The Punisher War Journal #17 is the first comic book that I can remember buying and reading. I’m pretty sure I read a few comics before it, but The Punisher War Journal #17 was the first comic book that had any kind of impact on me as a kid. I think I was in 4th grade, around 1990 or so when I got it from a neighborhood corner store.
Jim Lee did the art and it was beautiful. I took that comic to school with me every day and read it so many times it just about fell apart. The next month I went back to the corner store and bought the next issue. I was hooked.
It was then that my dad noticed I was reading comics and he showed me his comic book collection. He had several footlockers full of old comics. I’d never seen so many comics in my life. It was amazing to me and I wanted to have boxes full of comics too. My dad was thrilled to share his love of collecting comics. He was so excited to take me to comic shops all around town and in neighboring cities to hunt down back issues of The Punisher.
Compared to guys like Spider-Man and Batman, putting together a full run of Punisher comics was feasible since he had relatively few back issue at the time: a mini-series, about 25 or so issues of his self-titled book, the previous 16 War Journal issues, and a handful of Spider-Man and Daredevil crossovers. By the time I started middle school, my dad and I had hunted down every appearance the Punisher had ever made up until that point.
I completed the collection just in time for Image Comics to explode on the scene and I dropped The Punisher like a bad habit. I guess I was a fair-weather fan but in my defense I was only twelve — and Savage Dragon was awesome! Even though I abandoned The Punisher for Savage Dragon and all those awesome new Image characters, those memories of spending time with my dad will forever be cherished and I can’t see ever parting with my Punisher comics, unless of course my son ever wants them J
I did this Punisher fan art this weekend and It brings me a lot of joy to share it here. I hope you enjoy it.