By Beau Smith
Like many of you, I’ve been reading and collecting comic books for decades. Throughout that time I’ve kept most every comic I bought, traded for or were given. That amounts to a heck of a lot of comics. I don’t need to remind you just how much space they take up as well.
As a comic book collector/reader, I’m sure you’ve found that collecting one thing you’re interested in leads to collecting many other things you’re interested in. It’s the way of pop culture. It can also be a little bit of a curse as well.
If you’ve moved more than twice in your life you’ve no doubt felt the pain and suffering that is attached to your collection just in sheer weight. If you like me, you found that the older you get, the less you want to tote heavy weights and that your buddies, like rats leaving a sinking ship, have all vanished when you need them. It ain’t pretty is it?
I enjoy my comics, past and present. Granted, I don’t get as much re-reading time for them as I did in my younger days, but when given the chance to revisit, it’s always a pleasure. Thing is, I don’t want to be surrounded by indoor forts of long boxes and stacks of single issue comics anymore. My childhood collection of Silver Age comic books still mean the most to me and I can’t ever see me selling or getting rid of my Daredevil collection of issues #1 through #200, but everything has its limits.
I’ve been in the comic book business since 1987. During that time I’ve received thousands of “comp” issues from various publishers. Usually the publisher I worked for had an exchange with other publishers so that means there have always been a lot of comics being delivered here at The Flying Fist Ranch — LOTS. Not to mention toys and other articles of pop culture.
I’ve donated comics and books to libraries and other organizations through the years, but with even “mainstream comics” begin more “gritty/real life” many of these organizations are looking for kid friendly material and there just isn’t that much of it anymore.
I’ve traded single issues for trade paperbacks from time to time to expand space without giving up reading pleasure. I’ve sold some as well; after all, I’m not too much of a fool when it comes to money. You won’t find me giving stuff away if there are a few pesos to be made. So don’t write me and tell me that you’ll do me a favor and take some free comics off my hands. I’ve gotta keep putting biscuits and beer on the table.
I’m sure a lot of you have been faced with this situation and might have already dealt with it or are currently dealing with it. At first I found it tough to shed comics that I had in my ownership for over 40 years, but I finally figured that, “Hey! I’ve enjoyed this X-Men #94 for a long while; it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.” So I’ve sold and traded a few, knocked out some extra space here at the ranch (just scratched the surface, my friends), and will continue to do so.
It makes me wonder how other Baby Boomers are going to change the field of collectables. I’m sure it’s going to make a good-sized blip on the comic book radar not only with collectors, but retailers as well. With sales of new comic books still falling, I wonder if the back issue market is going to help pump up in store sales or just inflate those on Ebay and whatever new online sales/auction outlet rises up. It is going to happen, I’m not the only one that is making room in their house. What are you thinking? Has any of this crossed your mind? I’m sure we’d all love to hear about it. Post up!
Thank You From Wynonna Earp
I want to take a minute here to thank all of the female readers that were kind enough to buy and read Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars graphic novel. I’ve gotten a lot of emails over the holidays from a lot of women that enjoyed Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars. Even I was surprised by the amount of mail I received. It means a lot to me to know that Wynonna has not only a good sized male readership, but a very strong female audience that enjoys the action, humor and fact that Wynonna is not all “Skanked Up” as some of the mainstream heroines that clutter the super hero landscape. Again, thanks to all of you and please keep spreading the word.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week:Sub-Mariner #42
The Golden Age Sub-Mariner comics were always great for eye-popping covers and bombastic blurbs of burly wonder. Issue #42 is a prime example. You’ve got Namor ready to knuckle up and bust a punk, a great background and check out the cover blurb: “Sub-Mariner Fights Commies and Crooks.” You can’t ask for more, except maybe a hot damsel-in-distress. Enjoy this cover and look for more covers from around that time ? you won’t be disappointed!
Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Krista Allen
She was in one of my favorite modern monster movies Feast; need I say more? Sign her up for more movies right away!
Over the holidays I got the chance to roam through some of my files, art boxes, metal cabinets and desks. I always enjoy this because I’m always coming across stuff I haven’t seen in years or filed correctly. This time I found the artwork to the never published Parts Unknown Annual that I wrote a while back with pencils by Chris Ready and inks by Bill Nichols. I worked with Chris on lots of Parts Unknown stories that we had in inventory. Chris always had a great sense of fun to his work and like me, loved the old 1950s B-movie monster and invasion moves we used to see at drive-ins. Like his mentor and my Parts Unknown co-creator, Brad Gorby, Chris is also a student of the strong, well build heroine that knows how to handle a big laser gun while wearing a tight dress and high heels. It’s an art.
I thought I’d share these two fun pages from the unpublished Parts Unknown Annual with you so you could enjoy the animation-like fun we had on the story. Here you see Maria Lucci liberating an alien blaster and painting the walls with outer space brain matter.
The Flying Fist Ranch
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