Thursday, May 31, 2012

Comic Origins

There was a time when these were the only comic book story collections that you could get at your local library - it was nearly impossible to find a volume in a bookstore because direct comic sellers just didn't exist yet.

I know that the library had to replace their copies every couple of years because they were very popular, especially in my crowd. If you were lucky you could get a battered up copy when they did the yearly old book sale. My Mother knew the library lady pretty well so she saved me these three books. When I got them they were beat up but still together. Since then I have treated them like any rare book that has ever been collected.


Mike D. said...

3 of my faves. I mention them on one of me blogs.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

You and I so much on the same frequency that its downright frightening. Origins of Marvel Comics and Bring on the Bad Guys were two books I stumbled upon in the Art and Humanities section of the library when I was a lad, long before the big Marvel movies or the graphic novel boom. I have my own copies now and they hold a place of honor on my bookshelf.

They didn't have Son of Origins when I was growing up, I ought to see if I can find a copy to get my nostalgic Silver Age Stan Lee fix.

However, what I really want to track down is another book from the same shelf of my youth was a hardcover book as thick as a reference volume filled with reprints of classic Superman stories ranging from the Golden Age beginnings to the close of the Bronze Age. This book contained the original Action Comics origin, a story were Clark Kent watches a Fleischer Brothers cartoon of himself, his first team up with Batman, then on to Silver Age silliness with his meeting with Mr. Mxyptlk, Brainiac's attack and bottling cities, the first appearance of Supergirl, his entry into the Legion of Superheroes, Superboy's friendship with a young Lex Luthor (and the devastating hair loss that drove such a bromance apart!) Then there were more contemporary stories like Clark Kent getting a job at Galaxy Broadcasting and finally attending the funeral of Jonathan Kent. Seeing Pa Kent walk into the cloud on the final page always teared me up.

It was also packed with pictures of covers of some of Superman's more oddball antics. It was a truly terrific book, years before DC ever published "The Greatest Superman Stories ever told" and even that book doesn't reprint of a fraction of these great stories, but sadly the library doesn't have a copy anymore and it was so far back that I don't even have a title to go on.

The library's annual book sale is tomorrow though, so maybe, just maybe, something just as cool will turn up.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I never miss a book sale at the library. There is something always there like some Asterix or Tin Tin that I don't already have. I love the gently used nature of them.

Jordan said...

YES! I have both "Origins" books (both physically and digitally, on my iPad). I bought them in a bookstore in 1976, when they were in print. I was very jealous of my friend Dylan, who not only had the best comic collection in the grade (he kept them bagged and boarded in a three-drawer filing cabinet) but had a boxed set of Origins and Son of Origins.

Drake said...

Have all three, treasured members of my library. :)