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Michael Grabowski On Spider-Man Day
posted August 11, 2012
I just want to say "Thanks" for Spider-Man Day. Although we're about the same age (I'm 43) for some reason my beginning with the character is well after your end, at #161, the Bicentennial issue of Spidey Super-Stories being my gateway. I think what appealed to me most wasn't the perpetual hero-villain stuff but the interesting civilian life and supporting cast he had, Glory Grant, Mrs. Muggins, Robbie, MJ, JJJ. After later catching up with the Ditko issues through the Pocket Book reprints, I thought that the way that Flash Thompson and Liz Allen ended up being friends with Peter in the modern comics was a great way to show character maturity. To the 7 to 10 yr old me that loved these comics more than any others, it was that life he lived outside of the costume that really appealed to me and seemed actually possible. The web-slinging and wise-cracking was fun, too, but I always liked that best when he was catching petty thieves and muggers. The actual villains arcs, at least by the late 70s, seemed pretty worn out, but I loved following Peter Parker's life and still have fond memories of that aspect (possibly better than the actual comics deserve) up until #200 or so.
I stopped reading it consistently just before the new costume came along, but by that point I had read the early back issues in various forms (and the Marvel Tales run in the 80s that re-ran the Ditko issues remains the coolest decision Jim Shooter ever made) as well as back issues or reprints of much of 90 - 160 so I had had my fill and lost my enthusiasm, but I like knowing that someone like David Brothers could come along ages later and find so much of the same to enjoy about the character in the comics during the years he read it. I will never be interested in reading what I've missed since the mid-80s, but it's great that something in the conception of the character and his environment maintains the possibility of cool comics for someone else to discover and appreciate in the future.