Mark Hamill: Confessions of a comic book junkie
October 5th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Mark Hamill: Confessions of a comic book junkie

Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker or the Joker in "Batman: The Animated Series," is also co-writer of Dark Horse Comic' "Black Pearl" series and a big comic book fan going back to his childhood.

He told us back in July about a dinner he had in the mid-1980s with comic book legends Bob Kane ("Batman" creator), Jerry Siegel ("Superman" co-creator) and Jack Kirby (original artist for "Fantastic Four," "X-Men" and more).

“We [Hamill's fellow dinner guests, actors Bill Mumy and Miguel Ferrer] were just so happy to tell these guys how much they meant to us," he said. "When they were actually working, comic books were not something you bragged about being involved in.”

(In fact, Hamill said that, even when pressed by strangers during the 1950s on what he did for a living, Siegel would not admit anything more than being a "commercial artist." Hamill said, "People looked at comics as almost a step above pornography.")

“I love the history of comics, I really do," he went on to say. "I gave them up when I was a young teenager thinking, 'I’ve gotta outgrow these things.' I made it through high school but when I got into college, I would visit old bookstores and see these boxes of old books."

Hamill found himself getting back into the hobby, but today, like some of the longtime or even curmudgeonly comic book fans, he longs for the old days of comic book collecting.

“I’ve come full circle now, because with a family, your priorities change and I just lost my enthusiasm for it," he said. "With the [comic book] price guide, it’s just gotten to be so cut and dry, and there’s no thrill of bartering or anything. The hobby of collecting has really changed, I sort of let it go by the wayside. I don’t do that anymore."

Hamill – who can next be seen in the movie "Sushi Girl" – joked, "When you get to the point when your accountant is saying, 'Do you have your “Avengers #4” in a safety deposit box?’ you don’t want that. It’s just changed."

That's not to say that the convention veteran (going back to San Diego Comic-Con's earliest days as he told us) doesn't love going to Cons to this day. He even finds the fact that he doesn't usually venture out onto the convention floor something of a blessing in disguise.

“When you look at people involved in other hobbies, you see how similar the motivations are," he said. "You see so many things you want [on convention floors]. I’m sure I save a fortune by avoiding that!"

Hamill can't tear himself away from the Con circuit. His next appearance, announced on Monday, will be at New York Comic-Con, happening October 13th through 16th. He'll be signing autographs on the "NEW-GEN" graphic novel on Friday and Sunday there - perhaps you should get in line now.

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Filed under: Comic Longbox
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Bohaoi Latnerv

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    July 14, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  2. Pebbles Flintstone

    My husband and I met Mark Hamill and his wife a few years back at a small event. He was such a warm and down to earth guy. In person, he is exactly like he comes across in interviews. He was happy to chat with everyone and didn't seem to mind the Star Wars questions. He seemed like a wonderful person, full of fun and laughs. At the end of the evening, he felt like an old friend. I'm always happy to read things are going well for him.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • melvinslizard

      I never realized how much he looks like Meatloaf :/

      October 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  3. Epidi

    I recall my dad having me read some comic books that were all about history and literature but I don't remember the name. Classic Comics or something? Illustrated Classics or Cleassics Illustrated I think it was. They were ok – I was an avid reader of books as well. He frowned upon my reading the others (though I did anyway) and was horrified when I got into Vampirella, Creepy, & Eerie magazines when I became a teenager. Those old time comics helped me develop my creative drive to draw, paint, & write. Love 'em!.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  4. KajinPL

    Mark Hamill definitely falls into my category of the coolest people on earth. He's one of those few people that you just know is a really down-to-earth dude. I still watch The Guyver to this day just because he's in it, (and cuz it's was awesome to me as a kid)

    October 6, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  5. T

    Mark Hamill is a great force (no pun intended) in the field of entertainment and he was superb as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series and l liked his "Trickster" role on the 1990 The Flash series (remember ?) which was memorable.
    I was amused at that conversation bit with his accountant over Avengers # 4 issue. I wish I have Avengers # 4 ! (LOL)
    I even got a copy of the Black Pearl in a trade paperback book.

    More success to you, Mr. Hamill.

    October 6, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  6. Spunky DerWondermonkey

    Looks more like Jabba the Hut than Luke Skywalker these days....

    October 6, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Den Arden

      We all age. Both of you will become what you have described Mr. Hamil as being. And when you do you will remember the uncalled remark you just made bck on October 5, 2011.

      October 6, 2011 at 11:06 am |
      • John

        There's always at least one A#$%% in the bunch

        October 6, 2011 at 11:19 am |
      • Spunky DerWondermonkey

        No sense of humor. Nada – zip – zilch...
        Folks like you make the Sahara Desert look like a rainforest.

        October 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  7. Anon

    You have some respect for Luke Skywalker! Props to you Luke!

    October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  8. Dave

    I have an absolutely incredible collection of old Silver age Marvel comic books. Just an expansive and awesome looking collection of them. Over Twenty thousand dollars worth, and guess what? Nobody cares. That's comic books for you

    October 6, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  9. Steve-O

    @ $3 a pop comic books are probably the only thing Hamill can afford these days. Probably gets paid in them for attending Comic Cons.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Mark C

      He makes more for a ComicCon appearance than you've made in the past ten years. Of course you'd do better if you moved out of your mother's basement and got a real job.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:55 am |
      • Sarge

        @Mark C., How do you know how much he makes? Are you one of the nerds that dig through his trash and look for mementos?

        October 6, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Mattand

      @Sarge:

      Mark C isn't right because he's digging through Hamill's trash, he's right because he knows what he's talking about. Hamill has made a killing in voice over acting, primarily for his role as the Joker in the Batman animated series. In fact, he's probably promoting the lastest Batman video game, Arkham City, at the NY Comic-con.

      Also, try not to be a condescending jerk when you respond to people on message boards.

      October 6, 2011 at 11:32 am |
      • Sarge

        Oh, OK Mattand...and Mark C wasn't being a condescending jerk to Steve-O in any way?

        What a hypocrite. And it's nice to know that you are Mark Hamill's personal accountant. Maybe you can share with the legions of zealots how much he makes.

        October 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  10. THE slimy web thrower

    The Force is with you young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet...

    October 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  11. r.ortiz

    may the force be with you, luke skywalker.

    October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • THE PUNYSHIRE

      Ortiz I am your father.My name is fernandez,cheuy fernandez...

      October 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  12. belladonna

    I remember meeting Mark a few years – I actually ran into him at a local comic book shop. A very, very nice man and he thought it was great that a middle aged woman was into comic books. And I agree, he does THE best voice for the Joker.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tfive

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      July 3, 2012 at 5:48 am |
  13. Knocker

    Mark Hamill's best role was in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • elle

      that movie was terrible

      October 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nefta

      I don't like your cliche9d testerone reidldd power mongering knob-end choices. There are so many good ones you need to get your eyes on besides this crop. Please try harder (or should I say smarter) C minus REsubmit

      July 3, 2012 at 3:19 am |
  14. Volntyr

    I remember talking to Mr. Hamill one for a good half hour at Comic Con one year. He wasnt surrounded by fans, just standing in the hallway with a friend of his while everyone was watching the Masquerade. He was very personable and even shared a wonderful story about his firiend' Tom (Spongbob Squarepants) Kenny's young son and his own son wanted him to teach them how to be Jedi. It was a conversation I will never forget

    October 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
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      July 3, 2012 at 5:15 am |
  15. Jenny K

    I've always enjoyed that Mark Hamill is a kindred spirit in the world of comic book love. He'll be remembered for his role in Star Wars, of course, but I think his work in Batman: The Animated Series and other animated features define his own ambitions and successes more completely. From what I can tell, his family, his work, and his hobbies make him a happy man, which is wonderful to see.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • William

      Don't forget 'Corvette Summer'.

      October 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • TAK

        I wish I could.

        October 6, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Karim

      Oi, Bibi!A Elisa fez uma tradue7e3o daquele poema que pode ser vista aqui:Obrigado por ter se cocloado e0 disposie7e3o e um beijo muito grande para ti, ok? ;0)

      July 3, 2012 at 2:44 am |
  16. TheDarkKnightOhio

    Mark Hamill, hands down, does the best voice for the joker ever recorded. He is the gold standard.

    October 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jenny K

      I agree 100 percent!

      October 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm |