Welcome to Nerdtown, USA. I live here.

My name is Michael Ragosta, I’m 25 years old and I have a serious addiction to comic books. At a very young age my grandfather got me watching the Twilight Zone with him and even younger than that I was watching Superman, Batman and Ninja Turtles cartoons and movies. Things started getting serious when my sister Gina took me to my first comic shop, Richmond Comics in Richmond, Virginia when I was 11 years old. Gina was reading things by Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis then, names I wouldn’t discover until my teens. That day i picked out 3 comics:

20111104-143531.jpg
Star Wars: X-wing Rogue Sqadron #17

20111104-143726.jpg
Superman Adventures #1

20111104-143813.jpg
Superman/Madman Hullabaloo #1

I read all three over and over and over again and remember almost every page. It was Hullabaloo that had the strongest effect on me. Mike Allred’s art leapt out at me from across the store. I remember studying the cover for the first time. There he was. This character dressed all in white I’d never seen before. He stood next to the all familiar Superman, both in their action poses. Madman, also known as Frank Einstein, wearing a bold red lightning bolt across his chest and a small black one on his forehead below hair that was always waving in the wind (even if no other characters hair was moving at all). He had black rings around pupil-less white eyes and clutched his weapon of choice, a yo-yo, ready for anything. I wanted to be him, I wanted to act like him; look like him. He was constantly looking for the meaning in everything, and so was I. He was thoughtful and kind of ridiculous. Always hanging around mutant street beatniks turned superheroes, aliens and robots, these were my kind of people! He has a beautiful girlfriend who doesn’t care that he was recently dead and brought back to life by some mad scientists (get it? Frank Einstein.) and he can’t remember anything about his life other than that he might actually have been a murderer… seriously! It was just so much fun, and I felt like I could relate to every word Mike Allred had written. Of course, I still own the very same copy and even at 11 years old I knew to board and bag them and was immediately anal about the condition. I loved the way they looked, glossy, new and exciting in their plastic which made them look so important. I remember that year for my birthday, my mom tracked down everything Mike Allred had ever written and just knowing that this was it for me. Comics were to be a constant thing in my life for as many more birthdays I’m able to have. Along with the comics, I started collecting toys, statues, art prints and whatever else i could get my hands on. My parents are constantly begging me to go and pack everything up that’s still on display in my old room at their house. sorry! here are some old pictures of my room i found on my phone:

20111104-173712.jpg

20111104-173736.jpg

20111104-173740.jpg

20111104-173748.jpg

20111104-173755.jpg

A few years ago, at Wizard’s Big Apple Con i found this just sitting on a table all alone. The original Mike Allred cover art for Grafik Muzik #4 (one of his first comics)

20111104-144100.jpg
A very nice old man sitting at the table was pretty much completely deaf and the whole transaction happened on paper (me and this man writing notes back and forth to eachother.) Before i walked away from the table the man said, “I got this from him, now i’m giving it to you.” it was the first piece of original art I’ve ever bought, and just like that, Mike Allred changed my life for the second time. My comic book addiction has gotten a bit more expensive, thanks Mike! i’m still buying new comics to read every week, but i’ve pretty much stopped buying toys and statues in order to devote all of this non-existent extra cash i’m pretending to have an abundance of on original comic art. You can see my ORIGINAL COMIC ART GALLERY HERE. I’m a big Vertigo/DC comics and independant fan, I think image is regularly putting out great new titles and miniseries. I really wish Gabriel Rodriguez would sell me every last one of his Locke & Key pages. always picking up new things to read and happy to take reading suggestions! I love geeking out with fellow comic nerds, feel free to write just to talk comics. I read pretty much anything by: Brian K. Vaughan, Mike Allred, Scott Snyder, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Joe Hill, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Eric Powell, Robert Kirkman, Josh Fialkov, along with tons of random titles, you like comics? I like comics! let’s hang out about it! If you know nothing about comics, but think you might be interested in checking something out, let me know! I’ll try to steer you in the right direction.
Other than comics, I’m also in a Science Fiction band called This Good Robot

20111104-154503.jpg
Most of my songs are either about comics I’m reading or writing, or transcending space and time. Check it out: LONG LIVE THIS GOOD ROBOT and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @ThisGoodIdiot
AND DON’T FORGET TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP!

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: