A year ago today, I got together with a small bunch of friends who I knew had a passion for comics. I had an idea that if my wife was reading a book a month from her book club, I could do the same with a Comic Book Club.
The gatherings have been a tremendous success. We have had such a good time not just discussing the books we’ve picked but on comic book topics in general. So much so I’ve even started up a Slack team where we also discuss comics with more of our chums who live further afield.
Slack has given us a chance to chat about things like lamenting DC’s many, many failings or the latest controversies in the 4 weeks in between our meetups (by which time we’d normally forget to bring it up), and to hear more opinions (and jokes) from some very funny people
Several bowls full of chips with our drinks have also added to the pleasantness when we do meet IRL. We’ve turned into typical village life old men. Always going to our favourite pub, sitting in our favourite spot and always eating our favourite grub.
“I absolutely hate it”
But the real fun is when we each have our say on the book one of us has picked for that month to read. We either gush over a brilliant choice or absolutely hate it while enjoying being able to express our views.
Choosing a book though can be slightly wrought with anxiety. For me it is at least. My club mates are clearly people of good tastes (musically less so maybe) with brilliant shortlists kept ready to pluck a great book from. I feel a pressure to pick a decent book and I am terrible at it. It doesn’t help that I am not as knowledgable with the comic book scene as the others. There was a time I was deep in it, when I worked in a comic book shop for my Saturday job as a teenager. But nowadays I avoid reading up on comics as it is full of spoilers or details of books I don’t want to read. Or worse: too many that I want to waste money on.
There’s more to life than Batman!
Otherwise though I am really lucky with this small group as we could easily have ended up all having terrible book choices as I do. And that would render the club slightly pointless in terms of reading. I can make my bad decisions on my own after all. What’s really great is that the club has opened me up to a whole world of books that aren’t just Batman or X-Men. These have been books that would not have been purchases I would have made otherwise. And though there have been some I have not enjoyed, the ones I did have been revelations to me.
The Metabarons is a clear example.
What started out as a slight excuse to buy myself a graphic novel a month has become the one point in my (quite barren) social calendar that I look forward to the most. Dan, Tom and Jake are great company and I am really pleased at how well this little idea I had has turned out.
Long may it continue.