It's All About The Comics

By | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 Leave a Comment
When I was a teenage, I had three hobbies/interests that I was willing to spend my (limited) money on: comic books, role-playing games, and G.I.Joe action figures. I started on the Joe figures when they came out in 1982, probably with money that I got for my tenth birthday. I'm pretty certain that my first figure was Rock N Roll, since he clearly was the coolest of the bunch. (Snake Eyes looked too much like Cobra. He must've been a double-agent, I figured.) Well, that and he had the biggest gun. I know my mother was dubious initially because she thought that it was promoting guns/violence/war, but she relented after a little while. And so I went through and bought just about every Joe figure until about 1987, when Hasbro started coming out with these neon-colored characters that just looked silly. I kept my collection intact, but in storage, until sometime around 1997 when I sold the whole lot on eBay to make a few extra bucks.

My interest in RPGs came about as a friend of mine became interested in AD&D. I bought the DM and Player Guides, and my buddy helped walk me through a couple of small adventures. So I kept reading things, picking up the Monster Manual and Dragon Magazine and Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures and... And I was reading comics, too, so I picked up the Marvel Super Heroes RPG and the Judge Dredd RPG and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG and Steve Jackson's Toons RPG... And I read the rules and created characters and scenarios and rolled dice, and rarely actually played because all of my friends lived on the other side of town. Everything got stored away when I went to college, and I sold most of it on eBay in the late-1990s, again looking to make a few extra bucks.

So, here I am now in 2007. I don't regret getting rid of any of that material -- what I actually regret is that I bought it at all in the first place. If I'd have taken all the money I gave to Hasbro and TSR and spent it on comic books, my collection would easily be double what it is now. (Okay, maybe double what it was a five or six years ago.) I'd have read a lot more and, more significantly, would have absorbed a lot more since all the free time that I did spend on GIJoe and D&D could have been put towards comics.

I got to thinking about this last night because of Second Life. Once I got the hang of the interface and the protocols and such, I thought it'd be really cool to make some robots to sell there. A lot of the big names are already in there, but how cool would it be to see a Gort or a Tik-Tok? You know? Some of the smaller name guys who still have a following.

The problem with that, I soon realized, was that I don't have the vast amounts of free time I had when I was a kid. So I don't know that I'd have the time to really learn/get into the more complex programming to get something like that working. Well, maybe I could just limit things to flying robots that wouldn't need any programming to walk? Maybe V.I.N.C.E.N.T. or H.E.R.B.I.E.?

Ooo! And wouldn't it be cool to sell them off a great pirate ship, rather than a tradtional storefront? And I found one for sale for only L$2000 (about ten bucks American). I could make that up with the sale of just one robot!

Ah, but wait. The ship is really huge, and won't really fit in most places. Well, I suppose I could do a simpler building -- it'd be cheaper anyway.

Say, here's some land coming available in a relatively new, but well-trafficked area. Cool! I could drop a castle-style building on that, no problem!

Hmmm... not sure if I can afford the time to learn the scripting AND create all the robots I'd need to by the time this place will open. Well, what if I just made a museum type of deal with a gift shop? Smaller items that wouldn't even necessarily need to be scripted. I'll just reserve that space and start work on things.

Boy, this castle deal really isn't turning out as well as I'd like. Even starting with an existing structure, I can't really make this look as slick as I'd like. I remember that this is why I never went into architecture.

Wait, now -- it's HOW MUCH for rent? That's quadruple what I was expecting, which was already double what The Wife is paying!

That was last night. I realized that I was pretty far away from what I originally wanted to do, and would have to take money that I normally spend on comics to put towards this venture. And so I recalled the lesson I learned from GIJoe and D&D. It's not even going to be something that will last for a long time, and I'll end up regretting having diverted money away from my comics.

It's all about the comics. Even if I forget that from time to time.
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