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Hello! I'm Shawn Hoklas and I've been reading comics for as long as I can remember. My first memories of comics included an old brown grocery bag full of comics that my sister gave me which included a bunch of old Marvel and DC comics including the first 20 or so issues of Micronauts. At the time (and even now) I was also really into the Super Powers cartoon, 80's toys, as well as anything and everything Batman related. That all led to the comic that turned my reading into an obsession, Detective Comics #588. I remember going into my first comic shop and buying that right off the shelf. From that point on I was hooked!
My collection now includes somewhere between 12,000-15,000 comics, lots of hardcovers, toys, original art and statues (all which you can see featured on Comic Book Resources "Shelf Porn").
I read 50-75 comics a month and still love to dive into the back issues as well. That's the great thing about comics...there's ALWAYS something new to read. In addition to comic books, I also listen to quite a few podcasts about comics, movies and video games.
Comic books and the comic culture continue to give me so much, so it's exciting to give something back. I'm proud to contribute to the ComicSpectrum site
I fell in love with comics and I've been a reader and collector every month since. I love to help people out when I can, you can reach me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm your host here at ComicSpectrum. I’ve been reading comics since I picked up Amazing Spider-Man #88 in 1970, here's my copy of that comic autographed by both Stan Lee and "Jazzy" John Romita.
In addition, I began discovering, if I dug deep enough into the back issue bins or got up early enough on Saturday morning, that comics and cartoons weren't unique to America. The Japanese were putting out great cartoons like Speed Racer, Gatchaman (aka Battle of the Planets or G-Force), and thanks to early adopters like Comico I was able to get my mitts on a few comic adaptations of Robotech (originally called Macross/Southern Cross/Mosspaeda (with some reworking by a certain Mr. Macek) and other titles that brought some of this amazing work across the Pacific to my grubby little mitts.
The manga boom of the past decade has been a dream come true for me, and I'm flattered Bob thinks I know enough to share what I can discover with you! I'll do my best to bring you a wide range of what I'm reading, what you should consider picking up, and what's coming down the pipe you should be looking for. There are so many great books currently being published I don't know how, or if, we'll get to them all, but I'll try and bring you the best of what's out there.
It was all about Marvel for the first several years, I'd buy anything with a Marvel logo. After a few years, I expanded my horizons and never looked back. There was too much great stuff out there to restrict my reading to just one company. I discovered "Indie" comics for the first time in 1975 with the short-lived Atlas-Seaboard line of comics. I picked up almost every comic they produced in the 10 months they published monthly comics. In 1980 I moved beyond super-heroes when I discovered Elfquest and Cerebus. That was it for me, from that point on I actively sought out comics of all kinds, loving the diverse genres and stories I was finding.
Reading comics for so long & so voraciously means I’ve accumulated quite a collection. I’ve got somewhere north of 103,000 comic books, and am the 2015 and 2016 Guinness World Record holder for Largest Comic Book Collection. As a result, my collection has gotten a bit of media attention which I've tried to keep track of on the site.
I also have 100s of comics-themed statues and mini-busts, 100s of pages of original comic art & sketches, 1000s of movies & TV shows on DVD & Blu-Ray, and a host of other pop culture collectibles. As a result of my many years in and around the hobby, I have a lot of knowledge that I hope is interesting and definitely should be informative, I created ComicSpectrum as a means of sharing my love and experience about comics & pop culture with others.
In addition to what you’ll find here at ComicSpectrum, I was co-host of the ComicBookPage family of podcasts from August 2007 through May 2013. I co-hosted the Weekly Comics Spotlight from Episode 1 to 300, and numerous other episodes, for a total of 589 shows encompassing ~567.5 hours of content! I've also served on the Nomination Committee for the Inkwell Awards since 2012.
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Shawn Hoklas (Senior comics reviewer, content developer)
I grew up with an attention issue, in my late teenage years it was determined that I had ADHD and a minor form of dyslexia. Reading my first comic was virtually impossible, but the art drove me to want to read regardless, even if it was a problem for me. Comic books gave me a love for reading when nothing else could….that’s not completely true, only one author of novels gave me the same comfort level and that is Gary Paulsen. The pictures and panels of comic books organized everything for me so I could focus. To this day, comics are still my comfort zone with reading, unless a new Gary Paulsen novel is released.
Today, I grab over 30 comics a month to read. Sometimes I get a hardcover or paperback collection of a series that has already ended. Until recently I wasn’t much of a reader of non-Marvel titles, unless it was a Batman title. I’ll read anything once, but if it doesn’t catch my attention then I can’t stick with it. I’m also a goofy kind of guy that is an adamant Comic Con enthusiast; I’m all about dressing up to the point where Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have to give a lot of credit to Bob, I know I’m not the best writer, I’m not a writer at all, but he gave me a chance to share my opinion and love of comics through this site and I can’t thank him enough.
Al Sparrow (Manga reviewer, content developer)
Adam Brunell (Comics Reviewer)
Bob Bretall (Site Owner, Editor in Chief, content developer, blogger, comics reviewer)
When I say I was reading comics before I could walk, I'm not exaggerating. I had two older sisters who both read these cool books that were bursting with color, and when they left them lying around I would look at them. I wasn't able to read everything on the page, of course, but I'm pretty sure I could figure out some of what was going on within those paneled pages. My sisters claim I must have enjoyed them because I didn't destroy too many of them! Along the way I cultivated a love of all things Supergirl, Doom Patrol, Nick Cardy's Teen Titans, and the occasional Archie book.
When I was finally old enough to understand for myself what was going on, and afford my own books, I branched out. While my love of all things Supergirl remains to this day, I also got "my own" version of the Teen Titans with the Wolfman/Perez version, the Clairemont X-Men (still the Gold standard in my book), and other titles from both of the Big Two.
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I’ve been reading comics since I can remember, every Sunday my family would get the newspaper and inside was Garfield and Charlie Brown. The Sunday newspaper was one of my biggest excitements grow up, until early 1993, when I was 10 years old. I only know the date by the comic book I was reading, and no joke, I remember the comic. While taking a trip into a local convenience store my mother let me grab X-Men Adventures #6, April 1993. Oddly enough I remember the exact store, where we were, and why we were there. My first taste of comic books was given to me by Writers Mark Edens and Ralph Macchio with Artist Andrew Wildman. I was immediately hooked and became a huge X-Men fan. I wanted to be able to draw like Andrew Wildman, so I copied that X-Men Adventures cover until I had every detail memorized. Comic books drove my love for comic art and though I never became a comic book artist, I was able to hold my own with some local artists.