13 THINGS I’m Thankful for in Comics

Columnist Christy Blanch pauses before digging in this Thanksgiving.


Hey, it’s another installment of the SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL!

Like every year, creators and comics folk will be here all season with their fave holiday stories and memories. This entry’s a little different: Columnist Christy Blanch gets ready for Thanksgiving … by giving thanks.

For more SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL stories, click here! — Dan

Sean Von Gorman

Sean Von Gorman


With the holidays arriving in a year that I keep trying to love, but that keeps throwing wrenches at me, I try to keep the wise words of Patches O’Houlihan in mind. “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” And while those words are of little comfort, they make me laugh. And that’s so important to do, especially with all the low points that have hit in 2016. So, today, on the advice of my mighty editor Dan, I am going to write about 13 things I am grateful for in comics. I could just list 13 people, Dan being one of them, but there are way more than 13, so I won’t cheat.

Here goes, in no particular order:

Comic Book Shops. I do own one and and co-own another, so I am biased here, but I think comic shops, at least most of them, can rival Disneyland for the happiest places on Earth. Every time I visit a new city, the first places I want to go are the local comic shops. I have made my best friends in comic shops or because of owning a comic shop. My shop is a safe space for people to enjoy in whatever capacity they want to do so. I know all of the Aw Yeah stores — Muncie, Ind.; Skokie, Ill., and Harrison, N.Y. — are the same way. We love our customers and want people to feel loved and welcomed. Comic stores are the coolest of the clubhouses. The thing is, I have trouble feeling at home in many places, but I feel at home when I am in comic shops.

Christy outside her shop.

Christy outside her shop. With Death Wish Coffee.

Conventions. Conventions can be exhausting, especially when there are several for weeks in a row. However, they are absolutely wonderful experiences. Not only do you get to see old friends, but every convention I get to meet new people — fans and professionals. I have made so many wonderful friends at comic-book conventions and through social media, I am able to keep in contact with them. If you haven’t attended a convention, plan to do so next year. There are conventions all over the world now so there are plenty of options. I am always relieved when the last convention of the year is over, but then a few weeks later, I begin to miss them.


Comic Books. I love comic books. They bring me so much joy and I love that all of my various jobs involve comic books in some way. My teaching, my business, my writing, my column — all of it. Comic books enrich my life every day. Nothing more needs to be said here.

Brian K. Vaughan’s Books. Brian K. Vaughan irritates me. I don’t understand how EVERYTHING he writes can be so damn good. Y: The Last Man changed my life when I read it. Saga is, well, just consistently the best book out there — Fiona Staples gets a BIG assist with that, too. I just re-read Doctor Strange: The Oath by him and Marcos Martin and it’s so amazing. Pride of Baghdad, Runaways, Ex-Machina, Paper Girls, We Stand on Guard, The Private Eye — WHAT CAN’T HE DO?? So, while his plethora of talent is irritating (it’s jealous!), I am thankful for him and for all of the joy he has given me throughout the years and for what is waiting in the years to come. You rock, BKV! 


Saga of The Swamp Thing. Still my favorite book of all time. I just sold someone the first volume of this series on Saturday and I was jealous. I wish I could erase all memories of this book from my mind just so I could re-read it as new. I believe this is the greatest love story ever told. I read this book at least once a year and it’s still not enough.


The Batman ’66/The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Crossover. I love Batman ’66. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Man from U.N.C.L.E. This is not a secret. I cannot thank DC, Jeff Parker, David Hahn, Pasquale Qualano and Karl Kesel enough for bringing this book to life. With the passing of Robert Vaughn this year, this book means even more to me. It will always have a special place in my heart. RIP Robert Vaughn. (Feel free to read my column on him, here.)

Mike Allred

Mike Allred

Death Wish Coffee. My friend and amazing comic-book writer Amy Chu sent me Death Wish Coffee for a pick-me-up gift last year. I was having a rough time and she just sent me a care package. Little did I know how much that would change everything. Death Wish Coffee is seriously what keeps me fueled. This is NOT a paid advertisement. I have been lucky enough to meet the Death Wish people and have been on panels with them and have really gotten to know them. They are amazing and Death Wish Coffee is amazing. Sean Von Gorman (who drew my logo up there), Amy and I are constantly talking about and drinking this coffee at home and at conventions. If you love coffee and comics, there is no better match. In fact, I’m drinking it as I write this column!

Mockingbird. The Mockingbird comic brought a lot of attention to something that needed to be addressed. There is a place for everyone in comics. EVERYONE. No one should feel unwelcome in comics. I hate the fact that Chelsea Cain, an extremely talented woman and writer, quit Twitter because of people who read comics. Comics are better than that. Mockingbird was an amazing book with amazing art. It had a huge following in my shop and from what I have read, a huge following in other shops as well. I will miss this book but it started a dialogue that just needs to keep going. And I still hope to get Ms. Cain back on Twitter. Comics needs more people like her.


Comic Art. Comic art is all over my house. I have original pages, commissions, prints, posters – you name it. I love comic book art of all kinds and I cannot ever have enough of it, although my kids and my checkbook may disagree. My latest acquisition was a gift from the one and only Walter Simonson who sent me this amazing sketch of my favorite Amazon (Thank you, Walter! I love you!). I still can’t believe that I own this. Do yourself a favor and get some art from your favorite artists at conventions or online. It brings a type of joy that is unexplainable.


The Doctor Strange Movie. If you have read this column before or even spoken to me, you know that I love Doctor Strange. I never thought I would see him on the big screen and hear people talking about him in general conversations. This has happened. And it happened in a brilliant way. Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job portraying my comic-book boyfriend and the rest of the cast and the crew were fantastic! I still can’t believe it! And then, this happened, so I am including thankfulness for my new toys with this category. Look at my magic that Wulfgar Weapons and Props made for me!!!!


Friends. I have made the best friends through comics. My best friends. I have met more people than I could possibly name here that have become more than I could have possibly imagined. Some fans of my writing (yes, there are those!) have become friends. Creators who I have admired for years have become friends. Celebrities who I never dreamed of even meeting have become friends (still waiting to become best buds with Oscar Issac, though!). When I went through a really tough time earlier this year, my friends came out in droves. In times like that, you discover who your true friends are and I found out that I had more than I thought I had. My friends got me through a time that I never thought I could. And now, because of them, I am better than ever. I can’t ever thank them enough. They know who they are. And I feel so lucky that there are more than I can list here.

Punny Friends. Yes, they get their own special thanks. Erik Burnham and I totally bonded over puns. Robert Deans and I quickly did the same. My store manager Kyle (also my best friend) and I think we are the punniest people we know (and yes, I know I pay him but he thought I was punny even before that!). I love puns and I am so glad that I have met others like me through comics.


This Column. I never thought I would write a column. Dan, editor extraordinaire, approached me to write for him a few years ago and I did the Hot Picks for him. Then we discussed writing this column and I cannot believe how much I enjoy it. It’s hard to put yourself out there on the internet, but you know, it’s worth it. I have heard from so many people about how they enjoy it (or disagree with me, which is OK!) and that makes me happy. Plus, it’s like therapy. I’m a pretty open book — what you see is what you get. I hope you keep enjoying the column as much as I enjoy writing it. And thank you, Dan and 13th Dimension, for giving me the opportunity.

To all of comics out there, have a great holiday. And remember that even when times are hard, we need to be thankful for what we have. My friend Debbe tells me every day to think of what I am thankful for and I have started doing that. It makes a difference. For those of us lucky enough to be in comics, that’s a big thanks. The world of comics is an amazing one and I feel so fortunate to be a small part of it.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL: 2016 Edition | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] — Columnist CHRISTY BLANCH: 13 THINGS I’m Thankful for in Comics. Click here. […]
  2. LAST WEEK’S COMICS TODAY With Christy Blanch | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] week and I already wrote a column about what I am thankful for, so I won’t go into that…

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