Panelists

Braeden grew up with a toybox filled with superhero action figures and a pile of comics he inherited from his older brother. As a child, he tried (and, due to a lack of any artistic ability, failed) to make his own underground comix, but as he grew, he left the realm of superheroes behind - however, he remained a fan of graphic novels, keeping his love of graphic storytelling alive.

Meanwhile, the golden age of superhero movies had begun, and he devoured every one of them, the good along with the bad, and remembered how much he'd loved those years playing with action figures.

After years of hearing about Neil Gaiman's Sandman series from friends and colleagues, he finally took the dip and started reading. This, coupled with the release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 finally brought Braeden back into the fold. Not only is he a follower of superhero books, but he also loves books that focus on storytelling, character development, and social issues.

He has become an evangelist of graphic storytelling, working within academia to bring comic book scholarship to the level of that of other literature. He loves talking comics (with an emphasis on female characters, creators, writers, and artists, as he feels they're sorely underrepresented) and has a healthy pull list he's always willing to share with others.



Darin had a usual preschool attire that consisted of pajamas themed by the incredible characters Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man (Velcro capes included), and it was quite apparent for those that knew him in his early years that he loved superheroes. Being a child in the late 80's and early 90's, this love only grew. Like all children then, he was blessed to have at his access every Saturday morning the incredible TV shows X-Men, Spider-Man, and most importantly and profoundly Batman: The Animated Series. His weekend ritual of being glued to the TV screen only increased his love for superheroes even more.

Unfortunately, time goes on, and young and happy children turn into awkward and cranky teenagers. His superhero pajamas stopped fitting, the epic-ness of Saturday morning cartoons slowly faded away, and his passion for the heroes in capes and tights faded with it.

Fortunately, the turn of the millennium didn't destroy life as we knew it, but instead lead to amazing movies such as Spider-Man, X-Men: United, and Batman Begins. Also video game gems such as Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (yes, he actually liked it) rekindled his old flame and recharged his childhood love. In fact, these elements sparked it so much that Darin decided over a year ago to bravely go and explore where he had never explored before: the world of comic books. It's safe to say he never looked back.

So here we are at the present. Darin doesn't only read heroes in capes and tights now, but explores comics as a whole. He loves comic books, discusses comic books, continues to learn about comic books, and does his part to spread the good word about comic books. You can usually find Darin sitting on his couch, relaxing from his studies with comic book in hand, tuning-in to his young Superman pajama-clad childhood heart: the young child who dreamed he was a superhero himself, leading the charge for truth and justice as he fights the good fight, eliminating evil everywhere while giving hope to the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment