Shelf Life: Evan Tatro

25-year-old Evan Tatro believes in a quote said by comic book legend Stan Lee…

For Evan, his first comic books came courtesy of his family’s trips to the grocery store.

“My mom would sometimes go to the grocery store and come back with one or two issues.

“I remember they tended not to have complete stories which sucked, but there was one time where I got nine Wolverine issues in a row.”

Since then, Evan has collected issue after issue, trade after trade, expanding his comic book collection to the point that most it is currently in storage.

What resides on his shelf now are mostly trades.

For those not familiar, single issues of comics contain one story that is part of an overall story arc, whereas trades either house a larger part of a story arc (four or five single issues) or the story arc in its entirety.

“A lot of trades end with ‘To be continued…”

As for trades, Evan has collected several of the Spider-Man variety over the years.

“The first comic I got of the Ultimate Spider-Man collection was the free hand-out at the Toby McGuire Spider-Man movie.

“Then I got a free hand-out at the Calgary Comic Expo, and from there I started collecting them.

As for the timeline of Spider-Man:

“First there was Ultimate Spider-Man which featured Peter [Parker] and his adventures from age 13.

Evan shows off three of his Spider-Man trades while also discussing the history behind the web slinger.

“Then, after [spoiler] happens to Peter, the comics introduced Miles Morales, which had the title Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.

“Then it turned into Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, and now it’s just Spider-Man.

“I like Spider-Man because you get to see the character grow, unlike most comic book characters who are solidified in the ages they are introduced in.”

Another series that Evan has fond memories of also came to from his mom’s grocery store trips.

These comics are Archie.

Evan shows off his trade copy of Afterlife with Archie, which saw the town of Riverdale trying to survive after Sabrina the Teenage Witch turns Jughead’s dog, Hotdog, into a zombie.

“I feel that for someone who wants a barebones introduction to comic books, Archie is always a good place to start.

“I read a lot of Archie as a kid.

“The only thing that has every bugged me about that series was the copout of who he stuck with [Betty or Veronica].

“But Archie was always that type of flimsy story, he always existed in that fixed point in time, and because of that he never changed.”

Evan also believes that if someone is looking to get into comics, there interests are generally represented in one comic or another.

“If someone is interested in the recent Star Wars movies for example, they have comic for that.”

In the end, Evan believes there is a grey area when it comes to the shelf life of comics.

“Comics are interesting because they can have long convoluted backstories and still be able to start fresh with the passing of the torch from one hero to the next.

“Miles Morales’ Spider-Man was a character that was updated for the times.

“I guess that’s a way that comics can avoid a shelf life.

“It kind of makes them timeless.”

Just a small selection of the variety of trades Evan has in his collection.

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