I don't remember the first comic I ever purchased, but I remember Seuss and the illustrations in Dahl books by Quentin Blake. Archie was a go to, and Byrne, Stern, Miller, Moore, Gibbons are definitely in the some of the first pile.
This is the thing, most people tell me that they took a break from comics, that there were dry spells for them, but that has never been true for me. I have always read comics. They are something that I have always seemed to have and will always seem to have in my life. Why? Well, I'm going to answer that question.
In all honesty, a lot of my obsession comes from events in my life surrounding my parents divorce. I was hitting puberty, thoroughly a comic fan (it was the nineties) and comics were an escape from the drama of my everyday life. If I didn't want to deal with what was going on, I escaped between the pages of a comic and everything would disappear into an adventure.
I've never been what you might call a nerd if you saw me walking down the street. I'm 6'3, somewhat handsome, I can hold a conversation, I know what underarm deodorant is, but I am a nerd, I found comfort in something that has the fantastic behind it. Throughout my teenage years I retreated into my head more and more becoming a bit of a basketcase, but it was during these years I found Preacher, Sandman, The Invisibles, Starman, Watchmen, Transmetropolitan, Sin City and the like. These comics cued me into the fact that there was so much more going on in the world, so many different ways to live and think and act that didn't belong in my little town, comics helped me grow into a person that cultivated counter culture in my brain, and kept me thinking. During this time I also discover punk, sex, drugs and all the other things in my life that I would use to murder my braincells.
I figured myself out a little since then, got my head together and grew up. But at this point I had found Crumb, Clowes, Bagge, Dorkin, Ware, Tomine, and the like and had discovered that comics had grown up too, or had veered away from the sci-fi/fantasy/superhero genres that I had so loved, and this helped me branch off into even more places in my soul, dig deeper into my love for the drawn form and appreciate it as art.
Genre is something I adore now, and comics are all over the map with it. I find that my tastes are reflected in what I read, moreso than in any other format. Throughout this all I have always read novels and ingested movies like they were going out of style, but for some reason comics still hit a sweet spot, a spot where I can crawl into for a couple of minutes, or hours, or days and lose myself in almost anything.
That is the short and long of it.