As I start to pack up my studio in preparation for our upcoming house move, I thought it might be fun to do the occasional post on random comics I come across as I pack; comics that have a story attached to them. So let’s start with the one that literally changed my life.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #64

Published by Marvel Comics in March 1982.

“Cloak & Dagger” written by Bill Mantlo, Pencils by Ed Hannigan, and Inks by Al Milgrom (although erroneously credited to Jim Mooney).

Peter Parker The Spectacuar Spider-Man 64

One evening at college the alcohol fueled conversation turned to childhood heroes. I naturally rattled off a string of American super-heroes whose adventures I’d enjoyed over the years (although I had of course “grown up” and stopped reading comics on a regular basis when I was about fourteen – silly me.) Among the list of names I rattled off was a certain wall-crawler. Ah, who knew what that slip of the tongue would lead too?

The next day while out shopping in the nearby town, Gill spotted a bunch of comics on the rack in the local W.H.Smiths newsagents. She picked up this very comic and said the immortal words, “Why don’t you get this for a laugh, look it’s got Spider-Man in it, and it’s only 20p.

Oh boy – I was hooked from the moment I started to read.

This wasn’t the cheap laugh I was expecting, instead I found a powerful story about runaway teenagers kidnapped by the mob and used as guinea-pigs for a new drug; who then turn on their captors as vengeful agents of justice. This wasn’t like any comic I’d read as a kid.

I too had discovered a new drug, one that had four-colors and came on newsprint.

And 31 years later I’m still hooked to what I rediscovered that day – the unparalleled power of sequential art story-telling.