When I was 7 years old, my mom started buying me Classics Illustrated. Not the comic version, but the “pocket sized” version, which was marketed for boys to carry around in their back pockets. Last of the Mohicans, Tom Sawyer, Dracula, all books covered in this series. The cool part they came with illustrations every 5 pages or so. Easy to read? Pictures? Just the thing for boys my age.
My dad in the mean time, would occasionaly stop at the local convenience store and let me get a candy bar while he pumped gas. After a couple of months of reading the books, I walked into the store and for the first time stopped at the spinning rack of comics. Yep those ancient spinning racks of goodies. My dad walks in and says you can get a candy bar or a comic (they were the unheard of price of .35c). I still chose the candy bar, for the first couple of times. But,then one time I decided to take the book. I spun and spun the rack, studying every cover diligently. (if you picked it up to open it, you better be ready to buy it). After a lot of looking, I chose Thor #274
What made me choose this cover? The striking image? The multitude of colors? I do remember, I had read about some of the Greek and Norse Gods in school and enjoyed that. Maybe that was a gateway to this book. What else was on the rack? No idea, but this beautiful John Buscema cover had me. Then, when I got it home, I was even more mesmerized by the under appreciated Roy Thomas story. I was hooked. I started picking a comic over candy every time then, which I’m sure my mom and my waistline appreciated. A collector was born……..
Next time:What makes a collection valuable?