the weekly/monthly comics. The prices were going up, the stories were getting weaker, and he was having a difficult time rationalizing it. Also, he was finding more joy in going to the Library store and picking up used and battered graphic novels they sell off for $1. He decided at that point that he would do that instead.
About six weeks ago, he had a good friend and rugby player suggest they do a podcast about trades. Trades for those who aren’t in “the know” (read: not married to someone who is into comics) are independent graphic novels that are not put out by the big companies (Marvel, DC, etc). They tend to be neat stories….I will have to admit that. His friend had dreams of owning his own record label, so he has a degree is studio production and economics (translation: he has the gear).
I will admit – I haven’t listened to more than the first 30 seconds as I’m troubleshooting one of their technical issues. Garbanzo was listening to the latest podcast while he was making me breakfast, and I will have to say I was impressed. First off, you need a dictionary while you are listening. Not a dictionary of comic terms, but a dictionary. Garbanzo shows his education by using words I had to ask the meaning of. They also quote literary references and generally do a great job discussing the hell out of the books – story and art.
It is worth a listen. I should point out that Garbanzo has no idea I’m writing this….so I’m sure he will be somewhat embarrased. But, check it out – do a search on iTunes for Stumptown Trade Review – or check out their site. At the very least, you get to hear what Garbanzo sounds like, if you’ve ever been curious. 🙂
Oh, and I should mention that they have DJ doing a reveiw on a cool graphic novel she picked up yesterday, so it is a good place for parents to check out options for their kids. (Garbanzo as a teacher believes reading is reading, so if you are having problems with getting a kid to read, you should check it out.)