Welcome to the first edition of “Chromium Corner!” Because much of my early comic book collecting was due to the attraction of cover gimmicks & flashy artwork, I decided to name my column after Valiant Comics’ famous metallic-cover technology! I am a relative newcomer to the world of Valiant when compared to my podcasting compadres, actively collecting/reading since 2009; my view on topics discussed here is guaranteed to be an alternative of what you might expect from the Valiant fan-elite!
For my first article, I wanted to briefly discuss how I started collecting Valiant Comics, and how the process has led me to a more spiritually fulfilling life (I kid you not!) In the summer of 2009, I had the chance to travel from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to the “Comic Mecca” called San Diego Comic-Con in equally sunny, yet not-as-hot California! The experience of SDCC understandably rekindled a desire to read comics again, and when I got back into town, I searched my local Craigslist for any bulk deals to get me reading! I came across a listing of a full long-box of Valiant Comics for $40 and thought it might be cool to purchase, due to only having a few Valiant comics as a child (chromium X-O #0 and Ninjak #1, to be exact). After buying the long box, I got back home and found that the long box had issues from every early Valiant title represented; early issues in trade-paperbacks also within the box. After reading a handful of issues, I wanted to learn more about Valiant’s history and after conducting some searches online, I came across two websites that changed my life: OnlyTheValiant.com and ValiantFans.com!
I took some time in the following weeks listening to Only The Valiant podcasts, enjoying the knowledge and passion that the hosts brought to their Valiant-collecting hobby, and applying their advice to look for issues that I was missing in my collection. I was able to locate some comics at local used book stores in town, and bought a couple on eBay, but ValiantFans.com proved to offer SO much positive energy to my Valiant-collecting journey! The first time that I introduced myself to the swath of fans on the website’s forum, I was greeted with many welcomes and offers of assistance to build my collection. The first email I ever received was from a gentleman who goes by the name of “Knightt” and I will never forget it! After looking at my initial list of comics that I was looking for, he contacted me and offered to send me a bundle of books for FREE! While I graciously accepted, I was blown away by an act of kindness such as this. When I inquired on the reason for his offer, he called it “Comic Karma;” give books away to those who need them, knowing that free books will come back to you when you need them. He claimed this was a common practice of many on the forum, and I loved it! I loved it not only because the act itself was kind and un-common in this day and age, but because it was around this same time that I had taken my first steps into strengthening my self-confidence and spirituality; one of those spiritual principles being that “what you give out, you shall receive.” To make a long-story short, I completed my Valiant collection in about a year and a half primarily through ValiantFans.com; the majority of the books coming to me for free, complete with many uplifting forum-discussions from the fans there, helping me through some very difficult times.
To briefly mention what difficult times that consisted of, and how my fellow fans supported me, I received original artwork and well-wishes in the mail in regards to my wife and I losing a pregnancy, dealing with the death of family members, and even the occasional bad-day. AND, I have utilized my time as a member there to accentuate the positive within them; I’ve sent out free comics to those who needed them…I’ve called a couple of them when they’ve needed moral support at times as well. All of these experiences seemed to happen as I reached moments of spiritual enlightenment; the final example being when I was offered a position as co-host of the very podcast that started me down this path!!!
Last year, Only The Valiant parted ways with a member of their team and I recall feeling saddened by his departure. I prayed for his well-being in his future endeavors, but I promised to remain a supporter of the podcast and continued to listen. In my personal life, it was also around this time that I started to look into voice-acting and I remember imagining what it would be like to also be part of a radio show and/or podcast? Within weeks, I received an email from one of the podcast hosts Sean, asking if I would be interested in becoming a host? I had the blessing of appearing on the show as a guest once before, and I graciously accepted the offer!
In conclusion, my experience in collecting Valiant Comics has not only resulted in the chance to read some amazing stories in sequential art, but in spiritual growth, fulfilling a dream, building self-esteem, and having many wonderful podcasts with Sean, Chiclo and Elveen discussing one of our great passions! If you have any stories you wish to share about your own history with Valiant Comics, please do not hesitate to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!