After spending 5 days at New York Comic Con surrounded by comics, creators and fellow comic fans was amazing, but it was something that happened at my local comic shop that got me INSANE!
When I went to work at Most Excellent Collectibles (in Enfield, CT.) last Monday I was greeted with a collection that store owner Mason just bought and put out for sale... war, horror and non superhero comics from the 1960's, 70's and early 80's. I went nuts! As I dove into the boxes I was returned to my golden age of comics; the books when I first started collecting. I got so insane about these books and the memories I began looking into boxes that he didn't even sort yet. Yes... I was spoken too for that, but it was old comic books!
As I bought books that I needed and looked at books that i alreay owned I was brought back to the 1970's with titles like 'Fightin' Army', 'House Of Mystery' and 'Doomsday +1' and creators like Paul Levits, John Byrne and Luis Dominguez.
Wow, eh? Pure magic.
As I read some awesomely old and smelly comics it made me think; were comic books better back then or now? Sure the quality is better and a lot of the current creators are as good, if not better than the legends. At the same time, how can anyone compare to the work of Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby and Alfredo Alcala?
It is obvious that these comic books get thrown into my childhood and innocence feelings, but there was so much variety, stories were for the most part one and done and they were everywhere. I couldn't walk into a store and not find comic books.
So my thought to y'all out there is that if you are not happy with the current batch of comics being produced, why not discover or rediscover a moment in comic book history that I feel was the perfect storm? Chances are a single old issue of 'The Many Ghosts Of Doctor Graves' or 'Weird War Tales' will not only entertain you... but make you smile.
Case in point at how much these old books impacted my life? I had some friends pop into the store and I began randomly pulling out books that were for sale (that I owned) and reciting dialogue in a particular comic. Then I would open to the page to show I knew the book. They were kinda impressed!
What is my phone number? I don't know but what I do know is that my mother was trying to make a pen work on the cover of my 'Weird War Tales' # 74? Or that my dad took me to the old House Of Paperbacks in East Longmeadow to get me some comics because of a good report card and got 'Weird War Tales' # 50? Give me enough time and I can probably tell you what I was wearing.