Comic Book Ghosts of Christmas Past Give up the Ghost to Comics of Christmas Present(s)

maybe this is a lame way to kick off this blog–aging boomer, waxing nostalgic about comics of past Christmases-(Jeez! isn’t that enough to make you wretch? or at least yawn…).
Unfortunately or otherwise-I do indeed cherish those twenty-cent wonders I bought on the last day of school before Christmas vacation lo’ those many winters past, but very few of them are actually worth re-visiting or re-reading–nevermind writing about 35 years later. I mean-who’s gonna get all hot and bothered discussing an issue of DC’s “Strange Sports Stories” ?
Still-the excitement of those days when I could run to the corner drugstore and pick up 10-15 new comics for $2-3.00 bucks –money that I’d hoarded from unspent lunch money–and choosing the books with great care-knowing this was the stash to last me the entire vacation—then finally settling down to look the pile over when I got home from school — this was an incomparable joy.

I admit then that one of my guilty middle-aged pleasures is attempting to relive that experience at this time of year, by indulging in my semi-annual comics buying spree-(yep, still hoarding the lunch money). Compiling a comparable stash these days would break my bank–or at least empty my wallet–and given that most of my expendable(ha!) funds are tied up in publishing through Look Out!Monsters“–I have to pick and choose among a glut of great books, none of which cost twenty cents.

So what might a discerning reader with $100. limit go for? Do I buy one book? or go for five– or six ?


Agony defined.

Why is it that $100. today seems so much less than $2 or 3.00 from 1973?Therein lies the secret of the problem with our economy.
Well-I’ve got to pick up Beto’s “Speak of the Devil”, no question. I buy everything Los. bros. do-and it’s still not enough. So- fourteen bucks- ok. $86. big ones left.
The big question for me is always how much to spend on new work by contemporary artists and how much to spend on collections of previously published material. I’ve been reading IDW’s reprints of classic comic strips-Caniff’s “Terry and the Pirates” and Gould’s “Dick Tracy”-( you don’t need me to tell you that both live up to their well-deserved status as classics)-and I’m afraid I’m hooked. They both read like master classes in comic strip storytelling–and the IDW editions are exceptional, certainly the “Terry” series is definitive(I so wish the Tracy set included color-and was printed on different stock-but those caveats don’t in anyway diminish Gould’s electric narratives.) . So let’s go for Terry” volume 4–and Tracy volume 5–at Amazon that totals $54.00. Still $32.00 left!

Well-here’s where the difficulties set in. I’ve got to have “Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko” from Fantagraphics–that’s $26.00. But Mark Evanier’s “Kirby:King of Comics” is also $26.00. Alrightalright–I’ll put off that decision for as long as I can. Nah-the hell with it-gotta have ’em both.

But what about Eddie Cambell’s “the Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard”? ($12.00 )And I’ve heard good things about “Abandoned Cars” by Tim Lane–($16.00) and Nate Powell’s “Swallow Me Whole “($14.00). Jason Lutes has volume 2 of Berlin out ($14.00) and then there’s Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s “Goodbye” ($14.00) Alison Bechdel’s “Essential Dykes to Watch Out For”($16.00) Is there anything by Gipi I’m missing? No-oh wait–I haven’t picked up “Garage Band” ($12.00)-and Tezuka’s “Ode to Kirihito” ($16.50) So–How much is all that?


like I said-3 bucks seemed to go so much farther in 1973.

Now where was I–Ok, Beto’s “Speak of the Devil”…


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