I was born an uneducated and illiterate infant without any motor skills in the city of Annapolis. In the years following my birth, I constantly labored to develop myself. Learning to read and write rudimentary sentences was especially difficult for me, a victim of borderline ADD.
As the years progressed, so did I. My mind was blossoming and, before I knew it, I had mastered the skills of arithmetic and language. I even became competent in the art of baseball. I graduated from Arnold Elementary in the fifth grade with a healthy interest in Harry Potter books, baseball and children’s poetry. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I was in Severn River Middle School. It would serve as a place of transition; I lost weight, grew taller, my hair changed from a dirty blonde to a robust auburn, and acquired a taste for history.
But let’s rewind a little, and add a little focus. Throughout my lifetime, from early childhood, I have maintained an affectionate relationship with the comic book / graphic novel medium. I grew up with the X-Men (especially Gambit and Cyclops), Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Thor, Swamp Thing, Fantastic Four, and the list goes on – super heroes occupied a large portion of my reading time. I won’t deny that, for a little while, comic books were fantasy fulfillment – I loved seeing super awesome powerful dudes fighting other super awesome powerful dudes. It’s was cool. Then, as I entered into adulthood (which I continue to do, against my strongest of urgings), I kept comics around. Their merits, I recognized and knew, run deeper than sci-fi/fantasy gimmicks. In fact, I find it surprising that this medium of storytelling is so often subjected to that stigma. Popular culture can find art in plays, novels, novellas, and vignettes. It can also find art in drawings, paintings, pastels, and watercolors. So, why is it that a blending of the two mediums is met with dismay? The comic book / graphic novel medium is a unique method of storytelling and expression. They often boil a story down to it’s essentials. I don’t mean this in the negative way, as there is no loss of meaning. In fact, I find it similar to poetry – which I like quite a bit.
Hello. My name is John Sines.