If you couldn't tell already, I'm huge into music, especially hip-hop. So it was a treat to be able to interview someone in the world of hip-hop. And someone who is an icon here in the Columbus hip-hop community. J Rawls is a man of many talents, a number of degrees, a teacher of various music-based classes, an author, speaker, and a dope producer. He, like myself, enjoy teaching and educating the future generation from experience. And on top of all that a big comic collector growing up as well.
What got you into comics?
- I remember vividly. I was in a store in Columbus called Gold Circle (ha, I'm dating myself!) and I saw GI Joe #25 and the cover just looked so cool to me. I was a big fan of the cartoon and had no clue about the comic book. I copped that book and soon after I was hooked. I am not sure how I found out about the comic stores, but I found out about Central City Comics in Whitehall and asked my mom to take me. From that point on, I was at the comic book store about every other week. My first mission was collecting GI Joe back issues and then I just branched out into everything else from there.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
- Not sure I have a favorite memory. Maybe the story of how I got into them. I guess I could say that it could be that we created our own book! Hahaha, it was called the Misfits and me and three of my friends did two issues. Wrote, storyboarded, drew, and colored! Wow. My mom just pulled those out a couple of weeks ago!
Favorite story of all time?
- Too many to name. Anything Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow related; Anything Todd McFarlane drew. I was really into those Spider Man stories like around 280-305 or so.
Favorite artist/s? Why?
- Todd. Cuz he is DOPE. hahaha nah, really because I really liked his style of drawing. I was a fan of Frank Miller's Batman too.
What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
- GI Joe, Spider Man
Next big thing for your personal collection? Your grail?
- Ahhh Im done. Vinyl took over. As a youngster with allowance, I could only afford to be addicted to one thing. Vinyl won. I am passing them off to my son. He appreciates them and is really into anime. We packed and cataloged all of my books over the Corona break. I have about 1200 comic books. Well he has about 1200 books...lol
Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
- My rare GI Joe's - really, all of my GI Joe's; Boris the bear, or maybe my Avengers #57 which is in great condition and worth mad money. I paid $4 for it....Come ups like that are what it's all about!
Favorite Comic Shop? Physical/Online?
- Central City Comics in Whitehall - it's the only one I really went to for the most part. I never even got to go to a comic book convention.
Best find or score?
- GI Joe 1 & 2 - at the time I found them, they were super rare. 2 was harder to find than 1. I found them in a comic book store on Lockbourne Road near my neighborhood, which was crazy to me...I didn't know how I would find them and it turns out they were near my house. Crazy!
Advice to new collectors and content creators.
- Have fun and create from the heart. and that's with anything you do.
A huge thank you to J Rawls for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with us. It was a huge honor as a hip-hop fan. Learn more about him here.