Reboot of DC Comic sparks interest in comics, creation of club

Caroline Meizenbach, Staff Writer

Superman: The superhero from planet Krypton who grew up as country boy Clark Kent. He flies through the skies in his characteristic blue suit and red cape.  His superpowers include strength, speed, flight and x-ray and heat vision.
Batman: The superhero scarred for life by the murder of his parents. He dedicated his life to stopping crime in Gotham City. He is known for his batmobile, batarangs and Utility Belt.
Aquaman: The superhero born part human, part Atlantian. He became king of Atlantis. His superpowers consist of swimming at high speeds, breathing underwater and telepathic communication with sea life.
The Comic Book Club began in September of 2011 when seniors Danny Theisen and Tim Smith learned DC Comics was rebooting of all the classic comic books.
“They were restarting the comics from number one,” Theisen said. “We thought it might be a good time. Before the club, I was never really into comic books, but now it’s a blast.”
Theisen and Smith went to physics teacher John Holloway when looking for a sponsor. Holloway, whose room is covered in comic book posters, has been reading comic books since he was six years old.
“It was a way to read more comics for the same amount of money,” he said. “I’m a science fiction, comic book nerd. It was a pretty natural fit.”
The club began as just a few students splitting their share of comics into a list and trading amongst themselves. Theisen said at meetings, the members bring all the comics they have read since the previous meeting and lay them out over the tables. They talk about what is coming up in future comics and what is new in the “comic book universe.”
Holloway said the meetings consist of discussions and trading.
“Different members buy different comics,” he said. “We talk about what we liked, what we plan to keep getting. If someone doesn’t like the comics they are getting, they can trade with someone else.”
He said his favorite part of comics is that the artist can put anything on a page.
“It’s a medium that doesn’t limit imagination,” Holloway said. “With a comic you can make anything happen.”
New issues come out once a month. Members of the club go to Elite Comics, a comic book store at Quivira Road and 119th Street, where they can pre-order every issue of a comic that will debut. The students can take ones they have already read and put them in a cabinet in Holloway’s room.
“Several students buy comics,” Holloway said. “Some just read and don’t financially contribute.”
Despite a low number of participants, Holloway said when he was in high school, he had a group a friends who read comics and this club is similar to that.
“It’s like I’m a member of the club,” he said. “I’m just another guy reading comics. If I have an issue I really enjoy I’m going to talk about. You get to interact in a community. I’m just the guy with the room where we store stuff.”
Holloway said the comics they read are mostly superhero comics.
“There are different flavors of superheroes,” he said. “I go to the library to get different comics. There is a horror genre, murder, romance, sci-fi, Western –– all sorts of things.”
Holloway said even if a student has never been into comics before, the club can still be entertaining.
“It’s interesting to see people who are not into comics before be into them and see what they like,” he said. “When you’ve read comics a lot, nothing is really new. It’s all the same things.”
Theisen said his favorite part of the club is sharing his hobby with other people.
“Some people are like, ‘Really? You read comics?’” he said. “They think it’s a dead art. People don’t know many movies we have are from comic books. We get to know what is going to be movies first. You can tell if something is really good it will be made into a movie.”
Theisen said many movies nowadays are from comic books such as Men in Black and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He said usually the movie industry is not as good as the comics.
When Captain America came into theaters, he was just getting interested in comics.
“People said I looked like the main character in the movie,” Theisen said. “So, I bought the Captain America jacket.”
In March, many members of the Comic Book Club attended Planet Comicon, a local comic book convention, where comic book fans can meet artists, writers and sci-fi celebrities.
“I enjoyed meeting writers and artists,” Holloway said. “You try to get them to tell you things that will happen in the future. We got a piece drawn by them.”
Theisen wore his jacket to Planet Comicon and people came up to him to take pictures.
“I wore my Captain America hoodie and people came up to me to take pictures,” he said. “Tons of people dress up, and it makes it really fun.”
Theisen said at convention he got to meet comic book artists.
“Convention was a blast,” Theisen said. “They sell rare comics, all kinds of artists were there. You get to talk to artists after reading their comic books. It’s like going to see a Brad Pitt movie, then meeting Brad Pitt. It’s comic book heaven.”