Thursday, October 31, 2013

A NYCC 2013 (...and Halloween 2013) Moment # 11. Ode (“Owed”) To Edith!

Do YOU know where YOUR old comics have been? 
Comic book collectors rarely, if ever, think about this aspect of their hobby, but there be GHOSTS within the dark recesses of your collections!

No, I don’t mean GHOSTS like this: 

Or, even GHOSTS like this: 

Though, one or both varieties might very well be found in many a collection.

Instead, let’s make the very likely assumption that you were not the “original owner” of every single issue in your comic book collection.   Clearly, some of your comic books were published before you were born, before you began reading and collecting, or you just might have missed one along the way, and picked it up on the secondary market. 

In every such instance, the comic book in question had an “original owner” other than yourself.  Perhaps even multiple previous owners.  …And, in ALMOST every such instance, those persons will remain forever unknown to us.  Just as YOU will likely be completely unknown to whomever ends up with the items in YOUR collection someday! 

But, occasionally, a tantalizing clue surfaces that may start you thinking…       

My Next-To-Last-Purchase at New York Comic-Con 2013 (some hours before THIS FINAL ONE) was this wonderful old comic.  WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 11, from 1941. 

Note the name "EDITH" hand-written on the cover!
As with everything else obtained at NYCC 2013, it was remarkably inexpensive, perhaps owing to the phenomenon of “Sunday Afternoon Discounting” among dealers – lest they carry too much stuff home with them.

But, if you step back and think about it… Isn’t it a wonder that such a book, from Pre-World War II 1941, still survives in 2013! 

And, we can assume that a primary reason that it DOES survive is a young girl named “Edith”… or one of her parents, or another member of her family.   It survived the patriotic paper drives of WW II, the outrageously contrived anti-comic book fervor of the 1950s, and the general apathy toward such items that would ensue until sometime in the 1970s.   

Good thing Edith didn't "turn her back" on this "back cover"!
Perhaps entirely thanks to “Edith” and / or her family who, for reasons long-lost to history, held on to this book despite every conventional reason (and some decidedly unconventional reasons) to dispose of it – is why it still exists today! 

If we were to assume “Edith” were an average of eight years old at the time this issue was likely purchased for her, she would be EIGHTY years old today.  Hopefully, she is alive and well somewhere, but I suspect she’ll never know the joy her old issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 11 has given me in 2013, and likely (given the book’s age) some others before me!   

...And, living (as I certainly wish) or otherwise, that also makes her one of the GHOSTS that inhabit my collection! 

I can say, this book is literally “Owed” to “Edith”, and I thank her for her crucial part in its continued longevity!   So, who are some of YOUR prized possessions “Owed” to, eh?  Whooooo!

While I’m at it… Thanks also to (Ghostly) “Gordon” and his peeps for this one – discussed in THIS POST

And finally, to unnerve you completely, there are comic books in the world with MY name and childhood address, on subscription labels that still remain, unfortunately, glued to the book itself. 

And, they spelled my name WRONG, to boot.  Yeah, it's my old address as a kid, but SOMEBODY lives there now, and they don't need the publicity, so the address is intentionally obscured!

This will make ME a GHOST of someone's future collection!  ...Scary thought, ain't it? 
...Or, maybe I'll really be a FRIENDLY ghost!  Feelin' LUCKY?
That wraps it for New York Comic-Con 2013!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts, and that you get to visit this great show next year!  
Happy Halloween!


joecab said...

I love that you still have your subscription copies! But as you said *SHUDDER* comics back then were pretty disposable entertainment, so sticking a mailing label on it (or in my case, having dates stamped on the covers at my neighborhood store) was no big deal since collectors were very rare indeed. Even into the 1980s Marvel was still sending sub comics out in flimsy brown paper sleeves.

Joe Torcivia said...

And, in most cases, Gold Key DID manage to spell my name correctly, too! :-)

Now, I may differ from most collectors on this, but I LIKE having a “date stamp” on my comics. It tells me what the actual on-sale date for the issue was – and that’s information mostly lost to history!

My issue of DONALD DUCK # 109 (“Og’s Iron Bed” – a particular favorite) has its on-sale date stamped on it, and I can still recall that day in summer, 1966 – getting and reading this comic in the afternoon (as well as the BEST OF UNCLE SCROOGE AND DONALD DUCK that had the first ever reprints of “Back to the Klondike” and “Ghost of the Grotto”), and watching a rerun of a first season BATMAN TV show episode that night!

On the downside, my original copy of DONALD DUCK # 126 (the issue that first ran the Carl Barks-written, Tony Strobl-drawn “Officer for a Day”) was forever ruined, when a well-meaning aunt tried to STEAM-OFF the subscription label, in a well-intentioned effort to do something nice for me! ARRRGH! You can just IMAGINE how THAT turned-out!

Needless to say, in my adult years, I made certain to upgrade that one!

And, hey... Those are still one-owner books and,thus, have no GHOSTS... that is, until *I* become one! :-) Ha-Ha-Haaaa-Haaaa!