William Selby is a comic book fan with an amazing talent for making things. If you look at the pictures attached that is blatantly clear. I interviewed him as part of the ‘Layman’s Introduction to Comic Books’ series.
What got you into comic books?
My gran used to take me to an old market every Sunday and there was a stall that sold comics. She would buy me one every week to read in the house. I would spend hours rereading the same magazine and wishing I was like the heroes inside.
Do you consider yourself an eccentric fan?
That depends on what you mean by eccentric. I wouldn’t personally but a lot of people would say spending weeks cutting and gluing foam together to make your self look like Iron Man is pretty eccentric.
What makes you commit to making things like your Iron Man suit?
I like to make people smile Theirs nothing like the look on someones face when they see a beloved character come to life. Plus who wouldn’t love the chance to be Iron man!
How long did making that take you?
Iv made a few iron man suits now. I’ve been making this one slowly as a personal project so its taken about 3 months. I can get a whole one done in under a month if needs be – I’ve done it in the past
Do you think you have to be a certain type of person to get into comic books?
I wouldn’t think so. They are a release from the real world and we all need that from time to time. A comic is just another way of doing it.
Do you think there’s a snobbery facing people who want to get into comic books?
Not so much snobbery as misunderstanding. People think its geeky or weird and don’t want to be seen to do it. They used to feel that way about video games it was the nerdy thing to do. Now look at it the same people who would have called video games geeky are now buying every copy of Call of duty or GTA that comes out. With the movies popularity on the rise I think they will go the same was as video games and one day every one will be clambering for the latest iron man or hulk because they have to know what happens next.
Would the same type of person be able to equally get into sport?
I have plenty of sporty friends who like comics there’s no such thing as one group who loves them and one who doesn’t. Not liking comics doesn’t mean your good at sports and vice versa. We all have our vices in life for some of us its comics for some its sports for some its both.
Do you think people who get into comic books are victims of a sort of ‘social avoidance?’
God no have you seen the comic community you’d be hard pressed to find a louder more social bunch. If you like the comic they like comics are the best way to be social. Spend 5 minutes at a convention and look around. You’ll soon see the place bustling with people making new friends and having pictures with people dressed as the character they love. Some of the best friends I have are because we are into the same comic stuff.
Do you think it’s a bit hypocritical that traditionally hardcore sports fans look down on comic book fans for a similar obsession/interest?
I think it happens both ways. I’ve seen comic fans shun people and tell them to “go back to your silly football game” having a Love of something doesn’t make you sad or weird it just makes you passionate. No group of any fandom should ever look down on another weather it be sports, comic, anime or even just crossword fans.
Do you think the release of all these superhero films helps take the stigma of liking comic books down?
Absolutely every one knows who iron man is now and people aren’t afraid to speak up and compare the films to the comics. As I said before its going to go the way of video games. Although I pray to god they don’t find a way to bring in micro transactions
What’s your favourite aspect of being a comic book fan?
The friends you can make who share a love of your favorite comic.
Are you going to many comic cons this year?
At the minute just MCM in London in May. Life and work doesn’t give me much time of. If something else pops up near by I’ll take the heart breaker out for another spin though.
Do you think that comic book fans want to have their niche?
Some do some don’t and that’s fine. When people want a niche to fill they will find it and when they want to be more open they will do that to. Neither group though should ever look down on the other.
Do you think they willingly look for stuff nobody’s heard of?
Nah I just go with what takes my fancy if I see something on the shelf that looks good I’ll grab it. Ill never go out of my way to track down something no one knows of. I also wont avoid something just because its popular. Imagine missing out on Marvel zombies or world war Hulk because of something like that. Terrifying thought that.
Thanks for reading, and if you liked it, dont be afraid to like, share or comment. You can find more articles like this as part of my ‘Layman’s Introduction to Comic Books’ HERE.