Name: Patrick Gadrow (E-Mail)
Status: Happily married
Current Position: Staff Reviewer
Year of Birth: 1979
City: East Aurora, New York, United States
Current Titles: Marvel Zombies 2, Silver Surfer: Requiem, Spider-Man (Vol. 1), Spider-Man Family, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Spider-Man: With Great Power, Spider-Woman Origin, Toxin, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Ultimate Fallout, Ultimate Spider-Man
Marvel Sketchbooks & Samplers: Earth X: Sketchbook
Silver Surfer: Requiem: #2
Silver Surfer (Vol. 3): #41
Spider-Man Family (Vol. 2): #1 [Pt 2]
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (Vol. 2): #1
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1): #155
Untold Tales of Spider-Man: #25
The very first comic I bought was back in the magical spring of my twelfth year of life. I was in the 6th grade and I was friends with a kid named Aaron who had a small collection of comics, most of which were Spider-Man. We would spend hour upon hour reading them and that was it, I was hooked. The first one I bought for myself was Spider-Man Volume 1 #8, the first issue of Todd McFarlane's Perceptions storyline, guest starring Wolverine. I couldn't believe that these comics were so mature, mature for my 12 year old intellect that is. I then quickly got the first 7 issues of that series and the rest is history. I have pretty much been collecting since then.
I have collected so many different titles over the years its hard to keep track of them all. Of course I started with Spider-Man, but I went through my X-Men phase that lasted a while but the monthly books just got too out of hand with new series constantly propping up that weren't very good. I had a Batman phase at one time, but I couldn't take the poor writers that DC would keep hiring for the title. I also collected Silver Surfer and all of the Sleepwalker books (only about 34 issues).
Then I started branching out with my tastes, being introduced to the Sandman, one of the best comics ever written in my opinion. I collected the Maxx, even though I didn't understand most of it at times and still don't for that matter. Same goes with Cerebus, it being difficult to understand. I starting buying the issues and I did get a large number of back issues, but since it was being reprinted in phonebook format I stopped getting the individual issues and just bought the large reprint books. I also collected the Books of Magic series and I am the proud owner of the entire series run including mini-series and annuals.
Right now, besides Spider-Man, I collect the new Daredevil series and Strangers in Paradise (I actually started collecting this titled back when issue one came out for the first volume).
Spider-Man has always been to me the most relate-able character for comic book readers. Just look at some of the big names; Batman, a millionaire playboy. Yeah, not me. Superman, an alien living amongst us with super hero powers. Nope. Captain America, Poster boy for national pride. Definitely not me.
Spider-Man, a down-luck adolescent struggling with his newfound responsibilities with the new powers he has been given. Most people reading Spider-Man are kids growing from children to young-adults and they're struggling with sort of the same thing. They are growing up, becoming smarter and more mature, and facing new challenges. Spider-Man was the average, nerdy kid who never backed down from anything and always tried to do what was right, not just what was easy. I can see almost every half-way intelligent teenager relating to this character. Since I grew up reading Spider-Man I still feel like I have that relationship with him.
I loved just about everything J.M. DeMatteis ever wrote for Spider-Man. He always seemed to try to go deeper into Spider-Man's character (the underlying themes and motivations) instead of just telling a flat storyline. Mark Bagley on pencils, especially his run on Amazing Spider-Man was one of my favorites. The Ultimate Spider-Man Series also is a special series for me. Around the time Ultimate Spider-Man #1 came out I was at my last rope reading Spider-Man comics. I was getting fed up with the poor writing and the directions they were trying to take with the character. By this time I was focusing on more Independent comics but one fateful day at the comic shop, all the other books I collected didn't have a new issue out that week so I decided to browse the selves when I came across Ultimate Spider-Man #1. At the time I thought, oh great, another spin-off series or a new attempt to leave behind an old series not doing so well, but for some reason I found myself at the counter with the issue in my hand. Later that afternoon I had my love for Spider-Man back. For bringing me back into the Spider-Man fold, the Ultimate title will always hold a special place with me.
(Last updated on the March 9th 2006.)