It’s Not Just You

It’s Julie’s birthday, and she is feeling well enough that we are going to chance a road trip. This is pretty much our only shot, since we spent the summer with her in and out of the hospital and then convalescing, and surgery round two is this Thursday and we have to start all over again. We don’t dare do anything big, and we’re certainly not taking any chances with hotels or anything like that with Julie being so immunocompromised. But the sun is out and I thought we might at least manage a drive somewhere. “And a ferry ride,” Julie added. So probably across Elliott Bay to the peninsula.

Which means the rest of the DC reminiscence is going to be delayed. Again. It’s probably just as well, though, since these nostalgia columns always cost money.

Ed Bosnar calls it “the Hatcher Effect,” when a column of mine reminds people of something they loved, or they find out about something cool they never knew existed, and are compelled to go shopping for it.

I’m afraid it works that way for me, too. I’m not immune. I’ll never be in Burgas’s league but I have been a spending a few bucks lately.

For example, the column about the Educator Classic hardcovers resulted in this….

Not all at ONCE, he added defensively. But between the time that piece went up and today, I’ve acquired the original set of twelve from 1968 (with the exception of volume 11, The Call of the Wild) and a couple of the 1970 ones as well. Volume 7, Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, that started this rock rolling down the hill, has been here for years; it’s shelved with the other Sherlock books. I haven’t decided where these are going to live yet, though I’m inclined to pull the Sherlock volume and add it to these so the numbers all line up because yes, I am that OCD about it.

The one on top is a ringer, it just ended up there because that’s where I happened to set it down. The Illustrated Dracula, from 1975.

That one is here because I’m sentimental. We already have the Stoker novel here in a dozen different editions, prose and comics and film and TV…

…to say nothing of various sequels and spin-offs…

…but this was my very first copy of Stoker’s actual novel, the real book and not just a Classic Illustrated or something. I have very fond memories of the excitement of finding it at Graham’s Books and Stationery and blowing the entire five dollars of lawn-mowing money for that week on it. Idly surfing the net I came across a really nice one listed on AbeBooks for about seven dollars, and I am ridiculously pleased at having it back.

But the DC reminiscence was what got me seriously opening my wallet. Travis mentioned he had been having good luck finding the old Giants for cheap. So that resulted in these coming from eBay…

…with this one on the way…

…all for less than twenty bucks total including shipping. So that’s one I owe Travis. Although the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes 100-pager is a replica; the original is still going for gouger’s prices. That’s okay with me, the replica will do me fine.

And these are here largely out of sentiment as well.

I have the original O’Neil-Grell comics here in a longbox somewhere, but considering what it would take to get to them…

…and the fact that I’m trying to replace the single issues with book collections ANYWAY, well, that was an easy one to talk myself into. Revisiting them, they’re better than I remembered, especially the earlier ones. The Vince Colletta inking is still awful, though.

The Brave and the Bold
archive collection is a direct result of the DC 100-page reminiscences. I saw it on Amazon for twelve bucks and immediately flashed on this comic, one of my very favorites from that time.

Both the Aquaman/Hawkman tale…

…and the Batman/Green Lantern team-up with the wonderful art from Ramona Fradon…

…are in that hardcover Archive collection, along with a lot of other cool stuff. Easy sell.

As it happens, the lead story with Batman and Mister Miracle is also available in hardcover.

I fell for that one too, though the Brave and Bold reprint was a pleasant surprise. I’d bought it for the Englehart/Rogers stuff. Nevertheless, I was delighted to see that story get the high-end treatment, it’s one of my favorite Jim Aparo jobs. Look at this page from the days when Aparo was a one-man band, pencils, inks, lettering, everything. The design of this is just amazing to me. It’s really busy but it’s not cluttered, and it’s flawless in the way it guides the eye from top to bottom in those sweeping curves so you read everything in order. Plus I love the slant on the word balloons, it adds depth to the page like you’re looking through a window at the scene.

I admit I have all the Brave and the Bold 100-pagers in a longbox here, somewhere, but, again, I refer you to the photograph showing the current state of the longboxes.

So anyway, Ed and everyone else, it happens to me too.

And now we’re chancing a day trip to the Olympic Peninsula. If we happen across a thrift shop or a bookstore that’s actually open… and it looks safe to go in… God only knows what we’ll end up with. I TRY to be good, honest, but with all the stress we’ve had lately, retail therapy gets awfully tempting.

Pray for us.


  1. Edo Bosnar

    Ha, ha, Greg! Foisted by your own Picard! Or whatever that saying is…

    Seriously, though, those are some cool purchases. The Green Lantern book is one I’ve gone back and forth on recently – I’m also fond of the GL/GA books from that period, as those were some of the first Green Lantern books I ever had.

    Anyway, hope you and Julie have a good (and safe) trip.

    1. Actually we barely got as far as the ferry dock when Julie started to have tummy trouble so I called an audible and we came home.

      Today, though, we are heading south toward Chehalis to visit Julie’s former roommate Marcia, so a road trip with some sort of birthday celebration is still in the offing.

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