Last month Cartoon Sara kicked off a four-part series on the origins of the Ladies – how we got into comics, into Comicazi, and how we came to be the merry band who bring you this blog. It was like a Behind the Music, but with far fewer drugs and car crashes and far more comic books and trivia nights. Here’s my installment!
My love affair with comics started in 1993. I was 16, a sophomore in high school, and kind of a weirdo (though as it turned out, really no MORE of a weirdo than anyone else was in high school.) Sassy Magazine (remember Sassy?!) ran a review of Neil Gaiman’s Death: The High Cost of Living and it sounded like something I’d be into- I was reading all sorts of fantasy novels, myths, and fairy tales already, so it was hardly a huge leap. Death led me to Sandman, which led to all the rest of the Vertigo lineup at the time, and that was it – I was comics reader for life.
So sometime in late 2000, when I was walking to the T and noticed a jam packed new store had opened up right down the street from me, it only made sense to check it out. And thanks to the way the store embraced me, I’ve never left. From the early days of pizza and beer on new release day to the anniversary parties and Comicazi Book Club of today, the shop is a community. Comicazi was the first place I ever made friends based purely on shared interests, rather than proximity. And while I still have wonderful friends from grade school and college and jobs, there’s something special to me about this connection.
Many years after that first visit, I started dating one of the friends I made at the shop, and in a few weeks, I’ll be marrying him. Comicazi is more than a store or even a community of people to me – it’s part of my family.
Among that family are the ladies with whom I write this very blog. I met Tiny Doom and Smalerie first, at one of the very first trivia nights that Comicazi ever held. We were randomly assigned to a team together, and had a rousing time losing whatever highly specific topic was on offer that night. However, we didn’t become constant companions from that day forth – that took a few Halloween parties and other events to solidify, and was mostly due to the magic of Comicazi Book Club. You see, what’s great about comic books is that, even in collected form, they don’t take very long to read. So unlike your average book club, which might convene monthly at most, CBC meets every two weeks. Throw in the fact that we’re all bandying about our opinions on art and literature, and it’s a great way to really get to know people, and Tiny Doom and Smalerie are two of the best. I quickly learned that one of the best things about Tiny Doom is that she’s nearly always up for an adventure – I love being able to share a wacky idea and not only hear “yes!” but also a clear plan of action to make it happen. Smalerie, besides the well-documented Muppet obsession, shares my passion for YA literature – a thing beautiful and terrible to behold.
I met Cartoon Sara, as she recounts in her own origins, during Muppet Trivia II in 2011. I’d seen her around the shop a few times before that, but hadn’t really chatted with her. Her vast Muppet knowledge that night blew me away, though, and I knew we had to at the very least talk about that. It turned out that we had plenty more in common – a love of animation being the big one – though Sara’s knowledge of it far surpasses mine – I just like to watch cartoons!
The first anniversary of this blog has just passed – and what a year it’s been! Thanks to this project and these ladies, I’ve pushed myself to do bigger and better events, crafts, and writing than I would have thought possible. And what we’ve got in the works for year two promises to push even further. Thanks to all of YOU for reading about our wacky hijinks, coming to our events, and supporting us. You’re ALL ladies to me.