How (And CBMs) Changed My Life

How (And CBMs) Changed My Life

Life is a funny thing. Read on to find out how contributing to becoming a part of their online community changed mine, and maybe it can change yours too.

I remember when I first came to this site. It was 2005 and I was in 7th grade, playing around in the school computer lab when I should have been typing a paper on the age of the Renaissance. One Google search led to another, and before long I was on this “comicbookmovie” website that claimed a “Namor the Sub-Mariner” movie was right around the corner. We can all have a good chuckle at that now.

At this point, the only two powerhouse franchises were really Spider-Man and X-men, of which two movies of each series had been released. So CBMs weren’t exactly all the rage that they are now. The community was small back then. Even I didn’t make a username until a few years in, but despite that, the atmosphere and shared passion on this website was like nothing I’d seen before. As a middle schooler, I’d kept my superhero obsession mostly under wraps, so naturally it was nice to swap opinions with fellow fanboys while analyzing what made these movies and characters great or not so great. Of course I grew out of that ashamed phase, when I started going to every Halloween party dressed as Robin, evidence by my avatar photo. My point is that CBM drew me even further into genre fiction, far enough where I set out to create my own.

While in a college English class, I was given the assignment, to retell a fairy tale from another point of view in a 20-page paper. Most kids frowned, but I didn’t. At CBM, I think we’re all familiar with the process of a franchise reboot. Some elements of these epic sagas don’t hold up a half-century later, while others are more relevant than ever before. This is how I would view this paper. Not as an assignment, but an opportunity.

I ended up with a prequel to the story of Snow White with her father being the storied “Man in the Mirror.” It was definitely a more masculine take, but with it’s fair share of romance. My professor loved it, and encouraged me to press on and continue the story I had started. So I did. But it wasn’t easy. It takes some serious passion to immerse yourself in writing a full-length novel, a passion bred largely part by this website.

Three months later, I had this 70,000 word manuscript. I was advised to draft it a few more times, then pitch to agents and publishers alike. So I did. After about a hundred rejections, a publishing company finally took the bait and now I’m seeing that story that started out as a school paper get published at last.

It’s not crazy to think the articles we pour over here aren’t just news. I don’t know if you’ve realized, but going through the comment sections, there are some deep, wonderfully critical thoughts on here, thoughts that are now impacting the very entertainment we watch, as evidenced by the stars and filmmakers themselves. Don’t be afraid to use your passion for these characters to create your own stuff! I’ve seen some great additions to the Fan-Fic section over the years and you guys are good! I’ve also watched this site grow from the little engine that could to a real powerhouse, and I’ve grown up alongside it.

Now I’ve just graduated college, about to make the big move to LA. You better believe my goal is to be working on one of these CBMs someday. That said, thank you to everyone who makes this site such a joy, and to those whom make its existence possible.

If you want to check out my novel Tainted Glass, it’s available in paperback and e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!


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