Sunday, June 15, 2008

Help! Superheroes have taken over our living room!

Look at our living room! This is actually only portions of it.

After years of hauling around 14 boxes of comics, my handsome husband is now categorizing and selling his silver age comics, which he acquired as a boy collector and budding comic book artist. He can still draw a superhero amazingly.

Our living room has actually been like this for a month, or actually more, because I can remember us sitting by the fire and reading some of these. (But scootched really far away from the fire!) And I do believe it is now June.

It’s okay - I sort of like it, because the comics are so fun to look at. And often, I’ll walk in and find him reading them. For superheroes, my man is most partial to Hulk, and he has many of them, including the mysteriously valuable Hulk 181. He also seems to like Silver Surfer.

But above all he worships Jack Kirby, and he can tell Kirby art at a glance; he could even look at a superhero’s hands and tell you if it’s Kirby’s art.

He is a special conneissuer of Jack Kirby’s period of creative freedom when he went over to DC from Marvel and had full art and story control. The New Gods at right is an example of this. This is a photo - I don’t dare take it out of its plastic to scan it!

Did you notice the sad plants in the background above? I am totally paranoid to bring a watering jug in there, for obvious reasons.

Every once in a while he will come across a comic book with a ripped up cover - he and his young friend, also a budding pre-teen comic book artist, would apparently become so disgusted with certain non-Kirby artists that they would be driven to destroy the offending covers.

Others got the treatment you see below, where the young critics simply altered the work.

Note, if you will, the werewolf’s new and improved face, done by Mark many years ago.

I sort of got a kick out of this one, because one, it’s like a little window into his boyhood world. And two, look at the books we’re reading today. Werewolves are STILL fighting vampires. Have they learned nothing?


kim said...

Fun post CJ! I was surrounded by comic books growing up in Illinois. Not in my house,(I was a Nancy Drew fangirl) but in the surrounding area. In the town I lived in we had Worldpress which was a comic book printing company. Chester, Ill was about 40 miles up the road from us and is where the creator of Popeye lived and there is a 6 foot statue of the spinach-eater by the river and across from a maximum security prison and down south of us was Metropolis Ill which DC comics named and the hometown of Superman in 1972.

And that concludes our history of all the things about southern Illinois that you never needed to know. heh.

A friend of mine, whose father worked at the printing company, always had boxes and boxes of misprints and overages...wonder what those are all worth now?

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, how fun, Kim! Funny that Popeye the sailorman came from landlocked Illinois. Though, there is Lake Michigan. It is also funny that they put Popeye outside a prison. Of all comic book characters, though, Popeye seems most likely to have done time.

Yeah, I went in for Nancy Drew myself. I had all the books.

kim said...

Haha CJ! Maybe Popeye did do time. He might have been there at Menard with John Wayne Gasey. JWG was there when I was a kid. My dad has his autograph. He got it from a friend of his who was a prison guard at Menard. Chester is right on the Mississippi river. Maybe Popeye was a riverboat captain?? IDK.

Thea said...

CJ that is so freaking cool!!! All those comic That's hilarious that your hubby would rip or draw over the lesser covers :p

Those silly weres and vamps. *shakes head* When will they ever learn?

Oh! And I too was a Nancy Drew fangirl :p I had a whole bunch of 'em, and am guilty of not returning a book or two to the library *ninja*

little alys said...

Awesome post! I think when we look at the stuff we collect as a kid, it reveals quite a bit more than expected. Any X-Men comics?
I grew up on Nancy Drew too, but didn't own any. The school library/librarian was my friend. No comic books either. Lived on cartoon though.

Carolyn Jean said...

Thea: I suspect a lot of us were probably into Nancy Drew. It would be sort of fun for us to all choose one and reread it. Shit, I'm going to do that, have a Nancy Drew event.

Little Alys: Yes, there are many X-men in those piles.

Sarah said...

That is so cool, must be kinda sad to see some of them go but cool to revisit memories.

My beloveds are downstairs. He has Sin City, X-Men and Spawn. Possibly a few others mainly collected in his late teens/early twenties. (all in sleves which must not be taken off my girls!)

nath said...

Very nice collection!! Is he really going to part with them? Such a courageous and brave man!!

Katie(babs) said...

WOW! You could open your own comic book store!

Carolyn Jean said...

Sarah and nath: It is sort of sad to see him sell them. Because he really loves them. But they would just sit in boxes.

KB: It looks like a comic store in there, huh?

Tracy said...

How fun would it be to be in your living room right now??? I would just stay there for days reading! :)

LesleyW said...

I have 5 boxes of X-Men comics that I really must sort out.

And I was really into The Darkness. One issue had 8 different covers I think and I bought them all.

LesleyW - who has a tendency to get a tad obssessed.

Sarai said...

Oh my gosh how fun! I got rid of all the comic books I owned a while ago and my good friend bought them for me online through amazon so when I get the E-reader they will be right there waiting!!!
That's so cool that he has kept them for so long.

Sarai said...

CJ as far as Nacy Drew I own them all let me know which one you want and I will crank it out to ya. My mom still has them all in her basement and the baby sitter club books!

naida said...

wow, thats alot of comic books!

Anonymous said...

Sweet! The only comics I ever was addicted to were Elf Quest. I wished I owned a set of them.

Carolyn Jean said...

Tracy: Read carefully! No eating!
Lesley: Someday maybe your living room can look like this.
Sarai: Okay, I'm thinking about this. An event.
Naida: They seem to mulitply, too.
Ciara: Elf quest? Funny!

Vicki said...

Wow! Your collection is amazing and very cool.

lisabea said...

I forgot to comment!!!!

So does he have Cerebus?

Katie Reus said...

Wow, that's so cool! I was never in to comic books, (Nancy Drew fan, right here!) but it's great that he saved all that stuff. My hubby saved baseball cards. Maybe I should make him go through and organize too!

RachaelfromNJ said...

My dad is a huge comic book collector and would love to roll around in that pile and read them all! :)