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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Is My Generation The Last To REALLY Get A Buzz From Finding Comics?

Firstly, Super Comics and Star Comics purchased recently from a genuine legit auction house who know their stuff.  Both are dated 1943 and the combined price for both was £1.75 and £3.00 for postage.  I keep them in a simple plastic bag BUT also in a plastic covered A4 display book -the ones with plastic sleeves built in. Meant to be for documents but they keep rarer comics safe.

Quite a few of the very old and fragile comics I keep in the A4 display books and larger ones in a couple A3 display books.
Someone thought I meant that I just dumped 50-60 year old comics into a cardboard box. No. Those I take care of because the paper quality during the Second World War right up to the late 1950s was not top quality!

Now onto the subject of this posting.

I loved watching Howlermouses' video on his old comic haunts and some of his stories. I like hearing the background stories of comic guys on where and how they got their comics as well as the mis-adventures they had.  Sound quality a bit off in places but I really enjoyed this.

Watching Howlermouses' video showed something: out generation went through a lot to get comics! Subzero has his own stories on trying to find comics in Germany. Despite distances,languages -we were all doing the same kind of thing.

My gran and myself in Sevier street -the tin bath that's hanging on the wall not quite obvious. I look about 8 so this would be 1965/66?  At this age I was popping down to Jarman's the newsagents-tobacconist in Mina Road about 100 yards (105m) away.

Also, next to Mina Road Park was a cafe and next to that a tattoo parlour and next to that a junk shop. I picked up a lot of early Marvel comics there are ridiculously cheap prices "because" they were just comics.  Let's not go into what happened to those.


Ahh, good old Lassie. This is me being very fashionable around 1967 wearing chequered shirt, jeans with turn ups and pointy toed shoes. My brother is reading an Eerie comic I bought in Jarmans. This is Sevier St.  At this age  I'd be doing the mile or so walk up Ashley Road toward Cheltenham Road where my second favourite newsagents was -just before Cheltenham Road.  Here I'd see if there were any Americam comics.


It was at this shop that I picked up Sub-Mariner #8 which had a cover that at that age (and now) just gets ripples of excitement rushing through me.  I mean fer cripes sake -this was the Thing fighting Sub-Mariner!!!  How could you not get excited?


The shop also tended to have larger packs of Plasticine for the same price.  Remember we had no action figures back then so if you wanted to have a game in which the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Johnny Future, Billy the Cat and even Batman featured you made your own!

Plasticine ala 1960s:


You always hoped for some black plasticine for the X-Men costumes but you could get away with blue (I mean the original black and yellow costumes).

And let's not forget drawing your own comics! It seems that was quite common back in the day and I wish I had a couple of the old books full of my comic work!

So you see, we got exercise as kids looking around for comics -we also played outdoors more and by the time I was ten years old I knew my way around several areas- and then got creative making things with our hands from Plasticine or even drawing and making our own cut-out paper figures to play with. Let me tell you, my younger brother and my niece I both sat down to draw and play and have fun and I think this is what lots -well, a whole generation- is missing out on.

Just remembered that there used to be a very dark, seedy old tobacconist on Newfoundland Road on the way to Broadmead shopping area.  As a teen I used to pop into there because the old fella stocked Charlton Comics.  Me and names...wish I could remember what the Ashley Road shop and Newfoundland Road one was called but they meant a lot to me growing up -and I just left Bristol for a year in the 1970s and returned to find Newfoundland Road had been demolished and was a motorway-?!

Your kid gets old enough to start reading go and see if you can find any cheap comic annuals or buy some of the Cinebook albums for youngsters.  Give them crayons and paper and though today's Plasticine is not as good as it was (I know I used the original stuff then that awful "new formula" in the 1980s and the newer stuff) but get your kids creating.  Screw what some uptight government minister who can't even dress herself properly says: get your kids creating because it will help them and they want to colour trees purple let them colour trees purple!  There are purple leaved trees by-the-way.

It's sad but my generation is probably the last to know the joy or walking chosen shops in all kinds of weather to look for and buy comics and get that excitement from them. Taking the bus to some over hygenic, brightly lit store is not the same.

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