Tuesday, March 29, 2005

"Spin and Seek"

Today while I was at an antique mall in another town about 50 miles from here, I picked up about a dozen or so comics from the mid-1970's and 80's. Nothing spectacular; just good fun reading stuff, like a couple of the Grell issues he did of Superboy/Legion, the first issue of the 1982 Amethyst limited series, etc. One of them was a Spider-Woman from the early 80's, drawn by Leialoha, whose issues I always picked up. And this was #37 which is the first app. of the character "Siren", who was in X-Force and even had an app. in the last X-men movie ("Banshee's" sister). Starting waxing nostalgic about "those times" and thinking about how very much I miss buying comic books from a "spin rack".

Now, fellow blogger, Johnny Bacardi and I bought our comics each week here locally at usually the same places. The last true hold outs for a spin rack was at the Jr. Foods gas/grocery, the better one being on HWY 218. So each week, usually on a Wednesday (and "Johnny" will correct me here if my memories rotted), the Haxby News Company who had their base out of Bowling Green, KY. would come to all the stores that carried magazines and service the racks, removing old product and filling it full of new magazines, comics, etc. And, just like he did, I'd sometimes catch the magazine-man just being there and wait until the books were out just to be the first one to have a choice of the better issues from that comic rack.

The rack would greet me with the tin signs saying, "Hey!! Kids Comics", "Wholesome Entertaining Comics". "The Best in Comics", "Comics Merry-Go-Round" and "Comics for All Ages" at the top of it's various five sides, and I'd thumb through each and every section just to see what was new and possibly I had even missed from the previous week. There were times I'd go back to look again through the books due to not having enough money to obtain all I wanted initially, or maybe to pick up on something "Johnny" had recommended I buy. The Comics Spin Rack was indeed a treasure chest, and I didn't even need a key!

But, times change, and Haxby was purchased by another company and eventually all of the spin racks disapeared. For a while the store still carried some comics, but mixed in with the magazines. It just wasn't the same, and marked the end was soon near.

Today, I suppose my collection room is a representation of the old spin rack. I have indeed those five signs from an old comic rack up on my wall, and boxes crammed full of comics; each one a surprize for any to see. Direct Sales have replaced newstand sales except for some select book stores, but neither those or a Comic Book Specialty shop is just "right down the street" anymore.

And sometimes I wonder "why" they call that progress?


At 7:55 AM , Blogger Johnny Bacardi said...

That's funny, I was just waxing nostalgic about those spinner racks myself the other day.

That one at Jr.Foods was the main source, but I also bought a lot of comics at Ben Franklin, and Caverna Drugs dodn't have a spinner, but would carry comics (usually 25 centers) on its magazine rack.

Then a few years later I discovered that Glasgow and Bowling Green got theirs sooner than we did in Horse Cave (and I think you're right about it being Wednesday or perhaps Thursday), so I was soon driving out of town to get my fix sooner!

At 4:09 PM , Blogger ~D.Puck' said...

In the latter 60's, Keith, Albert & I would actually drive to Sonora each Tuesday during the Summer to the drug store there simply because they got their books in one week ahead of time. I discovered you had more of a chance of getting a "loc" published by getting them sooner that way.


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