While we are getting ready to make the big move I have been painfully parting with most of the millions of things I collected over the years. The biggest pile is comics. Though I know I will never read most of them again, I find it hard to send them on their merry way. I took a large number of them into the local store for trade, but I still have a ton (about 5 – 300 count long boxes. It is quite easy to accumulate a lot quickly).
In the middle of sending my comics off I saw that someone over on the Warren Ellis forum, Whitechapel asked people to talk about the first comic they ever read. I remember mine well and, in fact, I still have it out in the garage.
My seventh grade year of school was spent in the small town of Sumner, IL where all the seventh graders from the surrounding towns are bused and my nephew is about to start attending in the fall. Seventh grade was a lot of firsts for me, but the big one was that it was the first year I could leave school for lunch and not go home. My aunt worked at the local five and dime (which isn’t there anymore) and I quickly gravitated to a place that was new, yet filled with the familiar presence of family. I would blow what little cash I had on candy and chips, sit on a stool near the counter, and talk to whoever came through the door.
That was until two things happened: the store owner decided to put some arcade games in to help draw the students over from the school and I discovered the comic rack.
The arcade game was called Trojan. I’ll have to write another post on how addicted I was to it.
However, as much as I loved the arcade, I was struck dumbfounded by what I saw one day on the comic rack. A comic stared back at me with the harsh illustration of men, women, children, and wolves walking through the grueling heat of a desert.
This was Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest and I was in love at first sight. I started to collect 10 cent return bottles and save any money I could for the 75 cent fix every month. My aunt would keep the new issue behind the counter till I had the money to pay for it. There was probably no one else in the town that would have ever given it a second look sitting among the superhero titles, but I felt like the one copy that was brought into the store each month was mine alone.
From there the addiction went into full swing and I branched out into almost every genre of comic collecting. Now, I wait for trade paper back and I have most of the Elfquest series in nice bookshelf collections. I have my issues up for sale, but maybe I’ll keep #2. I need something to set within reach of my child when she gets old enough to take a look.
To read the whole Elfquest series online, check out Elfquest.com