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  1. #1
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    Default Old Days - Back when you couldn't find back issues

    A lot of us grew up reading comics before comic book stores were around. With the exception of an occasional flea market or garage sale, back issues were nearly impossible to find.

    Do you remember the first back issue or set of back issues that you finally managed to track down and purchase?

    What book(s) was it - and was it as great as you expected or a complete disappointment?

  2. #2
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    My answer is complex.

    I did manage come across (not track down) a copy of Avengers #100. Which to me was a miracle. Every last (then 14) Avengers in one awesome adventure (with #10 cleverly concealed on the cover). I had copies on either side, but didn't hit the Mother-load until wandering thru a random comic shop.

    As to completing my collection, that didn't happen until digital became a thing. I'd read X-Men, but the vagaries of my grocery store ensured that I got 2 out of every three issues. I didn't get the entire "Deadly Genesis"-"Cyclops Leaves The X-Men" run (which I consider to be the X-Magnum Opus) until it all went digital.

    So, about three years ago, I discovered the whole run was on digital. I wondered: "where have you been all my life?!?"

    Been in that mode about digital ever since.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    A lot of us grew up reading comics before comic book stores were around. With the exception of an occasional flea market or garage sale, back issues were nearly impossible to find.

    Do you remember the first back issue or set of back issues that you finally managed to track down and purchase?

    What book(s) was it - and was it as great as you expected or a complete disappointment?
    I really became a rabid comic book fan when I purchased brand new off the newsstand All-Star Squadron issues 19-20. I was ten years old and I instantly became infatuated with the Golden Age characters, specifically Earth Two and the Justice Society of America.

    I knew that comic book stores existed by this time, but they could have been on the moon for this kid who grew up in a very rural enviroment. My family and I only got into town once a week and our tiny town had no comic book shop and my father was not about to drive his kid two hours into the "big city" to locate such a shop.

    Around this time, Roy Thomas came out with his four issue mini-series, America Versus the JSA and I was lucky enough to trade these with my cousin as they came out. He lived pretty close to an excellent comics shop and he was my salvation that summer as I traded him for the aforementioned mini and his Infinity issues. Where am I going with this?

    America Versus the JSA contained a thorough indexing of every DC Golden Age adventure that had ever been reprinted up to 1984, 1985. I grabbed a sheet of notebook paper and hand wrote all of these onto the sheet (actually it was probably more like two or three sheets) and proceeded to carry this reference with me anytime I went to a flea market, garage sale or when trading with friends. I would produce my "cheat sheet" in every one of those instances and furtively look around for the Golden Age goodies listed. After about a year I had marked off about half of my list and enjoyed the challenge in doing so.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    I started buying "X-Men" the second I discovered comic book shops. But in terms of DC, I hunted down as many issues of The Legion of Superheroes as I could when I started reading the "5YL series" because I knew there was a lot of backstory and Legion lore that I was totally missing and I needed to find out what the characters were all talking about!

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caj View Post
    A lot of us grew up reading comics before comic book stores were around. With the exception of an occasional flea market or garage sale, back issues were nearly impossible to find.

    Do you remember the first back issue or set of back issues that you finally managed to track down and purchase?

    What book(s) was it - and was it as great as you expected or a complete disappointment?
    Never tracked down "the issues" per see... But I did get some here and there.

    But back then, unless at flea marts or discount bins, when the stores popped up, they often wanted exorbitant prices. For instance, New X-Men 94-100 ranged from $25 to $100 per issue, even after only a few months when the issues came out. Keep in mind, those books cost about 25 cents new.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j9ac9k View Post
    I started buying "X-Men" the second I discovered comic book shops. But in terms of DC, I hunted down as many issues of The Legion of Superheroes as I could when I started reading the "5YL series" because I knew there was a lot of backstory and Legion lore that I was totally missing and I needed to find out what the characters were all talking about!
    The first issue of X-Men I bought new off of a spinner rack was issue #80.


    The story inside was a reprint of issue #32.

    Bought Giant-Size X-Men #1 new off the stand, too.

    I read the hell out of that sucker, and traced those figures on the cover so much you could see and feel the imprint of the pencil tip .

  7. #7
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    Born in 1975. Randomly got comics till summer of 1989 when I went to the comic shop for the first time. Over the last 30 years it has been a little hit and miss when having complete runs.

    Example: Took ten years to complete Volume One of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, took thirty years to complete The New Adventures of Superboy.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltmonster View Post
    . . . Example: Took ten years to complete Volume One of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, took thirty years to complete The New Adventures of Superboy.
    When you say "Volume One of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", do you mean things like the original first print of issue #1 from 1994, or are you counting later, more widely available printings (like the full color, wrap-around cover 4th printing that came out about a year later?)




  9. #9
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    This was my back issue holy grail. Now considering the first issue of FF I bought was 85 and I had collected it from issue 110 on, not having 108 until I was down to needing 5 issues was extremely frustrating.

    I gathered a lot of back issues through networking and trading. My parents had impressed upon me that buying a back issue for cash was bad but trading was cool. Parents just don't understand, amirite?


  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCleghorn View Post
    This was my back issue holy grail. Now considering the first issue of FF I bought was 85 and I had collected it from issue 110 on, not having 108 until I was down to needing 5 issues was extremely frustrating.

    I gathered a lot of back issues through networking and trading. My parents had impressed upon me that buying a back issue for cash was bad but trading was cool. Parents just don't understand, amirite?

    Huh. I never saw this cover before nor heard of Mega Man.

  11. #11
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    There were a fair number of comics that I got at the five and ten cent store, in the 1960s and early 1970s (before the owners realized they could sell these comics for an arm and a leg). But when I actually sought out back issues, they were usually ones I already had read in reprints--or comics I had read originally, but those either had been copies of friends and neighbours or had been my copies that I lost or so totally read to death that I needed new copies.

    For instance, my first real knowledge of the Batman comics was when an older kid from down the block leant me his stack of comics, which to me were vintage but were actually only a few months old at the time. Since I didn't remember the issue numbers and could only remember the stories, I had a very hard time tracking down those issues of BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS that he had loaned me--all from 1966--as I did later on when I had enough money from my paper route to buy comics from the new Comicshop on the other side of town (in the early 1970s).

    Some issues like DETECTIVE COMICS 350, BATMAN 180 and BATMAN 181 were easy to identify because they had the villains on the cover (Monarch of Menace, Death-Man and Poison Ivy, respectively), but other comics I only found by chance. Getting the first Poison Ivy story (in 181) was pretty easy (I think I had got it by the mid-1970s), but getting the second one was hard, because I didn't realize that story was in issue 183 and there were no resources that would have told me that. So it was many years before I twigged to that fact and got the comic (in the early 1980s, I think).

    There was nothing about this cover that would have told me Poison Ivy was inside.

    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  12. #12
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    Oh I love threads like these.

    As a kid I was lucky even to find comics at the convenience store or gas station and this was in the mid 1980's and I grew up in Bakersfield, CA which is a small city two hours aways from Los Angeles.

    Well flash forward to around 1991 when I discover a school classmate that was into comics too and he mentions this nearby Comic book store so to my suprise I was thrilled and discovered a whole new outlet for buying comics new and old, my first purchase were three Batman comics from around 1982 that I wanted so dearly and were priced at $5 dollars each which to a 15 year old kid seemed like a lot but compare that now to current comics coming up at $4 dollars.

    Luckily in 1993 I moved to Los Angeles where I discovered going to comic conventions I amassed quite a lot of back issues from discounts to dollar boxes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    When you say "Volume One of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", do you mean things like the original first print of issue #1 from 1994, or are you counting later, more widely available printings (like the full color, wrap-around cover 4th printing that came out about a year later?)



    All of mine are first prints. I did not collect all printings of Volume One.

  14. #14
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    I may have shared this story before, but here we go again.

    I grew up in a small, small town. We had to travel about 25 or 30 miles to the nearest town to buy groceries. My Mom went to town once a week and that was it. If we needed milk or bread any other time, my Dad would pick it up on the way home from work. Mama worked hard as a housewife and also helped out with my Grandmother, so her hands were full.

    I collected Justice League of America and was obsessed with it. There were so many back issues I wanted but pretty much knew that was not going to happen. Then one day, a friend of mine who was also into comics, called me and said there was a traveling flea market set up in a building in town and he had seen many Justice League comics. I knew getting Mama to go back to town (she had just gone the day before) was next to impossible.

    I approached her and told her about the flea market and how much I wanted to go and get some of the comics. She looked at me and said 'well I guess we better get going before someone buys them all'. I couldn't believe it. It was that easy. I realized that day that Mama knew how much comics meant to me and she was going to be supportive of my hobby. By the way, I got a ton of back-issue Justice League books that day.

  15. #15
    Incredible Member signalman112's Avatar
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    I use to go to Woolworths store and buy the DC-Whitman 3 Pack of comics.

    Here is an article from CBR about this subject.

    https://www.cbr.com/batman-spider-man-whitman-comics/

    DCWhitman.jpg

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