Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Return to the Comic Book Store

Over this past weekend, for the first time in years—I think I calculated it to before my five-and-a-half year old son was born—I went into a comic store. And not just any store but the one I used to go to every Saturday: Third Planet here in Houston. Every Saturday, I would have breakfast with my grandfather and we’d talk. Then, I’d mow his lawn and he’d overpay me for the work, as grandfathers are wont to do. With fresh cash in hand, I’d go to Third Planet and buy the latest issues of all my favorite books.

I’m a DC man, always have been. I like Marvel characters but I always gravitate toward the DCU. So, on Friday last, as my son looked at all the Star Wars memorabilia (see, I trained him well), I talked with one of the guys who worked there about the state of Marvel and DC. His only comment on Marvel was “This is not the time to get into Marvel.” Okay, I thought, done. And then he proceeded to tell me what’s what in the DCU. Quite interesting, stuff.

What got me in there in the first place was a link from some website about a new version of The Brave and the Bold. That book was my favorite book when I was growing up. I have at least 125 of the 200 issues. And, since Batman was (and is) my favorite character, having him team up with various members of the DCU was cool The old DC Comics Presents (where Superman teamed up with other characters) was fine but BatB was better.

I ended up buying issue #1 of the new BatB and read it that night. It was like going back in time. I blazed through it, enjoying the George Perez art (he’s still one of the best) and the mere fact I was reading an actual comic book. I have kept somewhat current with DC Comics through the trade paperbacks issued every year. Honestly, that’s the best way to read an entire story: when all the issues are collected and there’s new front and back matter by the artists and writers. In fact, I liked the new issue so much that I went back to the comic store and bought issues 2-6, the current one. And, at the current cover price of $2.95, I don’t’ know how modern kids keep it up. Back when I was buying comics, the special Annuals were $1.00 and the books were $0.25 to $0.75 cents. It was a travesty when comics went to $1.00 for a regular issue and the Annuals were even more.

It’s neat to be reading comics again. It’s another link to my childhood that still exists for me. Star Wars will always be there and, I think, comics will, too. I think now to those young’uns for whom Harry Potter represents childhood. I wonder if, in the future, when they read the adventures of Harry Potter to their children, if the feelings of childhood will return for them. I think so.

9 comments:

Perplexio said...

Scott, this post spoke to me. I collected comics from the time I was about 11 or 12 (1988/89-ish) right up through college. I gave them up for awhile and over the past handful of years I've found my way back to them.

Much like you, I've always been more of a DC guy than a Marvel guy-- I preferred The Flash over Quicksilver, Deathstroke over The Punisher, Batman over Spiderman, etc.

I started out with Batman titles, but with the short-lived CBS Flash TV series I developed an interest in The Flash as well. While the TV series was kind of hokey and melodramatic, I found the comic to be fresh and interesting. It took some adjustment initially to shift from Barry Allen on the TV show (who had been killed off in the comics in 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths) to former Kid Flash, Wally West. Over time, Wally won me over. From his "death" at the hands of Vandal Savage in Flash #50 to being duped by Professor Zoom into believing Barry had returned from the dead in The Return of Barry Allen story arc (which I believe started with Flash 75) even to the appearance of an alternative version of himself, Walter West, with a cool new costume in the Dark Flash storyline (Flash second series 152-159) I was loving every minute of it (kind of like that old Loverboy song).

ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ann-kpn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.