Feature Friday: Pop-punk and comic books

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Luke Megli sits at a table in COM Plaza reading a “Batgirl” comic. Photo by Caleb Latas, The Campus Ledger

Caleb Latas

Staff reporter

clatas@jccc.edu

Luke Megli, second year student, has filled an entire CD rack with his collection of albums. His bedroom walls are lined in CDs, records and comic books; objects of his personality.

“I love music,” says Megli. “I have over 400 CDs and over 20 records. I love collecting and listening to music.”

Of all the albums Megli owns, his favorite is Paramore’s self-titled album.

“Paramore, they are like my favorite band,” says Megli. “A lot of their music they wrote while they were growing up. So I can relate a lot of different albums to different points in my life.”

Megli uses Apple Music as well, but he says he prefers to have that hard copy in his hands, and lining his shelves.

“It’s more personal to just hold it,” says Megli. “You can read the lyrics as it’s going on. It just really connects you to the music in a different way.”

For Megli, rock music speaks to him, he connects with it.

“I just like rock music in general,” says Megli. “But if you want to get specific I like pop-punk music, a little bit of emo sometimes. Stuff in that range.”

For outsiders to pop-punk and emo music, there is a certain stereotype of frowning pale kids, dressed in all black, with black dyed hair, painted nails and military style boots.

Megli says people have this thought in their mind when you’re emo, like ‘hey let’s not deal with you kid.’

That’s not Megli though. Megli has light blondish-brown hair, his complexion is fair, but he has a radiant smile, his nails aren’t painted, he’s dressed just like people who don’t listen to punk and emo music, except for his My Chemical Romance shirt.

But, that’s not to say Megli hasn’t had his own dark moments and struggles.

“I went through a period in my life where I was in a really dark depression,” Megli says. “One of the things that helped me cope with that was listening to the band Twenty One Pilots. A lot of their lyrics deal with [lead singer Tyler Joseph] struggling with depression, and learning that there was this whole community of people around that.”

Through music and his friends, Megli has found a way to cope with his depression
“I don’t want to say I overcame it, but it was around a year or two of really intense [depression],” says Megli. “One of the things is finding the balance, knowing how to take care of yourself and knowing when to speak up. There are days when just listening to music helps, and other days it helps to just talk to someone.”

As Megli began to find his way out of his depression, he went to a concert for his birthday with friends. The concert was a band called Icon For Hire.

“We were really close to the stage … It was a cool moment.” says Megli. “I went with some of my really good friends. They have this song, ‘You Can’t Kill Us’ and just singing that along with the whole audience. It was a really cool moment. Just connecting with the band, connecting with the music.

Megli wants to be able to help people like he has been helped by bands like Icon For Hire, and by his friends.

“I don’t know, I’d really like to see [myself] taking care of people,” says Megli. “Helping people in some way, whether that’s being a nurse, or writing music. Just doing something along those lines to help where I can.”

Maybe that idea of saving people is what attracts Megli to comic books, or maybe it’s the comic books that have created his passion to help.

“I was always into dressing up as superheroes, even in preschool,” Megli says. “The teacher called home and said ‘Luke should stop wearing superhero shirts to school, because he’s starting to act like these superheros.’”

Megli sees this connection between comic books and punk rock music, that the culture around them are viewed the same. He says that much like the music he listens to, there’s always been a stigma around being interested in comic books, that if you showed interest in them, you were viewed as a deviant kid.

Megli says, “It’s just really cool to see this connection between two things in my life that seem unconnected at first, but now they are very, connected. Comic books and music are really a way to help people through things, that other mediums can’t.”

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