Walking among us are spandexed, caped superheroes masquerading in street clothes. There is one inside every comic book and graphic novel lover. A small gathering of these super citizens meets in a lair located in Miller Hall. They are the WWU Comic Book Club. The Comic Book Club meets 5 p.m. every Thursday in Miller Hall 105 and is open to anyone who wants to celebrate the world of comics.
After only a year of reading comic books and graphic novels, vice president Scotty Felch decided to jump into the world of comics headfirst by becoming an officer of the club.
“My roommate asked me, ‘Scott, you’re new to comics, why would you want to be an officer in a comic book club?’ Well, I think it’s important to have the voice of the newcomer represented,” Felch said.
The club meetings typically begin with each member bringing the group something they have been reading. The discussion then turns to a specific weekly topic. President Quinton Maldonado said in the past the club has talked about independent and underground comics, the depiction of minorities and sexuality and the history of comics throughout the ages. Felch and Maldonado are passionate about making the world of comics and graphic novels accessible for any mortal who has ever been curious. Learning about comics can be intimidating, they said.
“Whenever new people show up, we try to gauge how much they’ve read,” Maldonado said. “If they haven’t read any, we will try and merge the conversation in that direction to give them a good introduction to comics, because a lot of people don’t know where to start.”
For those new to comics, Felch and Maldonado recommend reading the stories that sparked some of everyone’s favorite movies. When he was younger, Maldonado read “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta” and “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.” As he got older, he began to further explore the alternate world represented in comic books.
“I started reading comics about two years ago and picked up comics after DC [Comics] rebooted its entire line. I just picked up a bunch of random number one comics from DC and started with that and just left from there,” Maldonado said. “But I never got into it that much until I played the ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ game because I was super big into video games and that one inspired me.”
Maldonado suggested that though the comic section in Wilson Library is rather small, it can be a good place to start for someone looking for authors to follow. Other good places to start include the comic book and graphic novels sections of the Bellingham Public and Alternative libraries.
Felch always wants the club to be open to people with all levels of comic book knowledge.
“I don’t think I would have gotten into comics if it weren’t for somebody who could push me in the right direction. I would like to pay that forward to people,” Felch said. “I don’t want our meetings to ever be a bunch of old comic book elitist nerds arguing with each other, and no room for the newcomer to get their foot in the door.”