My Dad had a modest stack of old comics up in our attic. Conan. Some really old Superman, a Creeper comic, A few isolated issues of Spider-Man, and a weird one with typewriter lettering titled “The Last Days of Pompeii.” I don’t know what drew me to them initially. I just know I used to really like going through my parents’ old stuff in general. It was a heady experience when you discovered these people existed before you were born and did not live solely to see to your needs. I couldn’t get enough of it: Old yearbooks, newspaper clippings, stacks and stacks of National Geographic magazines dating back to at least the 30’s - passed down, I assume, because it seemed wrong to throw them out. That would have been disrespectful. But out of all this…stuff…I was drawn to the comics.
Like most of you, or at least a few of you, I eventually took what was a fascination and turned it into a habit. Thanks to Morgan’s Drug Store and its (sadly now not so) ubiquitous spinner rack I grew up with a lot of mainstream comics crudding up my general development. Some of my collection I took in with huge gulps. One summer my ten-year-old self was lucky enough to achieve a compound fracture of my left arm via spectacular back yard football blooper. That was quite a haul. So too were the later years where I was foolishly willing to drive for forty-five minutes to get to a “proper” comics shop. Oh for the days of 98 cent gasoline!
Now, I’m in my thirties and I’ve got a pull list. I also have a donut shop that I own and work in – a lot.
My local comics shop (Packrat Comics) has helped me out with giveaways in the past and continues to do so but I wanted to get more out there. More personally involved. So, anywho, I see kids come and go with their parents and I think they could benefit from some of my ACCUMULATION. They might really ENJOY it. Personally, I’m six long boxes deep and my goal is to get that down, way down. You might say, “Oh that’s not so big a collection,” and you’d be right. But, to me, it feels big and feels like it’s time. So, here’s the deal.
1. There are things in my collection that are just “not okay” to put out for some 12 year old to pick up. I get to decide what those are and how I’ll get rid of them. If any of you want them I’d consider sending them out. If not, they’ll probably just get donated to some worthy cause. After all, I’ve got a community rep to consider. The Image Comics ’95 swimsuit special finding its way into little Joey’s hands would probably be detrimental to that. Detrimental also to Joey’s understanding of functional anatomy but thankfully a problem my tax dollars are already hard at work addressing in the public schools!
2. This stuff tends to FLY out of here. Giving things away for free has a tendency to DRIVE SALES. Two days into this project and the rack has been emptied twice.
3. Once a weekish I will post what’s been on the rack – what has gone and what remains and any info I can glean from the people who take it.
4. The accompanying short pieces that go along with the give away info will just be about the things I notice throughout the collection. They won’t be reviews, per se, or follow any ongoing format. Largely, they’ll be wonkish about things I like and rueful about things I regret.
5. As I’ve been prepping for this I found I was really looking forward to it and mostly anticipating sharing the info and the results with you. This is not some fed-up goodbye to comics. This is merely a clearing of the decks - a passing of the torch and a letting go. I plan to continue buying comics but I no longer plan to collect them. A comic book, as I have often espoused, is supposed to be rolled up, stuck in your pocket, and shared around – breathlessly.
So, you can look forward to a lot of chat about 1980 – 2013 comics when you check in here – a few notable exceptions aside. Feel free to comment, share recollections, and talk trash about my atrocious 13-year-old taste. Oh god, the WildC.A.T.s. Still, always remember…
“That's the thing about (comics). Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. (Comics). Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can.”
J.D. Salinger on comics…or girls…whatever.
See you soon,