Sophomore Dylan Atnip diligently strums a guitar in the lobby of a residence hall. He received the instrument as a gift for Christmas and was excited to bring it to campus and play a few notes. He has already made up a tune, but the lyrics have yet to come to him ... but he is not a singer or a songwriter. His real hobby is collecting comic books.
“I’ve got X-Men, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, Thor,” Atnip said. “Over here I’ve got Flash, Justice League, Batman ...”
Motioning to the contents of his room, he had stacked hundreds of comic books. Some in mint condition, others housed in collections of ten or more. Atnip stood beaming at the unveil, delighted at the sheer quantity of his cache - the entirety of which has to be estimated because of its abundance - that stands at two-thousand five-hundred books. “I have more at home,” Atnip said. In third grade, his mother suggested he buy comics. By the sixth grade he had a collection of high- flying, genetically enhanced, heaven- blessed superhumans. Simple as that. To note their cultural importance, he mentioned a recent phenomenon.
“You wouldn’t have the [Marvel] movie culture without comics,” Atnip said.
The Marvel cinematic universe spans over twenty-three movies that have already been released and the powerhouse shows no signs of stopping. He highlighted their importance in setting the pace and intensity of other movies, ones that follow along with the successful trend of perpetual action.
“They are like the harbinger of the movies. The movies are good, but these created [them],” Atnip said.
Timothy Street is a friend and fellow resident of Dylan’s. “We were watching football the first day I moved in,” Street said. “He really gets into [it]. Almost every Saturday when we’re both in town we’ll be ... watching whatever game it is,” Street said.
What even he did not know about Dylan was his love for comic books. It is not that Atnip hides this from anyone, it is just that it is not a common topic of conversation. He also draws, enjoys history and:
“I’m kind of big into fishing,” Atnip said. Along with having a range of interests, Atnip himself boasts a superpower of his own; after reading the books from his collection he can remember where and when events unfolded. Guiding through stacks of glossy pages and action sequences, multiple times he mentioned a character and pinpointed them within seconds from the sea of books. Each time he flipped through with a knowing gusto. “Here you’ve got the Dark Phoenix saga ... Wolverine ...” Atnip said. “I’ve read all of them twice.” Despite not knowing about one aspect of Dylan’s life - Street himself plays competitive pinball and Dylan was none the wiser as well - Street still understood his friend. When asked about Atnip’s general character, he described him quite well. “Everything he is passionate about he just really fully dives into it,” Street said.