Thanks for Comics…PLUS Mystery Giveaway!

What’s up everybody? Thanks for coming back to the city that is Diesel. With Thanksgiving today, I thought it only apropos to talk about the things that I’m thankful for in the universe that is comic books.

Comics have always held an important place in my life. As I type, I gaze around my office and see CGC comics, and statues, and artwork, and a comic book spinner rack. They’ve always served as such a catharsis in life. I come from a broken family, and I’m fortunate that my parents were mature enough to have a civil relationship as my brother and I grew up. I have the best parents in the world. So good that I would only trade them for an Action Comics #1. I also wrestled my entire life. Comic books were that escape. I would get lost in the world of comic books and eventually the worlds I would create in my writing.

I always think about the kids who may not have had what I believe I did. I was a bit of a “jock” but an absolute geek when it came to comic book culture. Even then, when I would come to school wearing a comic book shirt, I would feel insecure from time to time. I would always wonder “are people making fun of me?” or “are girls going to think I’m a dork?” I’m here to tell you, coming from a 230lb wrestling coach…you’re not. Be you. Embrace every passion that you have, and don’t ever be scared to. Yes, people aren’t going to like or agree with you all of the time. Hell, there are a ton of things I don’t like nor agree with in this world, but I’ll never dispute a person’s right to like what they like or feel what they feel.

So it seems only fair to pay reverence and thanks to the individual comic issues/stories that have impacted me, as well as the people that I either “do” comics with or opened me up to the world of comic book culture. “Do” is in quotes, as my wife always yells at me for drinking beers and “doing” (bagging, boarding, organizing, pricing, or just admiring) comic books in my basement. So I suppose first I should thank my amazing wife for putting up with me, going to shows with me, and allowing boxes and boxes of comic boxes to take over our home from time to time. Just think, she’s only got about 50(ish) more years to deal with me!

 

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The first comic book that I gave my wife

 

Next, I of course have to thank my father. The man that got me into comic books. His absolute mindless speculation of Alpha Flight and all that is anthromorphic independents now fill countless boxes in my home. I remember when I was a kid, he would buy thick sleeves and put our favorite comic books in them. Then he would tack them to my bedroom wall. Hindsight being 20/20, it makes a hell of a lot of sense why girls would never call me back after they came over (sigh). Nevertheless, my old man still hits a good show every once in a while, mind you, he expects you to have $3 silver and bronze age comics…or don’t anticipate his business.

 

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One of my favorite covers of all time. A book from my dads personal collection, and a book that will always remind me of him

 

Lastly, I have to thank my brother. An absolute shark of the game, who is swiftly monopolizing South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. I’ve seen the guy literally haggle with dealers to the point which not only will he get the book, but the dealer pays him! Economically, it just doesn’t add up. He’s my con partner and best friend. Always a blast when it comes to ghost hunting with him.

 

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My brother told me a couple years back “I'm going to complete an Avengers #1-#100 run”…3 months later, this shark had it. Always think about the Avengers when it comes to my brother

 

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My brother and I also sought out Sam Darnolds council to also “see ghosts”. We're waiting for a reply.

 

Of course I have to thank my favorite creators and artists. I wouldn’t have this incredible passion for comic books if it wasn’t for people like Stan Lee, Michael Turner, Joseph Michael Linsner John Byrne, Gerard Way, James O’Barr, Jim Lee, and so many more.

Below I’ll list a handful of books that I’m thankful for.

 

Ultimate X-Men #63

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This is the first comic book that I purchased off of the newsstand with my own money! I was 13, and always thought that my brother and I should have been cast as Scott and Alex Summers haha.

 

New Mutants #98

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My first successful spec!!! My dad took me to a shop when I was 12 years old. He gave me $20 to spend. My favorite character at the time was Deadpool, and I wanted to do the awesome speculation that my dad did on Alpha Flight. I bought six copies for $2.99 in the back issue bins. Years later I would go on to sell five of those for around $1,300. I kept one that I still have in my PC.

 

The Crow (series)

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My favorite all time comic book movie performance (Brandon Lee) and likely a top three favorite film. I will admit, I saw the movie first, and then I read the O’Barr four-part series. The comic book is literally fantastic. The raw emotion and pain that O’Barr puts on the page as both writer and artist is stellar.

 

Watchmen #1

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My senior year in high school the Watchmen movie was about to drop. My uncle had told my brother and I about the story a few years prior, so I’d read it then. I had to read the damn thing 15 times to try and interpret all that goes on. When I saw the trailer for the movie (The Smashing Pumpkins ‘The beginning is the end is the beginning’ played throughout the trailer) I was ecstatic. The movie dropped the first week of March, and my wrestling coaches took me to see it the Friday night of the PIAA wrestling tournament.

 

Civil War #1 (Aspen Variant)

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My uncle was a big collector as well, and around 2005 he was telling me about Wizard World Comic Con. I was already going on my Heroclix beatdown tour throughout the local LCS, so I was familiar with WizKids, but not so much the conventions. I ended up skipping my 8th graduation and going. Once there I saw this beautiful Civil War comic CGC graded a 9.2 for only $60! WOW! I had $58 in my pocket and thought that I got the best of the deal haha. I’ve since upgraded to a 9.8, and can understand how thrilled that guy was to take my money for a 9.2. This book is still a top 5 favorite comic book cover of all time to me.

 

The Umbrella Academy

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This is the first series that my brother and I both read and just LOVED. We couldn’t wait for Hotel Oblivion to come out after Dallas dropped, and what do ya know, 10 years later…we finally got it.

 

Amazing Spider-Man #4

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This was the first BIG book that I found in the wild when I started buying big hauls. I’ve since purchased over 100 collections, but my first big collection had ASM #4 among other excellent books. Always grateful to have that in the collection.

 

Detective Comics #168

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Another book that I found in the wild. It’s a hyper-key, but I’m not a DC guy, nor am I a huge fan of the Joker, so I sold it. With the money, I bought my wife her engagement ring. I've owned two…COUNT EM'.

 

Airboy #2 Volume 5

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I found this in the same haul that I found the DC #168 in. I absolutely fell in love with the cover. This book has since gotten me into hunting golden age comic books.

 

Amazing Fantasy #15

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My all-time favorite superhero is Spider-Man. At this current moment in time, this book is unattainable for me, yet I still appreciate the hunt. If it wasn’t for this book, there would be no Spider-man…and what a dark dark world that would be.

Listed above is just a handful as I'm grateful for my entire collection, but that's neither here nor there. Now for the MYSTERY GIVEAWAY! It’s your turn! Tell me one comic book that you are grateful for and why! I’ll pick the winner based on your response and send you 3 comic books at random from MY PERSONAL COLLECTION!

Alas, I’m thankful for the CBSI community. Thanks for allowing me to write these soliloquies and talk with you from time to time. As always thanks for coming to the City Supreme and have a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours.

 

36 comments

  • Avatar

    I think a lot of us share in your gratitude, and could write an article like this, but not ever-so warmly. Lovely stuff, A.J.

    Once long ago, I spent the weekend at my aunt’s house. We went to the local super market, and I was perusing the magazines on the checkout lanes. Sitting there was a copy of a comic with a metallic silver skeleton and a question that I fundamentally could not agree with. It was What If…? #50 (the Hulk had killed Wolverine?)

    I was only ever exposed to the cartoons, and was not exceptionally curious. I picked it up and brought it over to my comic-book-hating aunt. She thought they were violent; probably was for 7 year old me. I convinced her to buy it, took it home, and remember being shocked at the contents. I learned the Hulk was a scary dude, and that things went a little different in the comics than in the toons.

    I fell in love, too, and that was the first comic book I owned. I’m thankful for it.

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    my cousin Jimmy introduced me to comics when we were kids. I always remember the Conan the Barbarian 2 (1970 Marvel) that he had on display back then, so I was thrilled when I finally bought a copy for my PC

  • Dan Piercy

    Happy Thanksgiving, A.J.!

    Wrestling is such a cool sport. I signed my nephew up for youth wrestling at 8 and he was head and arm throwing kids at 10. Been fun to watch his progress and inevitable plateaus.

    I grew up in the seventies when spinner racks were in grocery stores and oversized Marvel Treasury Editions were on news stands. Parents bought me Amazing Spider-Man 166 in 1977 when I had the flu. Been hooked ever since.

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    I am thankful for Detective 438 because my Uncle Charlie gave it to me when I was recovering in the hospital from having my tonsils and adenoids out when I was 9. That gift got me into comic book collecting, and helped develop a love of reading. While I have stopped collecting a couple of times, while I was in college, and towards the end of the 90’s, I still enjoy a well written/drawn comic book to relax with at the end of a long day. Thanks Uncle Charlie, you helped me become a more well rounded person!

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    Great little story bud. Instantly related to it.

    Like you, I am also a Marvel guy and a complete Spider-Fan.

    The 1st comic I ever bought with my own money was Peter Parker Spec Spidey #83.

    I was in a science fair representing my school. (Won 3rd place by the way) We were given a 2 hour break for lunch.

    I went walking around the city and saw a book store. Went inside and asked the lady clerk if they had comics?

    She said to go to Isle 3. Went there and came right back.

    Not those comics (Tintin) books, comics about Spider-Man or Superman I said.

    She went in the back and came out with a dishwasher sized box with a bunch on comics in it.

    If I’d known at the time I would have bought the whole box but I was naive and only had about 20 minutes to head back to the fair.

    Rummaged through real quick and PPSS #83 cough my eye.
    Light yellow cover, Spidey smack dab in the middle in full swinging action and fights in the background, black cat on the prowl and the Punisher on trial… In court in his costume no less!!!

    Hooked!

    Been a Spidey super fan ever since.

    Before I go… Comic is also special to me because the clerk told me the comics were 50 cents each and I only had 38 cents change in my pocket after buying my lunch meal.

    She sold to me for 38 cents. Also learned to haggle that day! 😉

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    When I was 12 my family moved cross country. I was shy and it was difficult to make new fiends. A kid I did get to know showed me a copy of Macross #1 from Comico. I was like, OK that’s cool but no big deal. I had purchased comic books in the past here and there off of the rack at the local drug store but never gave them much thought.

    My new friend told me, that the comic was popular and was worth $14! I was shocked! How could a comic book be worth more than the cover price?! He told me it was purchased at a comic book shop and because the show was so popular (this was in 1984) the comic keeps going up in value. I was like “a comic book shop?!?. What in the world is that?! I was a big fan of Robotech so at least that base was covered but I didn’t know there was a comic book about it and I never knew there were these so called comic book shops. The idea you could buy a comic book, enjoy it and it may go up in value was such a new idea to me I was literally floored!

    Well, I did make it to that comic book shop and I have to say, everything clicked! I was instantly hooked! It was like going to Disneyland for me! I didn’t have my paper rout then so I couldn’t afford the $15 to $20 dollars that Macross #1, but I did start collecting G.I Joe, Conan the Barbarian and The Transformers monthly. Books I still love reading to this day!

    That comic book store was a bit of a drive off so I couldn’t get there all that often, but I did find a used book store I cold ride my bike to that sold new comics. It was a great adventure getting into the hobby, oh and that Mrcross #1? I did eventually get it! About a year later at that first comic shop I went to. Who sold it too me? Rob Liefeld! He worked at that shop before he made it big. The guy maning register refused to get up and look for it because they were out in the front bins. Liefeld was putting out new inventory and was nice enough to take a look in the back room and pull a copy for me.

    Comic books helped me adjust to my new home, make new friends and even allowed me to share a few cool stories about collecting. That friend who introduced me to the hobby, I am still friends with to this day! Even though we are now states apart we still talk and hang out online regularly as well as see each other in person from time to time. I’m very thankful for all that!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Avatar

    Great story 🙂
    The book I am most grateful for is detective comics 359. It’s the biggest book in my collection, but I got it by trading serval other books to a local comic shop that always got the better of me for years! The owner still talks about how I got the better of him in that trade haha

  • Ben C

    Awesome, Happy Turkey Day!!

    Love the stories even if 2 Tec 168s that never found their way home(to me) makes me sad, lol.

    • Avatar

      Silver surfer 4. Easily my favorite cover of all time. When I first got into comics, I found one on Ebay for $20. This was around 2005 or so, and I just knew I liked that cover as I was starting to enjoy Thor a lot. Fast forward a few years and I had to sell my collection due to needing money. After my daughter was born 6 years ago, I got the urge to collect again. Well I looked up my favorite cover and saw the prices! Kept on searching and searching and nothing. I for sure thought I would never get it again because I couldn’t find one in my price range. Then one day I was in Ohio at New Dimension Comics and I was back issue digging and found a coverless copy for $1! I told myself that will have to be good enough, but it was missing the most important part. Well about a year ago My lcs got in some books and in them was a surfer 4! I told them to please get it and I could make payments on it. Well they sold it to me for a hell of a deal, and made my whole year that year. One day I’ll send it off to be graded, but for now I still just marvel at the beautiful cover.

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    The comic I am most grateful for is Amazing Fantasy 15. Just like you it is way out of my range of owning one but I did recently get the facsimile edition. What a great read it was! The book that introduced my hero and favorite character of all time. As a kid I really related to him (I was geeky and small..lol) Without this comic/character I probably would not have become the comic fan I am today.

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    Loved the article! Thank you for taking the time to share your story. No doubt it resonated with so many readers as it did w/ me.

    My brother and I also came from a broken home. I have been blind in my right eye since I was 4 years old (don’t throw rocks people, seriously) To encourage reading and strengthen my eyesight dad would pick us up on Saturday morning for his visitation time and take us to the LCS in Louisville, Ky. In the mid-80’s I remember having just over $20 (allowance) and the store had a very clean copy of FF 49 for $20. I asked dad if I could get it and he immediately pointed out that it would take all of my money and that’s the only comic I would be getting. I purchased the comic and I’ve had it ever since.

    I would later have two eye surgeries while in middle school and I gave my dad a list of comics to get so I would have something to read while in the hospital…a complete run of DC’s Blue Devil 🤷🏼‍♂️.

    And at Christmas time I would give my dad a list of comics I wanted…I was always a big fan of Marvel’s X-Men and Gladiator so one year I asked for Claremont’s X-Men 107 and any comics from Frank Miller’s DD run. Keep in mind this was before the internet, emails and eBay so you can imagine my surprise that my dad was able to find a nice copy of 107 and more than 50% of the DD’s.

    Flash forward to 2009 I would meet my future wife. After dating for just over two months my dad would suffer a heart attack and passed away the same week that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett passed away. Before leaving us though my dad was able to meet my wife and I’m grateful for that opportunity. I spiraled into a little depression and suffered from a few symptoms of PTSD (I had to perform chest compressions on dad and apparently I never properly grieved his passing) but my future wife stood by me and helped me through. Since I am a teacher I decided to focus on completing the ASM run bc Parker was always struggling as a student, w/ his career and later being a professor…since 2009 I am now down to needing just nine ASM’s! And this is only possible bc of the support and love shared with me by my dad, family and especially my wife (the first comic I bought her was Marvel’s Mother Teresa one-shot…she’s a fan!)

    In conclusion, thank you for the article and providing myself and everyone else the opportunity to reflect and share. I am eternally thankful for the CBSI website and its articles. I hope everyone has the opportunity to spend time w/ family and friends today.

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    Amazing Spider Man #39. Bought it with my allowance $, couldn’t have been much more than $5-10.

    This was the comic book that stunned my friends. Everything from the 12¢ cover price, low issue number, and gorgeous Green Goblin / unmasked Peter Parker cover.

    After all the money struggles, I never did sell this comic. After all these years, still got it and it’s allure still glows bright. Very thankful.

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    Star Wars Episode 2 Attack of the Clones #1….. It was the first comic my mom ever bought for me…. I read and loved the hell out of it. I would take it to school in my backpack and show it off to my friends like an artifact.. It’s completely tattered and the spine is all jacked. there’s tape holding together the tears… It’s like a golden age comic condition for a modern book lol I still have it… I love my mom and she was doing a lot of buying back then for me.. Now it’s a different story as I do 100% of the comic book buying 😉

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    I am extremely grateful for the outrageous gift that my wonderful wife gifted me last Christmas: Giant-Size X-MEN #1 CGC 9.6 WP and signed by the incredible and amazing Stan Lee!!! Words did indeed fail me.

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    West Coast Avengers 15. My parents had dragged me to Wal Mart, so I ran off to the toy section while they were grocery shopping. At the time Wal Mart had three packs of comics in plastic. I saw the cover of Master Pandemonium being ripped limb from limb and his limbs were made of demons and 8 year old me just knew this was extremely my shit. Begged my parents to buy it. Fell in love with comics, WCA, and Tigra that day. Side note, as a kid, WCA was the perfect 25 cent bin book to fall in love with.

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    My Granpa bought me to an auction, when I was 8. I wanted a box of squirt guns, he said no!!! I cried, he bought me a box of comics. was so mad at him, cried more. never got the box of squirt guns, but had a really big box of comics. in the box I found gi combat, Men at war, our army at war, classic illustrated, and Savage sword of conan. I find myself overwhelmed with what I read that summer, my favorite of the box, was GI Combat and Men at war. I reread the ghost tank stories a lot. I wish I still had the box of comics.

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    Back in the early 90’s I was big into collecting Baseball/Basketball cards. I ended up getting a paper route to support this habit and had a pretty good collection going. Back then papers were delivered after school and I had to ride a bike. The route ended close to our local grocery store, so I usually would stop by and buy a pack of cards.
    I loved the thrill of opening the pack to see who I got, what I could trade with friends, etc etc. Sadly though, the paper route only paid once a month so I was constantly stuck without money, but wanting those cards.

    **This is about comics, I promise.**

    One day as I was standing in the grocery aisle desiring cards, this thought popped in “just grab a pack and be gone.” So I did. Once outside I thought “that was easy.” Even better I didn’t spend any money and got cards! Well this spawned a streak of me shoplifting cards for months until one day I was caught. I was hauled off to the local police station in a cop car, had a mug shot taken, basically everything short of actually sitting in jail. As a young teenager this scared the crap out of me. But nothing compared to when my dad showed up at the station to pick me up. He didn’t say much, but I knew how mad he was. Worse yet as punishment, he made me gather my entire collection of cards and we donated them to the thrift store the next day. He also banned me from ever collecting cards again. I was also banned from that grocery store for a year and had to do community service.

    Fast forward to a year later, year and a half maybe, I remember going into the store again, walking by the cards dreaming of starting a new collection. I thought I could easily start another collection without my dad knowing, but the fear he struck in me was screaming “DON’T!” This time I listened to that voice and meandered over to the magazine aisle where I saw some comic books. I remember thinking, “I like super heroes.” I loved watching Saturday X-men cartoons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Tales, Captain Planet, Batman: The Animated Series, etc. So when I saw the comic books, I instantly started looking through them. The one that caught my attention and ultimately started me on collecting comics was Pitt #1. I loved the art. The concept was fun too; A big hulking Hulk type “hero” protecting some kid (it wasn’t until much later I realized Dale Keown drew Hulk and then started Pitt). To this day I still have that book and recently sent it off to CGC for grading. It came back a 9.8! This is definitely my most cherished book in my collection.

    After that, I never looked at cards again. I was 100% hooked on comics. Now that I’m a middle aged man, father, husband, its fun to share my hobby with my family. My two girls love super heroes. I have taken them with me to comic book shops where they pick out My Little Pony comics, I don’t care, comics are comics. I hope to someday pass my collection off to them in hopes they cherish comic books the same way I do.

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    I too am thankful for Amazing Fantasy #15 and even owned a copy for about a year. It was probably only in G/VG condition – complete, but someone had written on the cover, colored Spidey’s eyes red. I was still happy to have it. Eventually I needed money and sold it for $100 more than I had paid for it. That was in the early 1990’s. It’s probably worth a small fortune now.

    But, I am most grateful for Albedo #2. I can’t believe how much that comic goes for now. I had a copy…

    I started collecting comics when I was 14. It was actually all because of Sergio Aragonès. I had collected Mad Magazine since the age of 10. My favorite part was the Mad Marginals by Sergio.

    When I heard that Sergio was making a comic book series that was a Conan parody, I had to get it. I loved Conan movies and Dungeons and Dragons and all things fantasy.

    Groo the Wanderer was the first comic I ever bought – at a grocery store. It was issue #17 of the Marvel/Epic series (Yes, it took quite some time before I finally found an issue of Groo). I loved it. I sought out every back issue that I had missed – the Eclipse Special and the Pacific series. There were no comic book stores near me. I stumbled upon a small convention at a mall where I found most of the back issues I needed.

    From Groo, I found out about Usagi Yojimbo since Stan Sakai was the letterer. It wasn’t long before I was asking my mom to take me to the comic book store (an hour away).

    I discovered more and more comics that I liked. By the time I was 16, I was dealing comics – speculating, investing, pre-ordering multiple copies at 50% off cover. I was making my own catalogs and placing ads in the back of an old comic magazine (this was way before eBay). I actually had a nice little mail order business going while I was in high school. I also sold at conventions and did very well. I made enough to support my personal collecting and also purchase my first car.

    My personal collection consisted of Groo, Usagi, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Spawn, Punisher, Punisher WJ, Wolverine, Conan, Ghost Rider, Sandman, Bone – basically everything I enjoyed reading.

    I was lucky to get into Usagi Yojimbo early. I bought the Albedo issues #1-3 from a comic book store for pretty cheap. They were mint – perfect condition. It was issue #2 (first appearance of Usagi Yojimbo) that ended up being worth the most.

    I eventually sold most of my collection in the mid 1990s. I sold everything except my Groos and Usagis. They weren’t worth much at the time. Plus, I couldn’t part with them because they meant too much to me. These were the comics I truly enjoyed reading and had every issue – every appearance.

    Years later – 2005, I’m married and we just had a baby. Money was tight and my wife’s birthday was coming up. I wanted to get her something good. But, we were basically living from month to month.

    I looked through my comic collection. I looked some of them up on eBay to get an idea of what they were going for. I had no idea because I had been out of collecting and dealing for a long time.

    To my surprise, Albedo #2, if you could find it, was worth a LOT. I knew it had a low print run. But, I really didn’t think many people were into Usagi Yojimbo. In the past, every time I had told people what I liked to collect, they had never even heard of Usagi. They thought I was crazy or that I was making it up.

    I took my Albedo comics (#1-3) to work the next day and scanned them (this was before every phone had a camera on it). I listed them. They went nuts! The auction ended and these three comics that cost me somewhere under $30, sold for $700. I know, I know, they would have sold for $30,000 today if I had them graded. But at the time, in 2005, I was very happy with the $700. And my wife was very happy with her new iPod (that was what everyone wanted in 2005). That comic had meant a lot to me. But I was even more grateful for it because it helped me get my wife a nice birthday present at a time when I wouldn’t have been able to afford to.

    Sorry, I wrote a book here. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    And in case anyone cares – yes, I still have all my Groos!

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    Amazing Spider-man 405. bought it off new off the spinner rack at the grocery store. I think I was with my grandmother. This wasn’t the first comic I have ever owned but it was the one when I decided I was going to start a collection. That was 24 years ago and I still love comics more than ever. That Mark Bagley cover really popped for me glad it was my first choice!

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    The Batman Fudd one-off special.

    It’s a weird choice I know, but the depth that Tom King put into Fudd made me really feel for him, more than 60 years of cartoons have of him just chasing the rabbit.

    I picked it up just as ‘a batman special’ title, but was blown away by the art and the story. It just illustrates why I love comics – they can really surprise you, and the effort and skill that goes into crafting these stories (even for cross over one shots!) should always be appreciated.

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    I’d have to say my three I’m grateful for would have to be my swamp thing #1, Black canary/oracle birds of prey, Catwoman #74. I got my swamp thing from my aunt way before I started really collecting.Her husband and her got divorced and she didn’t want it. I honestly didn’t care about it at th time but glad I never gave it away or tossed it. I had been on the hunt for my birds of prey for several years, could never find one in the wild and then one day while searching at a flea market I found it for $.50, you never know people, you never know. My last is just an amazing cover from the Hughes Catwoman run, I have a good chunk of them but I don’t have that mugshot one…..I want it sooooo bad, maybe one day. I found it at a local shop i go to for moree than I wanted to spend but it was just to good a deal to pass up, cause I hardly ever see any of the Hughes covers in the wild, so that’s my three that I’m grateful for.

  • Spector

    Love this post! Brought back memories like it did for others who replied.
    When I was ten years old, my family moved from Ohio to Louisiana over the summer. I didn’t see any kids in the neighborhood and didn’t know anyone for the first couple of weeks. After we were settled, my grandmother drove down to visit and check in on us. She brought me a giant box of comics that she filled. She had been picking them up at flea markets and garage sales. There wasn’t one particular comic in the batch I can even remember. There were literally hundreds of books, but it was my introduction to comics. I sat and read them over and over, losing myself in the stories. It ate away the time by myself until I eventually met and friended the other kids of the neighborhood.

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    Supergirl volume 4 #1. It was the first comic I read with my daughter that grabbed her attention and imagination. We read it nightly for a month. It was magnificent!

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    Marvel Comics Presents… Captain America for President Ashcan. This comic was among my first comics and felt special due its unusual size. It felt as though I was the only one to have one (totally found it out that was not true later in collecting). It still holds a special place in my heart and fond memories.

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    Most of the stories above are way better than mine. Even though I’m not a regular reader of DCU books, and haven’t been for >30 years, I know the first comic I ever owned was World’s Finest 248. I was ~3, and a (much) older neighbor kid gifted me the book for reasons I don’t remember. I barely recall the event, but my parents have recounted the details. The old World’s Finest comics are robust reading material with several stories, and the feature story told in several “chapters”. Apparently, I really liked reading it because my parents regularly bought me comics from then on. Of course, they were completely random selections, so the cliffhangers from dozens of titles were frozen in time because I wouldn’t own any consecutively numbered comics until I started collecting/reading a decade later. I made a effort to eventually fill in those gaps as a collector.
    A few other standouts Avengers 158 (Loved the Kirby cover, even though it would be years before I knew who he actually was), Marvel Team-up 104 (Dinosaurs! What kid doesn’t want to see the Hulk fighting dinosaurs?), Thor 304 (Another good cover. The Wrecking Crew’s colorful outfits were aesthetically pleasing to a 6 year old), Hulk 171 & Conan 116. Technically the last two were the Power Records editions, and listened to those records many times before learning they were originally comics years later. These and many others were so well-read that any collectible value has long since been lost, but I still save them.

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    The comic in my collection that i’m most thankful for is my copy of Incredible Hulk 181 that i bought when i was about 13 years old. (I just turned 50 BTW.) It was at the only local show i knew of in my area. I had just gotten there, and was in the very first row, when i hear/see 2 dealers on opposite sides of the same isle, yelling at each other and ripping comics in half! They would yell out the title and issue number of a comic and then tear it in two. I thought it was hilarious….. until one of them holds up a book and says…. “Hulk 181”. I screamed NO! I was new to comics and didn’t know much. But i DID know that Hulk 181 was the first appearance of Wolverine. It was the early 1980s after all! I asked the guy if he was really going to destroy it, and why. They both said that the show was terrible and they were bored. So, to amuse each other, they started ripping up comics. Each time one would do it, the other one would, and up the ante on the stuff they were ripping! Dude ended up selling me that mid grade Hulk 181 for five bucks! My folks were so pissed that i had spent half my money on 1 comic! Fast forward to Terrificon 2019. My wife had convinced me to finally CGC some books. So i dropped it off at the CGC booth, expecting maybe a 5.0. To my amazement, after a clean and press and a whole lotta separation anxiety, it came back 6.0 with a blue label. It’s not worth silly money, but to me it’s the most valuable part of my collection. And i am still friends with the now retired dealer i bought it from. Thanks Al !!!

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    I am grateful for Fantastic Four 52
    I moved next to a thrift store about 6 years ago. Picked it up with a few other books. (Uncanny X-men 222, daredevil 146) all $2 each. After that I was hooked.

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    My book, like one of yours, was Amazing Spider-Man #4.
    I was in a small store with my Pops in the summer of 1963. I was 10 years old. There was a spinner rack in the store and I was eye level with AMS #4. I was mesmerized by the 4 panel Spidy cover and by Spider-Man man himself. I begged my Pops for 12 cents. He gladly gave it to me and love of Marvel comics started.

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    No doubt has to be Spawn #4. I was at a house i used to hang out at, sometime in 1991, and they had an issue, well read, of this book on the coffee table. I had seen it several times there and finally picked it up and went thru it…. holy crap it blew me away. Todd was on point and we were in to dark themes at the time. Man if it wasn’t for that moment i would have never asked about it and went into the only LCS in town. It has been an amazing ride.

  • Peter Renna

    So your brother clears out the South Jersey/Philly area? That’s why I have such a hard time finding books? Haha.

    But great stuff bud. Like everyone else this brings back memories. As a long suffering Jets fan, I’m not sure my boy Darnold will be much help ghost hunting these days as he’s turned his season around the last couple weeks and exorcised those ghosts. 🤘😎🤘

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    Hulk 181. When I was a kid, I would go to all the shops in the area and most had one the wall that I would look at every time and say to myself one day I’ll save enough to buy a copy. A few years later I saved up enough money to buy a mid grade copy after getting a job at blockbuster video. I still have it on my wall and will never sell it.

  • fourwayflashers

    I’m thankful for my Star Trek The Enterprise Logs – Which reprints issues 1-9. My grandfather bought it for me off the rack when I was young. It was the first comic I ever received and it is still in my collection today.

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    I would say my copy of incredible hulk 181. My uncle gave me a copy when I was a kid and that was the book that got me into collecting as a hobby and shaped me into who I am today.

  • curtain

    I come back to my copy of Thor 154. I will never tire looking at that Kirby Thor pose. It is the perfect comic book character portrait for me. Captures all the fun and fantasy of comic books. It was the first book I bought when I realized I wanted to stop buying current comics and focus on back issues, mostly silver age only.

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    Killing Joke #1. I was a struggling attorney trying to make ends meet and build my practice so I took on several clients who had difficult financial situations that made them undesirable to other attorneys. Most at that time did not pay or had a very difficult time paying. I kept wondering why I ever took the huge loans to be an attorney. One day I had a young mother and child walk through my office door and I realized why I became an attorney thanks to that book. I had left it out on my book shelf because I had just purchased it to complete a hole in my collection when they came in. While I cannot talk about what she talked about, I can tell you that his child picked up the book and started to look at the cover. The child looked at that book and my Batman statue and asked me if I was Superman because I wore glasses. I had the glasses and I was slimmer back then I said no but I did have his shirt and showed my halloween costume picture where I was dressed as Clark Kent with the superman shirt on underneath my suit. The child said that Superman helps people and maybe you could help my mom. I told the child I would do my best. I then told the child to I had an old Spiderman figure in my desk if he wanted to play with it but he had to be quiet as I wanted to finish with his mom.

    I told the mom that I would help her pro bono and that she had a good child. The mom was crying and I thought it was because I was taking her case but I was wrong. She told me in private the horrors that the child had gone through and how the child did not trust men and adults, especially strangers. She said it was one of the first times the child had opened up and talked to a person and look them in the eye. My laziness and good timing made me realize how my childhood characters could help me talk to young victims of horrors in life that they should never have had to face. I bought a bunch of comic book jerseys and figures and when a child comes in the office I put the shirts on and leave the figures out. It has helped me talk to kids and find out what had happened and to also show women that there are some guys out there who are not bad people. Other attorneys may laugh at me but to see how these actions help people is worth any comments I get from my peers.

    I may never be rich or even well off enough that I do not have to clip coupons and look for a deal but I now know there are people that have experienced more problems than me super sizing my fries. I also realized that there are no true super heroes out here with powers or abilities but there are people who truly try to help our fellow man. Each one of us does our best to make this world a better place and that book reminds me that even with adversity the heroine faced her problems and over came them to become a true super hero. The books that I was laughed at for reading and collecting taught me so many lessons and now I see they are still helping children deal with problems they are facing today. They inspire us to dream, to live, and to fight and that is why I love this hobby. We may grow old but we will never grow up and that little kid in all of us will survive and dream of saving the world, each in our own little way.

  • SPalochik

    I am thankful for my Sub-Mariner #1. It was the first book I planned, saved, and purchased at a con. As a kid, that purchase moved me from just buying and keeping comics to becoming an actual collector.

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