A couple of years ago, when I first started writing for the Index, Chrissy served as my copy editor on some of my Spider-Man entries. She read my synopses, double-checking my accuracy, and making sure I was including the important bits. Of course, to do it properly, that meant she had to read the stories herself. These were the most recent issues, published in the last couple of years.
She was surprised at how much fun she was having, reading Amazing Spider-Man. She asked if she could read some of the very early ones.
So I cracked open the appropriate Masterworks. After reading Amazing Fantasty 15 and ASM 1, she asked, "What about some of the other books?"
Well, you know me. Anal-Retentive Man. I said, "If you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. Let's try Fantastic Four #1." From there, we went to Tales to Astonish #27 (she's turned into Ant-Man's #1 Fan). And Hulk #1, and Journey Into Mystery #83, and Tales of Suspense #39...
...and she's been devouring them, ever since.
I have conducted scientific studies, and I've discovered that when men read comics, and have a wife, or a really significant girlfriend, there are three types of women:
- The Complainer -- This one will take every opportunity to ridicule your hobby, hoping to get you to grow out of it. 7% of wives fall into this category.
- The Adapter -- This one really doesn't understand the hold that comics have over you, but still wants you to have fun, as long as you don't spend the mortgage money to buy that CGC 9.4 Incredible Hulk #181 that just went up on eBay. Thankfully, this category accounts for a whopping 87.4% of wives.
- The Partner -- This is the rarest breed, the woman who actually enjoys reading the books, and wants to discuss what she reads.
She read the first two hundred or so comics from the Silver Age, placing her in late 1964, or so, before we came up with the idea for this blog.
A girl's perspective on the Marvel Universe.
She's putting her reading schedule on hold, so she can go back to the beginning, and reread some of the more seminal moments in 1961-64. Once she catches up, she'll go back to her reading.
I think the main target audience is other women, seeking to learn just what the Marvel Universe is all about, but I see another potential market out there.
Guys sit around the funny-book shop all day Saturday, arguing Kirby or Ditko, Romita or Steranko, Hulk or Thor, Gwen or MJ? But what do the girls think? Soon you'll know...
Oh, and one more benefit...
I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Multiple viewings of every episode. Seen the first three seasons a dozen times. I have two complete sets of Buffy DVD's. This allows me to loan out a few, select episodes of Buffy to friends, and still keep a copy in-house.
Without fail, said friends return over the weekend, asking if they can borrow more episodes. I say, "No. But...you can stop by any time, and watch the next episode, with me." You understand, right? This allows me to watch my friends, watching it for the first time. Vicariously, I get to watch every episode, for the first time...again.
Marvel Comics is a lot like that. Do you remember what it was like, when you were a kid, reading Fantastic Four Annual #6, for the first time? What about Avengers #100? Amazing Spider-Man #121? Giant-Size X-Men #1? (Uncanny) X-Men #137? Civil War?
The bittersweet thing about these emotional highs and lows is that you can only read them for the first time...once.
I showed her Amazing Spider-Man #583. Then I showed her Amazing Fantasy #15. And when she asked me if there were more, I told her, "Yes. But only if you'll share them with me." And I got to read them for the first time...again.
And now, so can you.
The Marvelous Zone: A Girl's View of the Marvel Universe.