This interview series takes us to Chicago, my hometown, and an interview with an old radio friend. James VanOsdol is a Chicago staple when it comes to radio. He was one of the DJ's I listened to on Chicago's Alternative station Q101 in the 90's. James has been a host on several stations/shows, is a writer, author and content creator. He now runs the World's Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car - Car Con Carne. And also hosts Demo 312 - a show focused on the local talent in the Chicago music scene on 101.1 WKQX. On top of all the media work he's done, he's one of the most genuine and nicest people I've met when I worked in rado. And he's a huge comic book fan and collector!
- That's hard to answer; I just remember always being interested in them. I remember the days of "spinner racks" when I was very young. Whenever I'd go to the store with my parents, I'd beg them to buy me a handful. We're talking waaaaay back. The first comic I remember owning is Defenders #4.
- I used to go to the newsstand every Thursday with my grandmother to buy new comics when they came out. It was my favorite day of the week... I couldn't wait to browse the new releases.
Favorite story of all time?
- Justice League #1 (1987). That was the book that brought me back to reading comics after I thought I was "too cool" to read them in high school. I saw the cover in a spinner rack at 7-11 and bought it without a second thought. The story and characters used were both fantastic, but I was blown away by Kevin Maguire's artwork. As a kid, my absolute favorite comic was the Secret Society of Super-Villains Special from 1977, where the SSOSV took on the JLA (and Captain Comet). Angle Man had a sweet moustache.
Favorite artist/s? Why?
- Neal Adams. When I grew up with comics, his work was the gold standard. All those O'Neil/Adams Batman books will always be tops in my book. Alex Ross. His talent is supernatural. Check out his podcast with the man himself. Steve Ditko. Yes, I love Kirby, too, but when I first discovered (via reprints and back issues) Ditko's work on Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, I was hooked.
- Spider-Man will always be my favorite. He's fallible. He has "real world" problems and ugly super powers. I also love Daredevil, and I probably have more DD comics than any other title. The duality of fighting crime legally by day/fighting crime illegally by night was one of Stan Lee's best concepts.
- I'm working on fleshing out my silver age collection. No specifics or "holy grails."
- I have fairly complete runs of Neal Adams' work on BATB, Batman and Detective, which I dig back into every year or so.
- Challengers Comics in Chicago. Hands down.
- Years ago, I got a copy of Daredevil #1 on ebay for $30. The condition was deplorable, but all the pages were still there and the cover was mostly intact (though barely hanging on to a staple). It was a cheap way to get a "library copy" of something I'd otherwise never be able to afford.
- Buy what you love, and what you want to read. It's never been easier to support independent content creators. Share their stuff. Talk about their projects. Support them on Kickstarter and Patreon.
A huge thank you to James for taking the time to do the interview! Please check him out and show your support for a fellow comic collector.