Let’s all put our hands together and celebrate my triumphant return to Comic Book Men!
In this week’s episode, Walt meets a fellow ElfQuest fan. For the uninitiated, ElfQuest was one of the very first independent comics ever published. Produced by Richard and Wendy Pini, it was actually the very first closed-ended comic series ever. Interesting geeky backstory here: Richard Pini wrote a letter (back when comics had ‘Letters’ pages) in an issue of Silver Surfer which was ready by Wendy Fletcher a fellow comics, fantasy and scifi fan. The two corresponded for years, met, fell in love and were married. Fast-forward to 1977, when the couple brought forth their dream project, ElfQuest, full of dark magic and elven folk and adventure galore. ElfQuest was the first fantasy-adventure comic series written and illustrated by a woman, Wendy Pini. Richard serves as her editor.
This woman reminded us all that there are times when we’ve all felt like outsiders.
The next items were the Aliens M41 Pulse Rifle (nicknamed Brown Bess) and the Motion Tracker by Master Replica. Two cool props from a very cool movie, James Cameron’s, Aliens. The guy selling the items was not out of bounds with his asking prices, but unfortunately, as I’ve said before, most people come in with a number fixed in their head and retail doesn’t work that way. We gave him a very fair price for the motion tracker. It could be argued that this was the first time that a major motion picture portrayed a woman taking center stage as an action hero…Sigourney Weaver kicks major ass as Ripley, a character who signed on to the mission originally as simply an advisor. Her transformation into badass mode is prompted by a young female survivor of the colony they are investigating. She needs to protect the girl from the Alien Bitch-Queen, and having her maternal instinct re-awakened gives her all the motivation she needs to do what needs to be done.
The last of our transactions was the Ben Cooper Batman Playsuit. The Ben Cooper company was THE premier Halloween costumer for children during the 50’s through the 90’s. There are few things more Americana, in my opinion, than the Ben Cooper costume. The company held licenses for hundreds of different characters. I myself can remember being: Spiderman, Dracula, and Bozo the Clown. The playsuit differed from Cooper’s regular halloween costumes in that it was made out of fabric with hand-stiching, and ACTUALLY looking and feeling like the character’s costume rather than having a pictorial representation on the plastic bib. This was a really cool item and I’m really glad Walt got it for the store.
Now, on to Walt’s Big Gamble. We all pitched in $250 to get a storage locker, hoping to find some holy comic and/or collectible relics in other people’s discard. The day was brutally hot and we’d been out there looking at storage locker after storage locker and were sweating like madmen. Finally, at one of the last lockers of the day, we saw some things that piqued our interest. I should have known that things were going awry when Rob Bruce showed up. (He ran us up in the bidding $500 over what we wanted to pay, but that’s ok. We’ll get our revenge eventually.) Anticipation was high that we’d stumbled on to some fairly good comics, but it was nothing but crap. It WAS a shock that there were no comics in the long boxes, because long, white boxes are specific to comic books and why someone would buy ‘long boxes’ -the industry term- to store magazines and encyclopedias is beyond me. We were stunned and disappointed. And broke.
One question, did ya like my gloves?
And there ya go!