George Mallari-Lee

I first found comics through the newspaper, reading the daily strips with my father. As my attention span grew this moved on to Dick Tracy collections he passed down and my own Calvin and Hobbes books. From there an 1980s childhood ventured into the toy-centric Transformers and G.I. Joe comics, surprisingly nuanced and multi-layered for an eight-year-old, before eventually finding superheroes.

I remember the first superhero comic I saw: it was a Superman comic with a dynamic cover of Cyborg Superman killing the Eradicator. He delivered the deed using lazers beams shot from a gun morphing out of his half-robot arm, in front of a mushroom-cloud backdrop. Inside featured Coast City being annihilated and the full duel to the death between two false-Supermen, one of whom shot lazers out of his robot-gun-hand while the other… shot lazers… out of his regular-gloved-hand. And they were both supposed to be Superman! I had to have it, sparking a lifelong love of comics.

Since then my tastes have become more diversified, still loving superheroes, but really enjoying all the possibilities comics have to offer (and less centered on lazer-homicide). My favourite books have pulpy inspirations, incorporating crime, sci-fi or adventure, as well as atypical superhero books and historical pieces. I still enjoy reading mainstream Marvel and DC books, really appreciating when they manage to pull me in or break with conventions. Anthologies are also a guilty pleasure, since they’re a great way to be surprised and one of my favourite things about comics is discovering a new artist whose style or stories are something to enjoy.