Comics and me

My earliest memories of American comics is seeing them in a tiny newsagent on the high street in South Shields, not far from my Gran’s house. It was a Superman comic and it fascinated me because it was in a smaller format than I was used to seeing with the usual British fare like Buster and The Beano.

I’d like to say that my Mum bought it for me, but I suspect she didn’t, leaving it to my imagination what was contained within. But the lure of American super-hero comics was there from that moment on.

As children, we had pretty good exposure to films like Superman and all the American cartoons that were shown on our TV.

My favourite was, and still is Spider-man. The teenage web-slinger with the sharp moves and the fast mouth. I used to imagine what it would be like to be Spider-man in our neighbourhood and I suppose then I began to realise he was only ever going to be at his coolest in cities with tall buildings like New York.

With the Marvel movies there’s always talk of the Marvel universe and as a viewer, I love seeing the interweaving characters and narratives. You don’t need to watch them all, but ones that do, can pick up more. There’s an extra dimension of enjoyment to be had for those that watch them all.

And this has become my vision for my fiction. The Tombs Legacy is the umbrella universe that contains different series. Tombs is very much a contemporary sci-fi thriller series in the vein of The X-Files, or Torchwood. Tombs Rising picks up 100 years later and is much more sci-fi. Readers can read the Tombs Rising books with no prior knowledge of the Tombs series, but for those that do, they’ll pick up on references and nods to the past that others will miss.

In the new series I’m starting this year, I’m going to venture into horror and the paranormal. This will still take place in the Tombs universe. This feels to me very much like how the different marvel movies all have a different feel. Ant-man was a heist movie, Guardians of the Galaxy is outrageous sci-fi, Captain America is spy, thriller. Yet they all do-exist in the same universe.
Whenever I go through the racks at the newsagents now and my eyes catch a glimpse of a Superman comic, I’m still propelled back to that shop in South Shields.