Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Of Age, Birth Order, and Coming to Comics

Doug:  Through our years together on the Bronze Age Babies, we've discussed our first comics, how old we are, and how we make a living -- among other personal anecdotal/historical topics.  But there's one thing I don't think we've done, and that's put the entire puzzle together.  Here's where I'm going with this:  Karen is slightly (hey, I'm no dummy when it comes to discussing a woman's age, don't you know?) older than I, so naturally she would have come to comics a bit earlier than did I.  But a more important factor, in my opinion, is that she has an older brother.  I, on the other hand, have one sibling -- a sister almost three years my junior.  It's my opinion that this latter consideration is most important when considering that Karen began her love of comics in the "Kree/Skrull War", while I would say the "Celestial Madonna" storyline was one of the things that hooked me.  Yet, I'm not that much younger than Karen...

Doug:  So today, let's discuss how old you are, where you are in terms of birth order (of course, if it was an older cousin, uncle, neighbor, etc. who introduced you to comics that were a wee bit older than you at that time, please mention that factor as well), and the first comics you can remember buying yourself.  My mind clouds a bit, but I recall buying the book below, as well as Fantastic Four #161 as among the first books bought with my own quarters.  That should give you some sort of an idea where I am coming from in this time/family paradox (if that's what it is!). 
 

33 comments:

Fred W. Hill said...

I'm 51 and the oldest of 3 brothers, one just 10 months younger, the other 6 years & 4 days younger and as our dad was in the Navy we moved around quite a bit and I only ever saw my cousins sporadically. I remember starting to get into comics when we lived in Japan and looking forward to going to the Navy Exchange to get my comics fix. I have no idea if my dad ever read comics, but my mom has told me she used to read Donald Duck comics. I can't say anyone in particular got me into comics, it's just that my parents occasionally got them for me & my brothers for our entertainment and by the time I was 8 years old I'd gravitated on my own to Marvel Comics for the continuing drama -- those soap-opera elements drew me in as much as or perhaps even more than the heroic action. My middle brother, btw, preferred Harvey comics or otherwise DC done-in-ones. Despite being so close in age, we had wildly divergent tastes and interests.

MattComix said...

Arrived in 1974. I was looking at comics before I could even read. Wanting to know what Spider-Man is saying is a great motivator for a kid.

I would often stay over at my grandparents house and grandpa would get the morning newspaper. One day he started routinely picking up random issues off a spinner rack by the counter at a local convenience store down the street. He would bring one to me any morning I was there.

Trying to recall my first comic is hazy but I want to peg 1977 as the year this started because I still have some of my tattered (and unfortunately scribbled on) issues from back then. The first one I really have clear recollection of getting was Amazing Spider-Man no. 186 but that was 78. Also Marvel Tales was running at the time and by that point they weren't that far behind the current stuff.

This time period was kind of a perfect storm for a budding geek because Star Wars was in 77, Superman the movie was 78 and those are the first two movies I have any memory of seeing and they blew my mind (talk about hard acts to follow). Bill Bixby's Hulk series was on tv, of course there were cartoons and toys around as well. My earliest anime was the dub of Gatchaman called "Battle of The Planets". One of the stations would run Godzila movies and Ultraman episodes. Combined with the comics I was getting it all lit a spark in my imagination that kind of exploded.

I started going to that same store myself when i got old enough to ride a bicycle. I think the first purchase I made on my own may have been one of the JLA/JSA team-ups.

Edo Bosnar said...

I was born in 1968, and I have an older sister and brother (who were born about 2 years apart, while I'm 5 years younger than my brother). To the best of my recollection, I was bit by the comics bug at about the age of 6, when my brother bought a pair of comic books on a family vacation, got bored with them really quick and tossed them over to me. One of those was Marvel Tales #59, and the other one was whatever Captain America comic was on the spinner racks at the time. Spider-man in particular caught my imagination, which is why I always remembered that book so vividly.
Otherwise, I was the only one in my immediate and wider family who was into comics - those 2 comic books my brother passed on to me were probably the only ones he ever bought in his life. My older sister eventually married a guy who used to be a big-time comics fan - I think I already mentioned this before, but one summer when I was about 12 he lent me a big box full of his 'old' comics, mainly Marvel stuff, including complete early '70s runs of the Avengers and Defenders (among other things, the entire Celestial Madonna saga and most of Steve Gerber's run on Defenders) and something that was like a personal holy grail to me at the time: Giant-size X-men #1 and the first few issues of the new X-men. I think I read almost everything in that box about 3 times over - what a great summer that was...

david_b said...

I spent a few minutes hunting down previous posts in the last few years since I know we've ventured in this topic before, recalling how we entered the marvelous world of heroes (and heroines).. But I can pontificate my warm memories again in brief.

My first love came with watching Captain America on the Marvel Superhero Cartoons of '66/'67. Knowing my love of 'em, Batman and all superheroes, my parents bought me a few Captain Action sets, along side Major Matt Mason toys. I so recall a few days when I was home sick in '69 (6yrs old), my Dad bought me Trimpe's Hulk 114, Steranko's CA 113, and Ditko's Space Adventures 7. Loved 'em, but was getting irritated that the cartoons I loved were soon being replaced by Banana Splits, Scooby Doo and what-not.

http://megomuseum.com/mmgallery/files/1/7/9/7/014.JPG

Soon in the summer of '73, we moved from the farm to the city, where I was able to ride my bike to local stores, and I discovered the likes of Fantastic Four 138, Avengers 117, Spiderman 122, both Spidey and FF reprints, and so much more... Long car trips with my parents, sitting in the back seat for hours until we pulled over to eat, gave me hours (and hours) of comic reading time. I got the FOOM kit, thoroughly emmersing myself with practically any/every Marvel comic on the stands. I still have the 1973 Captain America beach towel, never used (my Mom talked me out of using it several times as a kid, whaaat a smart Mom..).

http://megomuseum.com/mmgallery/files/1/7/9/7/018-Copy.JPG

She's said several times since that 'buy David a comic and his mouth was shut for hours'.

After a few years, I became disappointed in silly plot twists (Gwen's clone), favorite artists being replaced (Buscema to Robbins on CA&F, Buscema to Buckler on FF, Romita to Andru on ASM, Heck on Avengers, Batman Family and Teen Titans..), death of Swordsman, more and more seeming like the collecting 'glory days' have since past. Adding that to the most exciting science fiction show (Space:1999) premiering (I LOVE moonbases..), I retired my 'Marvel Zumvembie' jersey quite handidly.

Very similar to Doug, I restarted my collecting back in the mid-80s, primarily in filling vintage holes when I discovered a comic shop a mile away from my college campus. And since joining the BAB coalition here, I've probably increased my comics holdings over 3x. And thanks to a couple of Army deployments to Kuwait, I've been able to spend a few hundred not only on great condition Silver gem comics (FF 49, ASM 121, Avengers 16), but also those 'holy grails' like the '67 inflatable Spidey pillow and the '73 Ideal Spiderman playset.

(Thank you again, taxpayers...)

Doug said...

So what I'm hearing, and what I was really looking for, is that older siblings (outside of Karen) really weren't all that instrumental in getting us into comics that were older than us at that time. It sounds like our respondents thus far got in at the "current" level, with books that were for sale at that then-present time.

This is interesting, as a new (at least I think so -- David, is it??) piece of research.

Doug

david_b said...

Well, yes, I don't recall any previous ponderance on siblings, older or younger, in our entry into comics so this is new.

My older brother was 8yrs older and was quite comfortably into Grand Funk Railroad, the Stones, and Steppenwolf during my wee early 'Dolenz is God' phase..

MattComix said...

@Doug Well I was an only child until my junior year of high school. At the point I started reading comics had not yet disappeared up the arse of the direct market so it was just access was just easier. Someone could stumble into the hobby basically.

Also the material from the big two was such that both a kid and an adult could get something out of them. I enjoyed a lot of those comics at different levels as I re-read them growing up. In a sense those comics feel more "adult" to me than the crass and nihilistic stuff they pimp now as being adult.

What got me into comics that pre-dated what was then current was collections like Bring On The Bad Guys and Superman From the 30's to the 70's being available at the local library.

I think for someone like me the older stuff didn't feel quite so alien because the then current stuff wasn't always trying so hard, so often to monkey with or break the basic premise. You sure as hell weren't going years with the main protagonist written out of the story.

The then current stuff felt more like the recent contribution to a grand tradition rather than a tangled mess of disparate visions. Like even with the obvious contrast of the Dick Sprang era of Batman to the Neal Adams era he still felt like the same character if that makes sense.

Karen said...

Doug, not only did I have an older brother (6 years older BTW) who read comics, but we also had an uncle who lived with our grandparents who had a room full of fun stuff, including comics, and I'm not sure but it might have been there where my brother first encountered comic books. I just know for my part comics were always around. Why I kept with comics and my brother dropped them at about age 12 is another question.

Edo Bosnar said...

MattComix, that makes perfect sense to me...

Doug said...

I don't know why I started liking comic books, as I have no one in my family who does. The first two comics I owned, yet have no idea how they came into my possession, were a Walt Disney Comics digest and an issue of the Justice League that was a giant and contained a JSA story. The third comic that I owned and the one I generally consider as my "first" simply because I remember it like it was yesterday, was a copy of Avengers #19. I want to believe that it was actually the Marvel Triple Action reprint, but it simply could not be. I know I got the book when I was 6, and the reprint didn't see the spinners until I was 7 -- it had to be the original. We were at some friends of my parents, and they had a daughter who was maybe a year older than I was at the time -- she gave me the comic. Could it have been her dad's? I have no idea. But that's what started all this...

Been a lot of money slip through these hands over the last 41 years, folks.

Doug

Doug said...

Matt, Batman, perhaps more than any other character, seems to have the qualities to feel "right" no matter the era. In the '80s and '90s, I felt that most of the Elseworlds (Gotham By Gaslight, for example) stories even seemed to work. I get what you're saying, too.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Love this topic! Brings back some great memories.

I am 52 and have 2 older sisters who know nothing about comics. At 5-6 years old I was crazy for the Adam West Batman show (but I always wanted to be Robin). I also like the Marvel superheroes cartoons of that time - can still sing all the theme songs. And yet, somehow, this did not translate into superhero comic book reading - at least not right away. In the late 60s/early 70s, I had a friend who was big into Richie Rich and Superman (and Playboy but that's another story)and I would occasionally buy a Harvey comic here and there myself - personal faves were Hot Stuff and Sad Sack for some reason. But I think even then I realized that these were shallow fluff.

My turning point came in '73. I had a friend whose dad would regularly take him to the record shop and local drug store and buy him 45s and comics. We would hang out in his playroom and listen to current hits and read comics. He had all kinds of comics - Harvey, Archie, DC, Marvel - but the issue that flipped the switch for me was Iron Man #60 because the story was (gasp!)"to be continued" (loved "to be Hulk-inued").

I was immediately sucked in and was all into the Marvel universe for about the next 5 or 6 years. I can't say for sure what the "first" one I bought myself was. But, by the Aug. '73 cover dates, I was buying them all.

Tom

Garett said...

I was born in '68, and have 2 older sisters who were not into comics. I had two friends on my block...one had older brothers with old toys and comics that we could get into. The comics were rolled up tightly and stuffed into a bucket for storage! I think it was an Old Dutch Potato Chips bucket. Anyway, pre-collector times for sure! I remember Flash and Swamp Thing in there. The other friend and I traded comics that we'd pick up at the closeby second hand bookstore...but we also would go to my nextdoor neighbor, where an older boy lived, and ask his mom if we could come in and read his comics and play with his toys. The answer was yes! I remember seeing Human Torch there. So my first exposure to superhero comics was from the older boys in the neighborhood, not quite with their permission. : )

I wasn't really into comics that much though until grade 4, when I got sick and had to stay home from school for a week. While in bed, I learned how to draw Snoopy, first by copying and then from memory. Next was Captain America and the Falcon, and the Golden Age Flash running in one of those JLA/JSA teamups. By grade 5 I could draw Batman without any references, and my love of superhero comics and drawing progressed hand-in-hand from there.

Doug said...

Garett, I too, have spent much time over the years drawing. I was never good enough to draw "out of my head", but became a pretty fair draw-er from reference. I actually love the process of putting down a sketch line, seeing how it fits the gestalt, and then making the necessary adjustments. I'm not a very patient person overall, but for some reason could just toil over a drawing until I felt it was right (or at least acceptable).

Doug

themiddlespaces said...

I came to superhero comics relatively late. While my older brother (8 years my elder) had a handful of Spider-Man issues from the 1960s (he was born in '63), he was never what I'd call "a collector" and by the time I got interested in any kind of comics those issues had been thrown or given away (I do remember ASM #76 being one of them and I have since gotten that issue).

I really got into comics through my sister (7 years my elder) in two ways: 1) she introduced me to stuff like Archie comics and Richie Rich and Casper (I loved the cartoon) and 2) when I was 10 and got into superhero comics (through a kid at school named Lewis who was reading an X-Men comic (#160 as I recall correctly)), my sister, who always doted on me helped me in my mission to trawl garage sales and flea markets looking for comics. We'd get the local paper each week and go through the classifieds looking for announcements of such sales and try to determine a route of attack on our bikes and which ones were the most likely to have comics.

So while I bought some contemporary comics at the time (fall of 1981), the majority of my comics came secondhand from the 1970s (and some from the 60s), finding stuff like Ka-Zar, the Eternals, Machine Man, etc. . .

The first contemporary comics I can remember buying for myself (at a soda shop!) was ASM #223 (cementing my love of the Super-Apes) and ROM #21 - but those were not the first comics I ever got my hands on or had an adult (or over sibling) buy for me.

I stopped collecting around fall of 1988, and started again around 2000 when I got my first really good paying job and no longer lived with roommates - one of those roommates was into comics and I often read his - not having access to them anymore - I started buying my own again - first as trades and then showing up every Wednesday to get more.

Greg said...

I'm 45 and my earliest memories of comics are probably the Invaders. Avengers 156 is one of the first actual issues I remember getting, and started my lifelong affection for that group. Some FF's from that time period too, Cap and I remember starting with Iron Man around ish 100.

More to Doug's point, I'm the oldest so there was no sibling involvement in my comics habit. My parents would go to the party store or drug store and they had spinner racks, so that's where it started for me. I'd make a beeline for the spinner rack every time and that was that.

I was almost exclusively a Marvel guy for whatever reason, and yes that sense of a grand tapestry behind the scenes- the footnotes and flashbacks to earlier stories were fascinating to me. I loved that everything seemed to build on what had come before...

themiddlespaces said...

Looking it up, it couldn't have been #160, because it was just before Thanksgiving break in 5th grade, which would have been fall of 1981 and that issue is dated August '82 - so even with the way comics are released/dated that was too late - musta been something in 150s - Kitty had just been introduced.

She's my favorite X-Man, btw.

Teresa said...

My first exposure to comics were hand me downs. Batman #255 "100 Page Super Spectacular" is my first comic book.
*Spoiler Alert* Batman's Dad had a Bat suit too.

I'm 47 and the oldest of three. I have two younger brothers.
#2 is 1 year younger.
#3 is 10 years younger.
My parents were trying to encourage #2 to read more and acquired him comic books.
He ignored their feeble attempts at manipulation and played in the woods instead. Or as we called it "the back yard."
I was a voracious reader and wanted those comics. I feigned disinterest and played it cool. When he discarded the comics I snatched them up. I was hooked immediately, got the monkey on my back.
We lived outside of Portland, Oregon with Mt St Helens behind us. That rural location limited my Marvel exposure. The spinner racks mostly had DC. An occasional issue of FF or Spidey would pop up, but the ongoing story lines made it confusing. DC was consistent and so I gravitated towards them. That's how I became a rabid LSH fan.

themiddlespaces said...

Speaking of looking back on comics, this is off topic, but worth sharing. .. yesterday was Alan Moore's 60th birthday and some dude drew some pics and wrote a song to commemorate it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2uM2_MO70E

Anonymous said...

I'm 41, only child, and the earliest comic I remember was a Marvel Tales reprint of one of the "drug issues" from Amazing Spider-Man...the middle one, I think. I can't remember the issue of Marvel Tales (#78 or 79), but it was in 1977. I actually have a photo of me holding Marvel Tales #98 and Dr. Strange #32 (cover dated Dec 1978)!

Mike W.

Graham said...

I turned 50 this year. I'm the oldest in my family. My earliest memory is from watching the Superman/Batman/Aquaman show on Saturdays in the late 60's.

My mom would sometimes bring a comic book home for me when she went to the grocery store, usually Casper, Hot Stuff, Dennis the Menace (the little pocket digests), etc...., but after I started watching Superman, and subsequently running around the house with a towel safety-pinned around my neck, she started bringing home super hero comics (Superman, Batman, Superboy, JLA, LSH, etc....).

By time I was seven or eight, I started picking them out myself and the first few I got were Justice League of America #91 (which really confused me because it was the annual JLA/JSA team-up), Batman #235, Flash #209, and soon after, the big 100 Page Super Specatular with that great Neal Adams cover. The JLA/JSA issue was what really kicked off my collecting though, and I really got into it a lot more when the 100 pagers became a regular feature.

I think my mom and dad both read comic books when they were growing up....my dad liked the Disney ones and Tarzan, and I think my mom read mostly the Archie comics, but neither one of them really steered me into it. I think my mom just liked it because I was reading.

Dave Otterby said...

Born in 1975. Got hooked because of my older brother. We would sit on his bed and read spider-man comics aloud whilst recording all the dialogue and action on to an old cassette recorder.
We would do the voices and everything. I remember once I got to do Silvermane and even the Green Goblin.
My brother still likes comics, but I became obsessed with them. Looking back I realize it was my older his fault! haha.
I started my own collection with the help of my mom when I was about 6 years old. I have predominantly been interested in 60s/70s Marvel.

Redartz said...

Wonderful stories today; it's great reading all your histories!
I am the oldest of three, with a brother two years younger and sister six years younger. 53 years old by the calendar, quite a bit younger on the inside. I was introduced to comics by an older neighbor who moved next door. He read many things, but my parents only allowed me to read Harvey books . As a voracious reader of anything, I was joyous when they relented and allowed me to try "superhero" comics. The first such I ever bought was Superman 203; I was a big DC fan until that same neighbor boy showed me Spiderman. ASM 52 was my first, and I was truly hooked.
I bought comics for years, but for some reason started reading only Archie's by 1971. Another friend brought me back in middle school, when Spiderman 132 hooked me all over again. This friend was a comic collector, and soon we were competing and comparing long boxes!
This addiction lasted until parental duties led me to sell my books. Yet the bug returned yet again when my sons got interested; I figure I'm stuck for good now. Incidentally, my brother read comics for several years, mostly Gold Key books. He never really caught the fever. My father did collect as a boy; his stories of his Golden Age treasures donated to war drives always bring a smile...

Anonymous said...

I was born in 1970, a turbulent year in Trinidad because of the Black power riots at that time, or so I was told. My brother who is seven years older than I am had a substantial comics collection; naturally, I got my hands on them.

If we had kept and preserved some of those old comics they would be worth quite a bit today, but two kids like us just read them into tatters!

- Mike 'shoulda invested in mylar' from Trinidad & Tobago.

WardHillTerry said...

I'm 50 next June. We would go on vacation to an old farmhouse in Maine that was owned by friends. It was always a treat to go to town. All us kids, of all the families that would use the house, would usually get a comic or two at the general store. Lots of Archie and Richie Rich. Not too much super-hero. The comics would stay at the house, so after a few years there was a great pile to pick through on a rainy day! I had always been into super-heroes. Watched Batman and Superman after school, when I could go to someone's house that got the UHF stations. Read the few Superman and Action Comics and the summer house and a couple of friends' houses. One summer my sister bought Justice League #121, and that ended up at our house. She also bought Superboy and the Legion. (She thought he was "cute." Grell was drawing him.) That Christmas I got Feiffer's "The Great Comic Book Book." Loved it. Learned about the value of old comics, the significance of so many characters, and collecting. Next summer I saw Ragman #1. A first issue! Just like I'd read about. Bought it and kept it. Bought Superman. And All-Star Comics. I was off. It was hard, though. I didn't live near any kind of store that had comics. Any time we'd go someplace that had a spinner rack, I was so excited! Two months later I bought Superboy and the Legion to keep. My sister never bought any more comics. She didn't need to. She was reading the ones that I was buying!

Doug said...

Nice turnout today, team! It looks like only a few of our regulars have yet to leave a thought, and we've heard from some relative newcomers and even an irregular regular in WardHill Terry!

We need to put out an APB on Inkstained Wretch, Richard, and Dougie, though...

Doug

Humanbelly said...

*Sigh*
Oh, sadness. . .
I just contributed a long, nostalgic post-- and there was an error message from Blogger w/ an apology that the problem was on their end, aaaaaaand the post was gone. . .

Golly, it's like a piece of my life has been stolen. . .

HB

Rip Jagger said...

I think I might be the oldest coot on the page having been birthed in the great year of 1957 and I am the oldest kid in my family. I came to comics by many paths (TV's Marvel cartoons in the 60's being one and the great Sunday color comics section of the Ashland Daily Independent) but there's no doubt my cousin, a little older than me is significant because I still remember an early issue Fantastic Four featuring the Fab 4 battling Blastaar the Living Bomburst. Soon I'd be getting and reading as many Marvels as I could lay my hands on soon to be followed by DC and Charlton and Gold Key and others.

Rip Off

Matt Celis said...

Born in '74...older brother had some JLA comics but mainly we had Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Junior Woodchucks, Baby Snooks, Richie Rich and what not. First comics I remember buying for myself were Bates/Infantino Flash comics off the spinner rack at a convenience store. Flash and Green Lantern were the two I checked for, but wouldn't always find so sometimes would get Doctor Solar or Spider-Man or Condorman or something else instead. My brother stopped reading comics by 12-13, I think, so I got all his Weird War Tales and JLA and Creature Commandos stuff. But I never cared for the military comics.

William said...

I came along in 1965, and I've been reading comics for as long as I can remember. I'm not positive what my very first comic was, but the earliest one I remember owning was Amazing Spider-Man #74 which came out in 1969, so I was 4 at the time. I probably mostly wanted it because of the Spider-Man cartoon, as most of my early exposure to comics and superheroes came from TV.

I always loved superheroes. I clearly remember buying a Mego Aquaman action figure at K-Mart when I was around 7 years old. At the time, I didn't even know who Aquaman was or what his powers were, but I liked the color green and he had green pants, so I thought he looked cool. I just made up powers for him, (like flying). Then a couple of months later, the Super Friends cartoon started airing, and there was Aquaman! I was so excited to see my favorite superhero on TV, and learn more about him. And then I discovered that his powers only really worked in the water, and I eventually lost interest in him. Poor Aquaman. He's the Rodney Dangerfield of superheroes.

I remember that after Aquaman, SHAZAM (which is what I thought his name was back then) became my favorite character for a long time. This was probably due to the SHAZAM live action TV show that we all remember. I had tons of SHAZAM comics, a SHAZAM Mego figure, a SHAZAM Viewmaster reel (remember those?), and the SHAZAM 7-11 Slurpee collector cup.

As I got a little older (around 11 or 12) I got way more into comics, and quickly gravitated to Marvel. Spider-Man was my favorite character (and remains so to this day). Sadly, modern Spider-Man comics are so terrible, and the character has been so damaged by poor writing and editorial decisions, that I can no longer read the new stuff. But I still have old comics, trade paperbacks, and fond memories, to keep the "real" Spider-Man alive.

Comic books (and superheroes) have been the most constant thing in my life since my earliest memories. They got me through a lot of tough times and rough years. I feel a sadness that the kids of today, and future generations, won't get to experience the sheer unbridled joy of reading true comic book, like the kind we had when we were young. I wouldn't trade the experience of reading those 4-color adventures for all the flashy video game graphics in the world.

Garett said...

Hey that's great, Doug. You can tell you're an art person when it means something to you...like you having the patience to toil over your drawings. I always had a good feeling when I finished a drawing--proud of it.

Goldenrulecomics said...

The first comic book I can recall is Avengers No. 80, when I would have been about 7 years old. I have a brother who is four years older and he was into comics so I'm pretty sure that's how I got involved.

It took awhile for me to become a complete fan, because the next comics I remember reading were Amazing Spider-Man 101 (an odd issue to be your first taste of Spider-Man!), Daredevil 80 and Fantastic Four 116.

My brother dropped comics in the late 1970s but I hung in there until the early to mid-1980s, a period when it seemed that comics were beginning to hit a rut in terms of creativity.

After a few decades away I've been revisiting some of the comics from my youth, so your website has been a lot of fun for me.

Doug said...

Goldenrulecomics --

Welcome! And, thanks for the compliment. That is a heart-warmer for Karen and I, as your sentiment is exactly what we've looked to create around here.

Don't be a stranger to the land of commenting, either!

Doug

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