Monday, 11 October 2010

Comic Books - A Starting Point (Pt 1)

My interest in comics started Xmas mornings. Every Xmas 'Santa' would put a couple of comics in my stocking, along with the usual candy canes, chocolates and other small presents. I figure that 'Santa' hoped they might keep me occupied a few minutes longer so my parents could sleep in a bit longer before the Xmas day festivities got started. Of course when you wake up at 5 am on a Xmas morning, we still ended up getting up a bit early. :0)

There was always an Archie or Little Lulu or Richie Rich comic to keep me entertained. Once we moved to Chatham, New Brunswick and I was a bit older, like seven or eight, I started to buy my own comics. Saturday my buddies and I would go to the Saturday matinee at the Base Theater. In the Fall, we would start off with five pin bowling, then head to the movie. Next to the theater was the base Grocery store, where we would stock up on penny candies, licorice cigars/ pipes, candy cigarettes (all before these became politically incorrect), 5 cent bags of Hadfield's potato chips with hockey cards or toy soldiers inside, and comic books! Back then they were ten cents a comic and it had a great selection.

I read anything. I had a  particular crush on Supergirl. She was gorgeous in her blue tights and red cape.  Comics let me journey to so many different worlds. Superheros, war stories, horror, western and even Classic comics.

When we went on trips to visit relatives back in Ontario, usually a two week journey, I would gather my comics and wander around PMQ's (military housing for military families), going door to door and trade my old ones for new ones. Looking back on it, it seems so totally out of character and there is no way I would let my children do that today. I would trade with kid's or their fathers and have a new batch of comics ready to take with me on our trips. Cool, as it didn't cost anything, other than the effort of wandering around our neighbourhood. I still find it amazing how many father's read and were willing to trade comics. (Well, maybe not so amazing now, since I still collect them.)

Whenever we hit Kirkland Lake, where my grandmother lived, I would head down to the corner store down the block. There, I could replenish my supply and also get frosty cold Orange Crush from the pop cooler. My cousins in Noranda also collected so I could take a break from my comics and let them last a bit longer, by reading their comics.

I had to be careful reading in the car. If I focussed too much, I would get a headache and if things went to the worst extreme, well, let's just say there could be an emergency stop. I never did learn how to limit my reading while travelling, but my endurance improved. *g*.

We moved to Germany in 1968. When 3 Wing Zweibrucken closed down, our family moved down the road to 1 Wing Lahr. At the Base Exchange, across from the High School, was the Book Store. Not only did I get my fix of Alistair MacLean and Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, but I was introduced to the comic genius of Jack Kirby. I loved his style and collected most of his series, especially The Demon, The New Gods, Forever People, Mr Miracle.

My favourite comic then was Kamandi, Last Boy on Earth. It was such an imaginative series, kind of an extension on the Planet of the Ape movies; with talking dogs, lions, anything you could think of. He was very much like Charlton Heston, with his girlfriend, Flower. The animals were interesting, the situations were excellent. I had the whole series at one time; also the complete New Gods and The Demon. I stopped collection comics after we moved back to Canada, other than the odd one.

Unfortunately, when I got divorced in 96, I sold all of them for a pittance. Hormones and all that acting up. However, my love for comics was rekindled after that time, with the help of a tv show about a female vampire hunter named Buffy. I'll talk about that and my current collections in a future post. (Note that the pictures used in this post were taken from the internet. Thanks for that.)


  1. Lovely imagary of you throwing up in the car.. ;o)
    One hopes you don't still read in the car. Not when you're driving anyway !?? ;o)
    Jo xx

  2. I just read on airplanes now and I've learned to stop when I get a headache.. *g*

  3. I digress...I have a vivid memory of being a recepient of one of your technicolor reading episodes while sitting quietly in the back of a VW Fastback...but this probably isnt the right forum...

  4. I blame that on the Adams Sour gum, not my reading. I remember that too, not fondly of course.. lol


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