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Rusty Skrulls and Sunken Treens posted by Hibou

41 posts in this topic

Part IV



"I'm outta here. DC & Marvel - very disappointed."




"CGC... ???"















Maybe it's time for a reevaluation.


Yes, that's it...


Time to go to my favorite LCS.

"Hey Mike, here's a bunch of these underwater cover and moon cover books that seem distant to me now. Cash? Sure, but let me take a look at what you have in the store..."


And this one small decision actually saved comic collecting for me! :)


To be continued on that later...



"... I don't wanna go".

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So back in December of this past year, I was sort of at a crossroads... I told the stories that I needed to tell, got to the point in my life that I felt I needed to get to... accumulated the books that I wanted to get... and that was that.



The End.



But there was definately something missing...


A desire. A passion... a purpose.


I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.


And this was in December...


The next few months would be increasingly pivotal in terms of what it would mean for me and this thing that I've loved for all my life which are called, 'comics'.


Was it simply time for a break... or was this the end?



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I have to go back to January for a moment to point out some of the very cool things that my friend Rob got for me for Christmas. Our favorite meeting place, Tim Horton's, had closed and so we met at a nearby mall which also looks like they're on their last legs. It seems like this area is so depressed...


Anyways, what was pretty cool was that the gifts were all themed and that theme revolved around another favorite of mine...




It was a really nice assortment of absolute fun and here's some of them.








A Bionic Bigfoot pillow, Baron Blood, Creature from the Black Lagoon goodness...


Also a very cool D. Briefer Frankenstein T-Shirt and even a full set of reproduced Monsters Old Maid cards! There were also a few other goodies included as well. It was really nice especially since I didn't take part in the Secret Santa event here on the boards. It was the first year that I hadn't.


I think that was my first hint that I was slowly pulling away from all of this.



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I forgot to mention that a week before meeting up for the holiday, I stopped at a used bookstore nearby as I try to go there a few times a year. They carry a small selection of comics and graphic novels... sometimes I'll find a pretty good deal on something there.


Well this visit paid off for me in a big way.


I was browsing through their graphic novels and comic related books when I pulled this book out.










I mean, no big deal right?


I've seen this book often and I think at one point I had a copy.


But in this case, everything changed when I saw the spine...














"I wonder who put the book together? It's probably signed by the author."



I opened up the book and saw on the interior that it was priced at $50.00 ... "Pricey!" I said to myself.


But then when I turned the page and saw this inside leaf, that $50.00 wasn't going to be an obstacle at all! I think I closed the book right up and ran to the register.

I had found a personal treasure!


And I would bet a whole lot of money that there isn't another one out there like it. :)

















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In January, I was shocked as most were, on the passing of David Bowie... I had heard about the new album, Blackstar and was looking forward to buying and listening to it. I was captivated... really captivated by the title track and especially the hypntoic video that went with it.







I put off buying the CD on that first week of its release but after the news hit, I bought the CD, downloaded it digitally and purchased the vinyl as well. To this day, I have a hard time listening to the CD as it has such a profound effect on me. I never experienced or witnessed something like this before as it was a masterful yet somber acknowledgement of facing mortality wrapped in something so amazingly artistic.


But perhaps there was something else in there too... a story yet to be told.


I'm not sure about that but his passing affected me quite a bit.


It pretty much laid the foundation for what would be a dark, long and cold winter...


And with that, I withdrew further and further away from comics. I thought about what other 'themes' I might be interested in - what I might want to collect.


And those questions that I posed to myself were answered with deafening silence.









Major Tom, this is Ziggy Stardust, the Starman. Is there life on Mars... is space the final frontier? Which galaxy is far, far away, what is time and what's a pink monkey bird?





















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So just how far did I retreat as winter lumbered on and finally, thankfully gave way to spring?


A couple of examples...


It was probably early March when my wife and daughter went with me to a small antique shop about 30 miles outside of here. I looked around and found some comics but didn't get anything. We were about to leave when my wife asked me if I saw this Superman newspaper. I told her that I did but didn't need it.


She reminded me that it was $3.00.


"Yeah, but still... I don't know."


She told me to just get it and now I'm glad I did.


I can't believe I would've let this sit for $3.00.








And then about a month later, my wife was going through some of her old magazines when I spotted this particular one.


I asked her where this one came from but she didn't remember. I asked her if she knew what was inside... she thought it was very cool when I showed her but even this find wasn't enough to get me motivated to post about it.


Well, that is until now. :)



Look Magazine : February 27, 1940







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Through the months of spring and at the start of summer, I found myself doing a lot of selling. A book here, a book there... a stack of raw books now and then. But in the process, I wasn't replacing those books with anything else. Primarily, I was just using the funds to pay bills and repairs... there wasn't anything that was appealing to me. I even sold a whole short box of all of my DC52 comics... I had no idea that there was some value in that box.


At times I would catch a thread or two on here about the new CGC cases and the changes to their membership. Those changes are what's currently holding me back but in the next month or so, I think I'll have a better idea as to what's transpired here and hopefully make sense of the CGC credit for submissions on their membership.


What I couldn't seem to do was catch on to anything... I think there was a week where I was playing around with the idea of getting into Doctor Strange books but it didn't hold. I love the character but I felt like the exposure was getting over-saturated, if that makes any sense. Maybe I did that to myself by dipping into the 'speculative' side of collecting a little. I sort of felt like maybe it was just 'that time again'... as had happened to me before, throughout the years, as I would get into collecting- then I would get out and then something would pull me back in... I thought about it and I had been actively involved in comics and collecting for the past 7-8 years since getting back in.


This time however, what was starting to affect me was the ceaseless changes that both Marvel and DC seemed to announce on a weekly basis. This character was going to be different, that character is now someone else... these titles were being cancelled... this universe is now that universe.


It was too much to keep track of and it was contributing to this feeling of mine of being driven away. I can't even tell you what the new titles are now or what's what and who's who.


I just didn't care and frankly, still don't.


I tried to adapt to those changes but in the end, perhaps I was the one that had changed too much.


One afternoon, I went to my LCS with a few more books to sell. I ended up getting a couple of 60's JLA reader books (nothing important, just something I wanted to read to see if it would spark anything) and as I was leaving I walked past the week's new books that were spread out over the counter.

"Hey Mike, what's this?"


He explained to me that it was the new Steve Rogers, Captain America series. He said I could take a copy for free so I thanked him and as I walked out the door, his parting words to me were...


"You won't like it."




Well what did he mean by that?


I actually read the comic in the car... something I can't remember doing in years!


After I was done reading it, I shook my head, placed the comic back in the bag and then placed that bag in the back seat. I started the car and drove home...


That was it.


I was done with comics and this would be the book that killed comics for me.







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Part V




"What a FANTASTIC death abyss..."


"Tell the others."








So it was shortly after this reading of Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 that I made a decision to sell off a lot these underwater and moon books.


I had a plan though...


I was going to target some of my sales to those around me that I've had a good relationship with and to those that had let me know that they were interested in a few of my books in the past.


I started out at a small local convention here in town, where I sold a book to a local collector who happened to have a small table set up. I gave him a good price and he was thrilled. Next, I went to my LCS once again and talked to Mike, the owner. I had a handful of books but there were a few in there that I wanted to go to a specific person. I hadn't seen him in about a year but he collected GA Sub-Mariner and he specifically asked me to keep him in mind if I was ever going to sell a couple of the issues that I had.


I brought the books into the store and asked Mike if this guy had come in lately (I knew that he had been a customer there for some time)... I told him the deal of how he wanted to buy a few of the books that I was bringing in. He told me that he had come in the week before and that he would be coming back within the following week. So he bought the books off of me and then he would turn them around to this customer.


Well, the next weekend I went back there and sure enough, Mike did just what I was hoping he would do as the Sub-Mariner collector was in the shop as I walked in and he was very happy! We caught up and talked for a little, all the while I felt really good knowing that some of my books were going to someone who really wanted them.


I then followed that up with PM sales here on the boards to a couple of boardies who expressed an earlier interest in a few other books of mine.


And it had started... I was breaking away and it started to get easier and easier to let go.


I wasn't having regrets but I was wondering to myself just how far I would go.


I would set some parameters but then found myself even breaking through those.

"I think I've lost my way... it's the heart's filthy lesson."


I mean it was only about 5 to 6 months ago when I proclaimed on here that I was somewhat proud of the collection I assembled and the motions I went through to obtain those.


But here I was...


At times I would think back to the story I started with when I began to write Rusty Staples and Sunken Treasure. The story started as I was a child. I remembered back to the day when I stayed home from school... sick in bed, my father came home from work for lunch and came into my room with two comics he picked up on the way.


Captain America 206 and Iron Man 94


This would've been 1977 and everything seemed so magical... so special.


And didn't Kirby pretty much run everything!









I remembered back further to some of the first comics I either picked out on my own or purchased on my own. Why were these memories so firmly planted?


Then I jumped forward to the time where I put together my first serious collection... the Ditko run of Spider-Man. THAT was fun! That was exciting to piece together those issues to the best of my abilities.


I actually had issue number one... and two and a lot more!


So with that, I thought that maybe what was missing was that feeling of accomplishment tied together with youthful excitement and wonderment. "What if I tried to put together that Spider-Man collection again?", I thought to myself.


I started looking at a few issues...


But then, almost as quickly as that idea came about... it was gone again. I had done that already so what was really the point? Besides, it felt very contrived.


I was back to feeling like it was over.








And then one afternoon, on a weekend, I pulled out a T-shirt from the bottom of the dresser drawer and looked at it for some time. It was just an older 'lounge-around-the-house' shirt but something began to speak to me from within... rather, more accurately... there was a spark!


And from that, the connections started to fire away in succession.


I just hadn't put it all together yet!



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Yeah that Cap 1 book from the new series was trash. I don't know why Marvel has to constantly mess with Steve Rogers. Hasn't he been through enough already? Looking forward to this "cosmic cube turned Cap into a Hydra agent" storyline ending so we can get the real Cap back...and he needs to get his round shield back from Falcon-Cap (ugh).


I really don't read the new books anymore, but I'm having a blast going back and picking up Bronze and Silver Age books/titles I hadn't read before! I sound like an old man, but it's true...they don't make em like they used to.



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Hello old friend,


Or, should I say, new friend of a different persona? I just caught up on this new direction and I even had to google "Mekon." First off, welcome back! Second, great find on the signed GREATEST SUPERMAN STORIES EVER TOLD. You just never know what you will find.


It sounds like you are on a journey of new discovery, letting go and letting in at the same time. You let go of the underwater past and stepped aside from the bad moon rising if you will, and I hope you find what you are looking for in your new venture.


I have stepped aside from CGC for a bit, not from comics, just plastic acquisitions for now and I'm fine with that. I just need my Batman books and I'll be fine!


I look forward to the next entry.



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Thank you kindly, Brandon!


Much more to come... :whee:




And thanks for the comment Surfer! The Falcon is / was an awesome character by himself... I still have my Mego figure of him. Was it that important to create this Sam Wilson, Cap?! And I agree, the shield is ridiculous... I don't even see it as a homage to the original Timely shield but maybe others do.




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Midnight approaches...


And those midnight blues seem to be washed away.






Taking a moment to sit back and start this short story of how a spark can come from the strangest of things. All those feelings of not knowing if I wanted to continue on with comics and sorts would start to change from this point forward.











...the bottom of the dresser drawer!




I had just mentioned that I pulled this old T-Shirt out and somehow it spoke to me...


What was it?


Well, it was this old thing here and I believe I got it around 7 years ago.






So what was it that I saw in this old shirt?


Kirby and Byrne.


I thought about that and as a life long fan of John Byrne, it got me thinking about how influential he was to me in regards to comics.


But then there was Jack Kirby.


I looked at those portraits featured on the T-Shirt.

"Wait, are those all..."


Yes, 9 heads are from this issue alone...




And yes, I just bought this issue, complete with date stamp! :)







It appears that this T-Shirt features 2 Byrne heads (Wolverine and I think Spider-Man too) , 1 Buscema head (Sliver Surfer) and then the rest are Kirby.


Jack Kirby... go figure.


And from there, I simply went about my business.


But it certainly got me thinking... hm













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Thinking about Jack Kirby and those heads on the T-Shirt...

The Hulk


Captain America


The Silver Surfer


The Fantastic Four


The Inhumans




The X-Men



... all from the minds and talents of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. I mean we all know this but I guess there comes that point where it really hits you. How these two individuals created basically an entire fictional, pop culture universe! Of course there were many others involved in fleshing out this Marvel universe... Steve Ditko with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, Bill Everett and Daredevil, Don Heck (w/ Kirby) and Iron Man... the list goes on.


But just look at that list with Lee and Kirby.


I suppose on the DC side, it would be like Siegel and Shuster creating not only Superman, but Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the rest of the JSA.


But they didn't.


I just started thinking about what would comics be like if it weren't for that spark that came from Lee and Kirby. And then, the more I read... the more I saw Jack Kirby as being the absolute force behind that movement,


For these few days, those thoughts sort of consumed me but it still didn't provide any absolute catalyst.







In the next few weeks, I met a character that started the process of galvanizing where it was exactly that I wanted to go.


So, it was probably on a Saturday night... after a 60 hour week was in my pocket, the time came to sit down and go through some topics on the boards here, pour a drink... punch up a video or playlist on YouTube and start to detach from the mundane.


Robert Plant is a favorite of mine... of course Led Zeppelin too.


So on a whim, I felt like I wanted to hear something from my favorite album of his, "Principle of Moments". "Big Log" is my absolute favorite, but it wasn't time for that... I wanted to hear "Messin' with the Mekon".


A pretty cool tune, in my opinion...







So onto Google I go and I type in "Messing Mekon" and as soon as the results pop up, I instinctively hit 'Videos'... but I ended up clicking on images instead.


And there before my eyes was this... thing. This creature. What in the world?!

"The Mekon?"


"Looks... absolutely... AMAZING!"


I was captivated by this imagery. Who or what was this?


"Looks like a combination of The Leader... a little green martian... a Skrull?"


"A Skrull?"


"A Super-Skrull?"




No, this was something very new to me and I liked what I saw!






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