Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2020 31 Days of Comics Challenge - Your Comfort Comic The Rocketeer

2020 31 Days of Comics Challenge - Your Comfort Comic
The Rocketeer 
The late Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer from Pacific Comics to Comico to Dark Horse Comics are my comfort reading material.

I wasn’t fully into indie comics during my high school and college days. It seemed such an unknown thing for me then. I was intrigued by The Elementals that were sold at this stall at the top floor of the old Virra Mall. Nexus practically scream at me on the racks of Filbar’s – buy me. I held off because they didn’t seem as slickly packaged by the Big Two of Marvel and DC. 

When I saw Pacific Presents #2 at the cheap bins of Booksale at the old Fiesta Carnival, I flipped. What a cover – someone holding a jetpack but his shadow was completely different. 

It was only 10 bucks so I bought it. And I was immediately hooked. Set in 1939 right before the world plunged into a global conflagration, it was a simple adventure story that hooked me. It reminded me of those old Time and Life magazines that my grandfather collected and him of course. He was of that generation and I could really picture those dime-store Indians, Lucky Strikes, Bazooka Joes, pin-up girls, and moonshine bottles. 

It took me a long time to complete all eight issues of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer. And I own every version from the singles issues to all the collected editions, hardbound tomes, and even the movie adaptations. And I have the massive Artist’s Edition from IDW that cost an arm and a leg. I even have the 3-D version with an audio recording! And that film adaptation? I have the Laser Disc, DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS, VCD, DVD, and pirated copy. I have the first ever toy from ReAction to the Funko Pops. 

When I interviewed British actor Paul Bettany who played the Vision on the Avengers films, I had to ask him about how it feels to be married to an actress who came out also in a “superhero” film? That of course is his lovely wife and my eternal crush Jennifer Connelly who played Jenny (they changed the name from the comics’ Bettie) in the film version of The Rocketeer.

Reading this always brings me back to my teenage years. They remind me of my grandfather who lived through the years set in the comic book. And they too remind me that good writing and lovely art are simply timeless.

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