So where does a passion for comic books begin? For some it's a regular dose of Marvel or DC. Spider-Man slinging webs, Superman bending steel. And, while I have fond memories of digging through long boxes for Incredible Hulk back issues or a copy of Batman that had cool cover art, my obsession for comics came when I read the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ridiculous one might think, but, let me explain.

I was eight at the time and I picked up the first issue at my local comic shop. I knew the cartoon, of course, but the comic was something special. I was used to brightly colored superheroes dashing across the page and punching their way to victory. But, there was very little blood shed. That all changed when I opened my first black and white comic.

It was packed with gritty, bloody carnage. Everything a growing boy needs. I remember falling in love with the artwork, especially the inks. Every time there was an arterial spray, the inky blood added a level of coolness I never knew existed. But above all, there were ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

The rooftop battle in that first issue, where what seems like hundreds of ninjas are pouring out of the wood work, made me understand at a young age what it meant to geek out. I mean, who doesn't love ninjas. Especially ninjas receiving bloody, jagged wounds. And lets not forget, our heroes actually kill the villain. They stab him in the friggin heart with a katana and then tell him to kill himself! How many comic book heroes do that?! Easy to see why I loved it so much. After that first issue I got the collected volume and kept on going. When I look back on what had an influence on my love of comics I will always mention Batman, Hulk, and the like. But it was that first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that defined it.

Recently a bit of nostalgia hit me square in the face and I made an impulse purchase. A few years ago NECA released some limited edition action figures based on the original comic art. Well, after a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally picked up a set. Thankfully, my lovely wife doesn't mind having some bad ass action figures on the book shelf. I'm one lucky guy.

Now, just for the hell of it, I thought I'd give you a bit of early 90's nostalgia. Go ahead, give the guys a click...

OK, so enough about the turtles. What have I been reading lately? I finally got to two books I've been wanting to read for a while now. The first is CHEW.
I really enjoyed this. A cannibalistic detective who gets clairvoyant visions from his...er...victims? Pretty damn original. This is a very humorous book that doesn't take itself seriously in a good way. These guys are having fun. I particularly enjoy Rob Guillory's art. Very stylized. A solid ground work is set for some great cop drama. I sneaked a peek at the next volume and, much to my excitement, vampires are coming! Looks like fun.

The other book was RED.
The concept was cool. I'm a fan of old assassins kicking ass once again. This was a quick read with not much meat to it. It explores some interesting themes but I wished it went a little deeper. I got to the end and I wanted to see this guy keep going. I'll tell you what is cool, the way Ellis paces out the intricate kills. I found myself going back and admiring the way he set them up and how Hammer knocked it out. Some very cool action paced and executed very well.

As for my writing, a lot is going on. Hopefully I'll be able to share some things in the near future. What I am going to do is a TMNT short script to satisfy this itch I've got. I'll post it up here for fun. Until then, take it easy.