Why Obsessions Matter
I chose to write about how my obsession with comics books, which seemed the opposite of my personality, has allowed me to grow into who I am, both as a writer and as a person.
I never knew that I would be obsessed with comics. When I was ten, I loved playing with dolls and watching Barbie movies. But one day, when my father suggested I watch an action movie with him, there was just something about the speed of the movie and the way it had my heart thumping that caught my attention and never let go. Watching action movies became a ritual for me and my dad, and seeing Batman: The Dark Knight was the most memorable moment of all. I liked Batman because he was full of convictions, emotions, and even flaws, whereas other superheroes tend to be practically flawless. I also appreciated how Batman’s world paralleled ours, but was much darker.
I wanted to find out more about this world and soon realized a whole universe existed in the form of comic books. I felt a sort of excitement build up in my chest as I surfed the internet for local comic book stores on my bulky laptop. I remember tearing/ripping a messy sheet of paper from my notebook to write down the locations. It was Saturday by the time I worked up my courage to tell my dad to drive me there. I remember feeling butterflies because I didn’t know what to expect once I got there—I mean, I had never been in a comic book store before.
My fears were unfounded as soon as I entered and immediately noticed how quiet and calm the store was. The sun poured in from the windows, making the comics that were tucked away in plastic covers glimmer. I know I must have looked confused because an employee, who would later become a close friend, came up to ask what I was looking for. When I asked to see Batman comics, he calmly brought me over to a section that was entirely dedicated to them. My eyes immediately widened. The colorful images, big words, and perfectly drawn characters made my heart thump with excitement. I wanted to read as much as I possibly could, so from then on, every Friday after school, I went to the comic book store to check out new issues. You could say that I basically grew up in the comic book store. Eventually, the workers and I began to develop a close bond based on our love for comics. I became comfortable in that small community of avid comic book lovers. Now when the employees see me, I get more than just a robotic “Hello, welcome,” but a loud “Hello, Diamond!” accompanied by a warm hug.
My love for comics is fueled by these friendships but also by the colorful worlds and compelling storylines of comic books, which transport me to a whole new world. From eighth grade to my senior year of high school, the comic book store has always been there for me. It served as a sanctuary where I could release everyday stress by escaping into the world of moving images. Without the comic book store, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be as bubbly as I am now since my shyness slips away whenever I talk about comic books. Without comic books, I wouldn’t know how to effectively create intriguing characters who have emotions and flaws, but are heroes at the same time. The comic book store remains a place where I can be the purest form of myself, and because of that, it will always be a part of my life.
Diamond Abreu is a Latina filmmaker and writer from the Lower East Side who is passionate about representing people of color. She is currently studying film and media at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to college, her first experimental short, Bullet Dreams, was featured at the Tribeca Film Institute's "Our City, My Story." Combining her powers of film and writing, she aims not only to encourage diversity, but also to be an inspiration to other women in the field.