|Legendary work on Teen Titans, |
Aquaman, and so many other
great DC titles.
I grew up in the 1970s. Pre-Internet, Pre-direct market, pre-everything. Comic collecting was a long, lonely chore, and it began at 9 AM on a Saturday morning. I had four convenience stores to check out, at nearly cardinal points on my internal compass, and limited funds--only a couple of dollars. But it was enough.
You had to do it that way. The Colonial store got slightly different comics than Skinny's, see, and if you didn't check them all, you could miss something. This was essential if you were looking for new comics and trying to follow the story. Nothing broke my heart more than picking up an issue and seeing that little "Screw You, Loser" in the corner of the splash page: "See Last Issue."
|Just seeing the ad for this comic inside|
another title scared the crap out of me.
Something about his covers just shot straight into my primate brain and rattled around in there like ball bearings in a Dixie cup. Especially those beautiful Nick Cardy covers. Oh, the stories they told! What wonders they promised! I was compelled to buy those comics, based on the sincerely dramatic covers alone.
Later, I became aware of what an amazing artist Nick Cardy
was; technically, I mean. He was a master storyteller, sure, but there was something so casual, and yet so specific, about his line work and his choices that gave his drawing so much expression and movement. Cardy art jumps off of the page, or alternately, draws you in, inviting you to look over, around, up and down. Not a lot of artists can do what Nick Cardy did, and in such small amounts of space, at that.
|Don't you want to read this story? |
I still do, and I know what happens!
It's very hard to explain to people under the age of 30 what it was like collecting comics prior to 1985. If you bought a comic book at a convenience store one month, there was NO guarantee the next issue would be there the next month. If you wanted to know something about the Flash's Rogues Gallery, you had to either write a letter (with a pen and paper) and hope that it got answered, or you waited for giant-sized editions of the comics to come out with reprint stories, and you prayed for a retelling of the origin of Captain Cold. That's it. Those were your choices. There MAY have been a real, hardcover book or two that MIGHT have some comic book history in it, tucked away at the local library, IF your library was hip. Mine was not. But I was a precocious reader, and I was able to sucker my family into buying me hardcover and softcover reprint collections as they were initially being floated in the bookstore market. I've still got my "Superman: from the 40s to the 70s" hardcover. But it STILL wasn't enough.
|These books were my bread and butter.|
I was DC's reprint book market.
If there is a heaven, and I think there is, I'd like to think that Will Eisner is running the shop up there, with Kirby and Kubert and all the rest of them. It looks like their cover artist just showed up. I can't wait to read those comics. Rest in Peace, sir.