Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Post No. 583"

I miss word balloons on the covers of comic books. Back before 1966 or so, most all super-hero, western, war, etc. comics had word balloons; the characters featured within making some sort of statement that was relevant to the interior story. Marvel stopped doing that I think around mid-1965 or so with all of their comics. Fans said it distracted them from the cover artwork. But me? I liked them! Sometimes Marvel would color in the background of them in yellow or light red, and I never considered them as "clutter". (The above cover from Two-Gun Kid #62 (1962) is a good example of that style.)

Oh yeah...I miss cover blurps, too!

Well...I had a whole $4. & something left in my Paypal account currently so I decided to just clean that out and buy me something cheap with it, finding a copy of Marvel's Strange tales #183 (circa 1976) that left me with a whoppin' .32 balance after paying for it. Although the reprints of "Dr. Strange" (that ran in Strange Tales 182-188) were "heavily modified", they're still Ditko in his prime, plus reprinted in color. I was looking at the covers to these issues over on the CGD, and had forgotten how many issues after the original silver-age run of this title had been published when it was revived in 1973.

It started out with five issues devoted to "Brother Voodoo", then another 4 or so to "The Golem", then five issues of "Warlock" (by Jim Starlin), before finally finishing up with seven Doc reprints (182-187). Each of the last issues reprinted two Steve Ditko/Stan Lee Dr. Strange tales (somewhat edited for space).

Although I bought the second series of Strange Tales (produced in the 1980's), I can't say that I was ever a big fan of that run. It went around 20 issues and the stories were shared between Dr. Strange and "Cloak & Dagger". I'd read the DS stories and usually ignore C&D (not finding that team especially interesting).

Dug out my old mini-camcorder, and looked at the whole two tapes I'd ever recorded video on, both of which were close to ten years past. They contained a lot of misc. things where I'd recorded the cat when it was just a kitten (which "Bob" Cat looks like he's EATEN about 20 kittens now as big as he is), some shots of the inventory in my collection room way back when we lived in a duplex rather than our house, and a trip to my cousin's for Thanksgiving back in '99. I sort of skipped over the Thanksgiving stuff due to it containing a lot of footage on my late father, and I'm just not ready yet to deal with footage of him while still healthy quite yet, on past to the inventory stuff.

Oddly enough I still have much of what I filmed on that tape save perhaps the Aurora monster models (which I sold several years ago) , and was really surprized that I had all except two older comics still in my collections. Over the years I'd sold an EC "Picture Stories from The Bible" as well as one of those huge Fawcett "Gift Comics" (both from the 1940's). All else seemed to remain intact in what I've got now.

And I have a complete hardcover reprint these days of the PSFTB, published (by all people) Jimmy Swaggart in 1979. Sort of miss not having those originals anymore, but...ya can't look back and regret everything.

My collection of comics had really grown since those days. Shortly before I taped the inventory, I had sold off all but about 6 long boxes of comics, saving only that which I really wanted to keep. In fact, I had decided back then to stop collecting comics completely (but, you know how that goes). I sold one very large collection of over 10,000 comics in the latter 1990's. What I kept was maybe 1,300 comics, and now I have something like ten times that many. For what I've spent on comics, quite honestly, over these many years I could have put myself through college, or bought a new house and a new car. Instead, the money from selling comics went to pay bills, rent, groceries, etc., etc., and was all put to some good use. (But I probably had more fun buying the comics.)


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