Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Quest, the Comics and the Cupboard

Cousins, Robert (guitar), Darren (flute) Ivan (percussion?!?)
and my brother Martin (vocals), obscuring my FOOM poster.
This has to be one of my most memorable issues of Spider-Man. I look at this and I can remember so vividly the day I bought it. Waaay back in 1969, comic books of the American variety were not that easy to find, especially if you lived in the ‘burbs. My cousin Robert lived a few doors away and the two of us would frequently go on expeditions looking for previously uncharted Newsagents. We would walk for many miles on our quest, setting out early in the morning and getting back just in time for ‘tea’.

The excitement of walking into a shop and seeing a spinner rack of yellowing, sun-bleached American comics was exhilarating, even more so if they happened to have the next issue in a run or one that was missing from a series. I walked many, many miles trying to gather my set of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi comics together, and most of the Fourth World series now that I think of it. These were the only DC comics I was really interested in at the time because I was much more of a Marvelite, which brings me back to this King-Size Special issue of Spider-Man.

At this point in time, for whatever reason, there was a bit of a ban of comics in our households. I’m sure it was some sort of stigma left over from the 1950’s and the Seduction of the Innocent scenario, which brought about the Comics Code, either that or the fact that comics and all things related seemed to occupy most of our waking life, and school homework seemed to get the cold shoulder as a result. To avoid any negative confrontations with our folks, Robert and I devised an ingenious plan to outsmart them on this front.

We would very carefully cut a hole in the lining of our jackets. There was a limit to how many comics we could actually roll up and then flatten out once we’d got them in there, but this was pretty well matched with the limitations we had with our pocket money anyhow, or latterly in my case, Newspaper delivery boy money.

This particular comic was successfully secreted into the house, but I made the dire mistake of hiding it under the sofa once I’d unravelled it and within an hour, my Mother’s uncanny ability to sniff them out, meant it went into solitary confinement for a couple of days before I was allowed to have it back. Ever since then, King-Size Spider-Man #4 has held a special place in my ‘cupboard’. This is how it looked in 1974 (left).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are very welcome!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...