Adam Weitzenkorn, 28, owner of New Visions Studio and Gallery in Scranton, has enjoyed collecting and reading comic books for as long as he can remember.
He said when he was in middle school he often practiced drawing by copying the covers from his collection.
I would enjoy the comics so much, he said, I would want to recreate them.
He added that he still finds inspiration in comic books for his various artistic outlets, such as painting and even designing advertisement flyers for music shows at his gallery.
New Visions offers a small selection of comic books and collectibles for sale, and Weitzenkorn also continues to keep his private collection, which he estimated now contains well over 1,000 books.
He said one of the aspects he enjoys most about comic books is the characters, and his favorites are the ones he can relate to most. He pointed out that when a character, whether he or she is a hero or villain, is more human than super, or can at least relate to humans in some way, it makes the story more real, more believable.
Sometimes, however, what he enjoys most about a book is simply the pictures and the artwork.
What makes a comic book good, he said, is a blend of the art and the story.
He said comic books make a great hobby for someone who hates to read but wants to read at the same time, as the pictures are really what draws the reader—or viewer—into the story, and keep him or her wanting more.
His advice to new comic fans looking to build their collections is to start off buying as many of the older and more popular books they can find at flea markets, comic shops and conventions.
If you're going to start, buy a bunch of inexpensive ones, he said, adding that everyone needs to figure out for themselves what they like and dislike and who their favorite characters are.
And part of the fun, he said, is the thrill of the chase—finding that $200 book at a yard sale for $2, or discovering a new favorite character for the first time.
Comic: Evil Ernie by Chaos Comics; he also reads a lot from Marvel
Superhero: Any of the regular ones without superpowers, because it helps make them more real so the reader can relate to them.
Villain: Magneto from X-Men
Comic book cover of all time: Death of Superman