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Learning Something New

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The learning curve for something completely and utterly new can be pretty steep. For instance... graphic novels. A friend encouraged me to read Saga Volume 1 while we were at Powells some time ago. Ehh...the cover looked weird (SHUT UP I KNOW) and I just wasn't really into comics at that point. "I think you'll really like it," she said. I wasn't disinterested so I put it on my mental "to read" list for later.

It all started with three mangas for Gail Carriger's Soulless series. I loved them, devoured them, and wanted more. But I didn't know where to go from there. I wasn't necessarily interested in mangas or the Japanese style, I just liked those because I already loved the world they are set in. Then one day I read somewhere that one of my favorite movies, Ghost World, was originally a graphic novel. Some rock I've been under, huh? I bough it. The Amazon said, "Oh, you like those now? What about this Edgar Allan Poe graphic novel? The Hobbit? Redwall? I bought them all.

Meanwhile, I remembered Saga in my mind palace list. I put off buying it some more. Eventually I caved and bought volume one in April 2014 but waited several months to read it. After I read it, I immediately bought volume two. Then three. In December but before volume four of Saga came out, Amazon told me to buy Rat Queens. And I did, because I needed more graphic novels in my life. I loved it. The Saga Vol. 4 came out. Then I bought Shutter. I couldn't stop. I still can't and I love every bit of it.

While venturing into this new rabbit hole, so many questions arose. What's the difference between a graphic novel and a comic? Issues...and trades? When do they come out? How do I read a series that has already started but doesn't have a trade out yet? Back issues... how do I get them? How do I find more I like? What kind do I even like? Will people in the comic shops laugh at me when I walk in because I so obviously don't belong? What if I like the embarrassing or laugh-at-able graphic novels (answer: there are none)? What am I doing? HOW DO THESE WORK? How can I find out?

Over the past several months I have found the answers to these questions, but I still have new questions popping up every day. I am learning. I opened a pull-box at my local shop so I won't miss issues to my favorites (Saga, Rat Queens, Shutter, and The Autumnlands so far). No one laughed at me and everyone was helpful, suggesting others I would like and telling me about the subscription service. Now when I go in they say, "See you next week!"

The most exciting thing? Emerald City Comic Con is coming up in a month and I have a three day pass. I went last year but I didn't know about A LOT of the things that were going on plus I only went for one day. Despite this, I loved it. I can't wait to spend three days surrounded by thousands of people who love the same things I do and embarrassing myself in front of all of the amazing writers and artists that will be there. I have a lot of reading to do in the next month :-)

From ECCC 2014

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