...First Trip to a Comic Book Shop (1977)
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8 posts in this topic

picon3   
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I'm curious about other people's experiences with their first trip to a comic book shop in the 1970s where I'm guessing most of us Bronze Agers live.  So I'll start.

It was 1977 and I had just moved to an area about 7 miles or so from Citrus Heights in California.  Up to that point I had never been to a shop that only sold comic books, but I quickly learned through some new friends that there was a store called Comics and Comix in the Sunrise Mall.  So my friends Ron and Skip decided we'd take the bus up to Sunrise Mall and see if we could find this mythic place.  It was only a 7 mile trip, but we were pretty excited and it seemed like every stop went on forever as people loaded and unloaded.  And then we were there in front of the store.  It was like finding the Lost Temple of Gold.  I remember clearly going inside and they had shelves with all the new books on them, stuff behind the counter (I recall Avengers Annual #7 which was already a hot book then with the whole Thanos/Starlin story arc), but most importantly back issues in bins at the rear of the store.  I recall I made one purchase that day, Doctor Strange #4 with a fantastic Frank Brunner cover (and a three year old back issue that I had been looking for for a while!).  It was my Golden Age as a kid and one which still gives me fond memories today.  Paul~

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aardvark88   
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Posted (edited)

Was around 1972 and I read an article about a comic book back issue shop in the weekly Entertainment section of the Vancouver Sun newspaper. It was too far for my buddies and I to ride our bicycles there from Chinatown, so we took the trolley bus on the weekend to West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was a dark dingy store still currently called The Comicshop. Pretty scary in there, as it was run by 2 tall hippies, and I was a tyke. Saw an Avengers #1 for the princely sum of $40 :cloud9: that I later found out was above Overstreet once I realized you could buy an Overstreet in 1976 once the Guide was better distributed.

Before The Comicshop opened up, I would walk down to the used book and porn shop in low rent Chinatown to rifle through loose back issues like Mr Miracle #2 that I bought for 10c, as I could not afford 'the good stuff' like Silver Surfer #1 hanging on a clothes line above the cashier for a monstrous price of $10. I will never be able to save up that many dimes ! 

Edited by aardvark88
sp.

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picon3   
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The photo is fantastic. (thumbsu That looks like me (no kidding) circa 1980/1981.  I had let my hair grow for six months to irritate my USAF dad and had that same style.  Paul~

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Brian48   
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Posted (edited)

I guess it might have been around 1977 or 1978.  My access to purchase comics up to that point was pretty much limited to newsstands, spinner racks in convenience stores, and the late, great Robert Bell in Hauppauge, NY. One day a friend of mind showed me this great back issue of this one title (Don't remember exactly what that book was) and told me he got it from a "comic book store".  I was really amazed at the concept of a store entirely devoted to comics and just had to see this for myself.  Anyway, a few weeks later, we make the trip across the city via public transportation and I was introduced to Superhero Universe in Cambridge, MA.  My eyes just about popped out when I walked in and saw all the wall books and isles of comic bins. Must have spent hours in there every available weekend I could get away. They eventually openned up a couple of other stores in the next few years, including one in downtown Boston. Pretty much hooked after that and visited as many other shops as possible within my travel range.  My favorite was always the Million Year Picnic (also in Cambridge, MA).

Back to Superhero Universe, the owner of the store was a real sleazeball, but I didn't realize that until later. Back in '83 when I officially left comics, I sold my collection to him and the scumbag made every attempt to delay payment to me, despite me giving him a really great deal. I made so many damn visits to the Boston store to ask for my money, I wounded up getting hired to work the store. Always thought it was ironic that I'd wind up working in a comic shop as soon as I gave up comics. Bob Layton used to stop by the store every now and then as he was living in Boston at the time. I remember one of my female co-workers really wanting to get into his pants every time he stepped into the store.  I guess Bob was a real rock star in those days.  Anyway, I stayed there for almost 2 years before hanging it up and left for the Marines.  SU chain went belly up a just a few years later, which didn't surprise me. The Million Year Picnic is still operating to this day. 

Edited by Brian48

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Pirate   
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Besides the Local 7-11 in the 80's, I used to take a 2 hour + bus ride to the Smithhaven Mall on Long Island to visit a small shop called Serendipity Comics.  All i remember from that shop is they had a FF #1 for $300.  As I got into my teen years,  mid to late 80's, I started going to Port Comics in Hauppauge, NY I think.  They had a subscription service and got great back issues from a source in the city.  They had a quarterly 50% off sale and I would get my dad to drive my friend and I up to.  I remember one sale we got there 1st to make sure we got the books we wanted.  My buddy snagged an ASM 121 for $10 and I went and got Hulk #181 for $20.  Those half price days were great.

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picon3   
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Thanks to everyone who has shared a great story so far.  Paul~

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Kramerica   
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My first trip to a comic store was in 1981 to the Aquarius Bookstore on 4th and Wilshire in Santa Monica, CA. I purchased a TTA #83 which I still have to this day for $3.25. Amazing that I remember the price (and still have the comic. Then it was off to the races......

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