Even in a world-famous comic book store, there are weeks where we get some down time and not everything is an adventure. Sometimes we get to just sit around and enjoy each other’s company and getting on each other’s nerves–including finding new ways to torture Ming. (He loves it.)
This was one of those weeks.
During our first transaction, a couple came in looking for an Amazing Spiderman #238. This comic has the distinction of being the first appearance of The Hobgoblin. This issue was written by Roger Stern with art by John Romita, Jr. This book was written during a very cool period in Marvel history. The Marvel universe was only twenty years old, and writers were not slaves to past continuity. Stern, being one of Marvel’s best writers at the time, chose to create a new character rather than resurrect one (remember, Norman Osborn “died” in issue #122). This was a VF/NM copy which also included the TATOOZ (yes, cutesy word for tattoos) intact — which was a giveaway. Most kids ripped these out; either put them on or chucked them away.
I was amazed that Walt actually went for the surprise boxes. I remember going to Wizard Comicons and seeing people line up at the Wizard booth to spin the wheel and try their luck at winning desirable figures. Mostly they got the cast-offs. Action figures that would feel quite at home on the Island of Misfit Toys. The folks that wanted the ASM #238 conned Walt down to $60 AND their two crappy Batman figures. I know how much we paid for that comic, and while we didn’t lose money we certainly didn’t make much.
What came in next made Ming geek out, however it left Walt non-plussed. It was the Nintendo Game & Watch — actually, three of them. This was the first hand-held gaming system. It had limited graphics and could not store more than one game in its memory. The reason why it was called Game & Watch is because it was also a timekeeper/alarm clock. This actually put Nintendo on the map as a major gaming concern. While I’m well aware of how much these systems go for on the back-market, this really wasn’t Walt’s cup of tea, and doesn’t really fit into the scheme of the store. Ming, however was very disappointed, but as it’s not his store, he’s SOL.
The last transaction this episode — Hellboy’s gun, the Good Samaritan. This sideshow prop is FREAKING HUGE. In the comic books, as in the movie, the Good Samaritan is an oversized gun which was given to Hellboy by the Torch of Liberty when Hellboy was 12 years old. The handle is purported to be made of wood harvested from the one, true cross. The metal is forged from various church bells, crucifixes, church silver and other mystic metals. While I doubt Sideshow went to such lengths for this replica, it is still a beautiful piece. Walt negotiated a really good deal and I’m happy to say it’s still at the Stash for me to look at.
Now, on to our trivia contest. Please note that Walt tailored every one of the questions to the knowledge base possessed by the individual being questioned: hence my questions were much more difficult than Ming’s or Bryan’s. Personally speaking, I really think that Ming just wanted to have his mouth filled with gum because Walt was right…if you work in a comic book store, you should know that Billy Batson IS Captain Marvel! My eight-year old son knows that. I wonder if Walt would give him Ming’s job…..
And there ya go.