Comic relief

Scott Dercks, owner of Oshkosh’s House of Heroes Comics and Games, shares his love for comics, why graphic novels are hot and what fans are reading now!

How did you become a comic book fan?

I started getting comics when I was five, and it just kind of grew from there. Spider-man was my favorite and was pretty much the only character I collected until I was 10, when I decided Wolverine was awesome too. I can't really remember a time when comics weren't around, so I guess I was born a fan.

What are some recent trends? Anything exciting coming up?
The comic book world is always changing and that's what makes running a store so much fun (and challenging). Twenty years ago, graphic novels were a minor part of the overall landscape, but now I don't think a store could exist without them. And even the demographics are so crazy now. You have the old school readers who prefer the monthly periodic books. You have the 20 to 35-year-olds who prefer the collected graphic novels of those same periodic books and then you have the younger readers who can't get enough of the original graphic novels. Raina Telgemeier and Dav Pilsky rule the world of graphic novels but older readers have no clue who those creators are. Kids/Young Reader books are huge sellers, and that won't change anytime soon. The new volume of Amulet just came out last month and kids LOVE that book. Telgemier has a new book coming out next year and that print run will be crazy!

For readers unsure of where to start (there’s so much variety), what do you suggest?
For adults, Image Comics has a couple of new books that I really liked. Infidel is a horror story about an apartment complex that is haunted by ghosts that feed off people's xenophobia. It's super creepy and perfect for this day and age. Magic Order is a murder mystery that involves rival groups of magicians, kind of like Harry Potter and X-men meet the Watchmen. Clan Killers is a small press book that I really like. It's set in mythic Ireland and pits a daughter against her evil father who just happens to be King. I could go on all day!  Lots of great books out there now!

Thanks to Scott and House of Heroes for keeping comic book culture thriving in Oshkosh! Because avid readers can never have too many comics or graphic novels, supplement your reading stack with selections from the library’s collection or with Hoopla, a streaming service that you can use free with a library card.

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