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How long has it been for you, then? When you jumped on until Feb. 2013

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It hasn't been that long for me. I discovered Hellblazer a long time ago when I bought Original Sins but never really got into it until I started reading Mike Carey's run in 2006 or about. I downloaded all the issues up until the current ones I was reading, which was an interesting overlap. I suppose it's why I'm so fond of Carey's run.

 

When were you hopelessly smitten with hellblazing?

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Started with that first appearance in Swamp Thing, very pleased to hear there was an ongoing series in the works, smitten around the time of Family Man. Unsmitten when Azzarello did that racist dog lick thing. Resmitten when Carey took over. Actually went back and picked up missing issues in the bargain boxes at London's comic mart (25p each I reckon). Not quite desmitten by Mina, because of inside information and short run on the book. Final nail in coffin of Milligan's attempt at Romantic Comedy was not the shitty coat thing but Gemma's demonic rape revenge.

 

There has been very little horror, political satire or Constantinian adventure in the last two years.

 

I will buy Constantine #1 but I am not sure if I will buy the missing issues of Hellblazer.

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They call you a Day One-r (though I have no idea how to spell that-rhymes with gunner).

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I re-ignited my passion for comic books as an adult in the early 90s. That's when i was introduced to John I think jenkins had just taken over the title at the time and I had just bought and read original Sins and Dangerous Habits. Wanting to read the series in it's entirity I spent most of my time tracking down all the old issues between the end or OS and the beginning of DH, all the while ignoring Jenkins run until I caught up. Critical Mass, as great as it is, doesn't make much sense if you don't know what came before. Everything was fine even with the ups and downs until that hack Milligan came along.

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I was introduced to Vertigo and "mature comics" when I discovered "Preacher" and not long after I came across Hellblazer. If I remember buying issue four or five of "Haunted" from Warren Ellis's run (although Azzarello was the current writer at the time). I was smack dab in the middle of a the storyline without any real context with the issue I was reading. It didn't matter. I was hooked. It was a whirlwind of gathering and collecting after that.

 

I started buying the title regularly once Mike Carey begun writing and stuck with it up until Peter Milligan took over. So, Ellis hooked me, Carey kept me along for the ride.

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July 2004.

 

I started buying back issues of Jenkins (and lots of them!) and Azzarello (who truly was out of his depth though redeemed with #250) and pints of early Carey through the end of his run, I was hooked.Bought all of Ennis and Ellis; working on Delano's trades. I stuck by the title throughout Denise Mina's stint (more Vankin's fault as editor near the end of it for it starting to skid off the road) and stayed for Andy Diggle's too brief run. I wish they'd let him write the Keanusteen pisstake issue he had his heart set on.

 

Once Milligan took over, something didn't click. The problem stared with Hooked when John tried to resurrected Phoebe; As much as he once loved Emma, he'd never bring himself to do that let alone globetrot to India to reach out to her. Phoebe was never on a Emma, Zed, Marj, Kit, Dani, Angie or even Zatanna's level as far as relationships go. Same can easily be said for the blue-haired Mary Sue that is Epiphany Greaves. I was hoping I'd never endure another Mary Sue after Tarantula/Catalina Flores during Devin Grayson's tenure on Nightwing. Compared to what Milligan did to Angie, Kit, and Gemma in #275, Grayson's constant aping of Daredevil: Born Again and Oracle's condescending attitude towards Dick prior to the mob story arc was child's play!

 

If only they chose China Mieville or Si Spencer to succeed Diggle and not him... *le sigh*

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Some time around 2001-2002, for me, via a friend at University who happened to own a couple of the TPBs. As I recall she had 'Original Sins', 'Dangerous Habits', 'Fear & Loathing' and 'Damnation's Flame', which I think may have been the only ones in print at the time, and I gobbled them up in fairly short order. I was hooked straight away, particularly as I was delving into Alan Moore's back catalogue at the same time as part of my voyage of discovery into the whole comics-for-grownups thing - so I was terribly excited when I discovered that Constantine had begun his life as a supporting character in Swamp Thing. I started slowly collecting back issues, mainly Delano and Ennis (particularly to fill the gap between 'Dangerous Habits' and 'Fear & Loathing' (for some reason I didn't get round to 'Tainted Love' until some time later, and didn't read 'Rake at the Gates of Hell' until it got traded, even later still).

 

I think I'd picked up at least the first Azzarello trade before hopping on board the monthly title shortly into Carey's run. I found the first half-dozen or so issues of his run in the back issue bin of Deadhead Comics in Edinburgh, and decided to pick them up on a whim (the only other Carey I'd read at that point was the first trade of Lucifer, which I didn't think much of at the time), and went back the next time I was in Edinburgh a week or two later and immediately picked up the then-current issue. I'd love to be able to recall precisely which one it was, but for a whole host of reasons which should be obvious to anyone familiar with the stereotypical student lifestyle my memories from that period of my life are somewhat blurred and confused, so I'm not exactly certain of the precise chronology. That was around the time I joined the first iteration of this forum, I believe, some time in early 2004.

 

From then on it was just a simple matter of picking up the trades as and when they were released, and filling in the rest with regular searches through back-issue bins in every comic shop I came across - I forget exactly how long that took me, but I'm pretty certain I'd read all two hundred-and-however-many issues there were at that point well before moving to Norway in 2005. Jenkins initially eluded me, because for some reason I could never find any copies of the issues comprising his first few arcs and had been told that it was worth reading his run in order. Fortunately I was living in London by that point, and our very own Atticus was kind enough to lend me the entire set, which I devoured in its entirety over a single weekend.

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It was during the Garth Ennis run. The issue right before the switch to Vertigo. Issue #62.

I discovered the character by collecting back-issues of Sandman.

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I came aboard during the Azzarello era, but his issues weren't the first I bought & read. I remember finding the first 5 or so issues in the dollar bin at a local comic shop and thinking "what the hell". I bought them and loved them and started searching for more back issues and bought my first "contemporary" issue which was part one of Freezes Over.

 

I have a lot of holes in my collection, this may be the impatice I need to go out and fill them. Also, confession time, I've never read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.

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1997, a friend gave me the Original Sins tpb (the old old edition),and told me that it's similar to Dylan Dog (my fave comic up to that point), only much better. Read it, loved it, so he then gave me Books of Magic tpb, some singles (including parts 1,3,45 and 6 of Dangerous Habits, and I was hooked for life.

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I'm still catching up on Hellblazer. I read the Jamie Delano run maybe 5 years ago and started with Garth Ennis about 3 months ago. Currently on Dennis Mina.

 

Quite a few titles that I've favoured on this re-introduction to comics are coming to an end (The Boys and Sweet Tooth being two others that I've taken a shine to).

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My first issue was in January 1993, #62 End of the Line. I remember it so clearly because it hooked me right away and I consider it a great introduction to JC. It’s still one of my favourite issues.

It’s got a believable real world setting, introduces John’s family, and is a great “Kit” issue.

For the new reader there’s the implication that John is some big cult figure in the occult (the hero worship from the guy who’s a wannabe magician), but at the same time shows that he can bullshit his way to what he wants (the fake curse to put the shits up the guy). For all his skills we see that he knows there are times when magic is just not necessary, there’s a respect for his craft.

Add some great words of wisdom from Kit to Gemma to persuade her to drop the witchcraft (even if it didn’t work eventually). And just in case this new reader was wondering if JC really was capable of all the magic stuff, “there’s just a tiny murder in the night” (which is a line I love).

 

Going forward, if I had any indecision about keeping the title, #63 Forty was another stroke of genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me these two issues had been conceived by Ennis as a “jumping-on” point for new readers.

Here was my introduction to all Ennis’ supporting characters – it wasn’t till I picked up back issues I found out this was their first appearance, I just assumed they were long established because of the way they were written. On top of this great ensemble cast and low key story there was a revelation: here was a comic character who aged properly! Not vague references to getting old or past it, this was a nailing colours to the mast: he’s forty. Chuck in cameos from The Phantom Stranger (with a nice bit of sympathy from John about the Stranger’s loneliness), Swamp Thing and Zatanna, and this was the sort of guest star crossover you didn’t get in normal comics.

 

I had left the title towards the end of Jenkin’s run (I forgot that I lent those to you all those years ago Mark; the George pub in London Bridge, wasn't it?), but it purely a financial thing – I dropped all my comics for a few years even though I really had been enjoying the Jenkins years. I liked the English mythology angle he brought to the title, something I always hoped would be used more (thank you Mike Carey, for giving the title a very British feel again).

 

Stayed away until the last issue of Azzarello’s Hard Time – the thought of John in a prison story, and that Bradstreet cover, got me hooked again - and been back with it ever since, spending a fair time tracking down all the back issues, right back to his first Swamp Thing appearance. I think I have them all now, whether in tpb or floppy format, even if I’ve never actually read The Trenchcoat Brigade or the #1 Annual. Should really get around to those at some point.

 

So long John, it's been ...... emotional. I'll keep an eye on that young upstart Constanteen for you.

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The George sounds right, yeah - just down the road from where I was working back then, I think. I'd be buggered if I had to find the place these days, mind. Good times...

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Hellblazer #109, cover date January 97.

 

hb109.gif

 

Forbidden Planet wouldn't sell my brother a copy of Preacher so I dropped in to pick one up for him, saw this issue sitting next to it and couldn't resist.

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Got a few stray issues from around the end of Delano's run. I haven't read it religiously ever since, but I did follow the Carey run in it's entirety.

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Also, confession time, I've never read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.

 

Well, I certainly don't consider you some sort of semiliterate subhuman who has somehow learned not to make messes on the floor.

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Another Day One-er...!

 

'Member back in the old days, when comics was only on paper, and who wrote them mattered?

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I came in when everyone's favorite movie, Constanteen, was about to come out. I wanted to find out some info on the Balthazar character as I'm a Gavin Rossdale appreciator. I picked up #201 and enjoyed it a lot and continued to pick up the series (dropped it at some point near Mina's run) and been on and off with the series since then, but have been picking up a lot of the trades and reading some issues time to time from a disk Mark sent me years back.

 

I believe I may be one of the only jumper ons from that time left, the ones who came in for the Constanteen film.

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Also, confession time, I've never read Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.

 

Cousin Dave....really, now....

 

I was still very much into the spandex when the run first came out, and i was a little young for a "mature readers" book. Plus i think there were like 2 books out at that time Swamp Thing & Saga of.. and i couldn't figure out if one was a reprint and one was first run or if they were just 2 titles with the same character like Batman and Detective. And, i think they cost like $1.25 or something, who would ever pay that much for comic! even with nicer paper. I did go back and pick up some back issues to stories that were referenced in Starman when Jack went into space.

 

Well, I certainly don't consider you some sort of semiliterate subhuman who has somehow learned not to make messes on the floor.

 

I'm constantly amazed by it too! :angry:

 

But yes, this will be my next trade purchase.

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Nope. The only Swamp Thing i ever actively collected was Vol. 3 which was the last Vertigo one. I liked that though. I should probably be reading the new one, as I am reading Animal Man.

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