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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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)

 

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

 

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)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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