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Monday, October 09, 2006

F.A.Q. #4

More Q&A from that comics-themed survey I took part in a while back . . .

Q.: Do you feel comic readership is something you are particularly conscious of? (i.e. do you think it is a distinction? For example, one often does not usually overtly think of themselves as television or sports fans, so is a comic fan different? Are we aware of ourselves more than fans of different mediums?)

A: I absolutely think so. I think we DEFINE ourselves as comic book fans. But as geeky as a lot of us are, I think sports fans can be even geekier. I mean, I've never gone to a convention dressed as a superhero, which I would consider too geeky for me. But by the same token, those sports freaks who paint their faces are as bad as the nerd who dresses as the Thing and goes to the Big Apple Con. And all of the sports fans' obsession with records and statistics is just like a comic book geek saying, "I like Jack Kirby's mid-to-late-'60s period when Joe Sinnott was inking him. I thought Vince Colletta's inking was too scratchy." To non-geeks, that's like another language.

Q: Do you own comics-related merchandise items (i.e. art, books, statues, figures, etc.)? If so, do you have a particular favorite piece or collection?

A: Well, I'm the world's #1 "Metal Men" fanatic. I'm a Metal Men completist and own every issue they've ever appeared in. This has become an expensive and space-consuming habit, since creators love to put cameos by members of the robot team in other books. But in all the years since Bob Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito created the Metal Men in the early '60s, there had never been a Metal Men toy or any kind of three-dimensional Metal Men premium -- only the printed material -- that is, until a few years back, when a Metal Men collector's plate (with a painting by Alex Ross) was marketed. The plate was followed a few years later by a seven-piece PVC set of Metal Men figures. My wife was so mad when I bought that plate. I mean, we had plenty of REAL things to spend our money on, you know what I mean? From then on, she would say, "Hey, there's a 'Sound of Music' plate for sale. Do you want to order it?" Or she would say, "I hope you don't mind -- I microwaved a lasagne on your collector plate." I have to admit that I understood her position. I definitely crossed a line when I bought a plate. That's something old ladies buy! But if you're a Metal Men completist, you have no choice but to buy the Metal Men plate. That's all there is to it.


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