Monday, November 2, 2015

Guest Post - If I Had a Buck... Flea Market Nirvana

Rob Anderson: I'm a big fan of the "If I Had a Buck..." columns, so I hope Mike S. (Martinex1 to Bronze Age Babies) won't mind if I offer up my own twist...

TRUE STORY: When I was still a late-70s Bronze Age kid, my Dad and my Uncle took me to a flea market where my Uncle's friend, Randy, was set up with a table full of comics. This was before eBay, most conventions, most comic shops. As BAB'ers will remember, if you missed an issue on the unreliable spinner rack, you might be out of luck for years. So this flea market table was an almost incomprehensible goldmine...

But here was the crazy thing: Randy was willing to sell me any of the comics I wanted for 10 CENTS EACH, regardless of the cover price! And my Dad gave me enough cash to fill a shopping bag! I was in a state of madness, swinging between excitement and anxiety as I shopped. So many great issues, each one more tempting than the last.

It was such an intense experience that about once every year or so, I wake up from a vivid dream that I'm back there on that very day. I still remember many of the exact issues I bought, so...

THE CHALLENGE -- You, my BAB friend, are now with me on that golden day!!! And the deal extends to you! No matter what the cover price is, for today only, you can pay only TEN CENTS per issue. I'll even give you one of my much needed bucks (But only one buck! It's sort of the rule here...)

What are your top pick(s)/must-have(s)? Or share your full list! Which books will YOU select (and why)?

P.S. For those worried about our erstwhile entrepreneur, Randy, I remember my Dad slipping him twenty bucks or so when I was done, so he made out all right, too...

Amazing Spider-Man #113 (October 1972) - Cover by John Romita
Story: "They Call the Doctor...Octopus!" by Gerry Conway & John Romita; Jim Starlin

Avengers #100 (June 1972) - Cover by Barry Windsor-Smith
Story: " Whatever Gods There Be!" by Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith

Avengers #102 (August 1972) - Cover by Rich Buckler
Story: "What To Do Until The Sentinels Come" by Roy Thomas& Rich Buckler

Brave and the Bold #91 (August-September 1970) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "A Cold Corpse for the Collector" by Bob Haney & Nick Cardy

Brave and the Bold #101 (April-May 1972) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "Cold Blood, Hot Gun!" by Bob Haney & Jim Aparo
Story: "The Challenge of the Flying Horse" (Viking Prince) by Bob Haney & Joe Kubert

Captain America #149 (May 1972) -  Cover by Gil Kane
Story: "All the Colors of Evil" by Gerry Conway & Sal Buscema

Daredevil #82 (December 1971) - Cover bu Gil Kane
Story: "Now Send...the Scorpion" by Gerry Conway & Gene Colan

Fantastic Four #116 (November 1971) - Cover by John Buscema
Story: "The Alien, the Ally, and Armageddon" by Archie Goodwin & John Buscema

Fantastic Four #121 (April 1972) - Cover by John Buscema
Story: "The Mysterious Mind Blowing Secret of Gabriel!" by Stan Lee & John Buscema

Green Lantern #87 (December 1971-January 1972) - Cover by Neal Adams
Story: "Beware My Power" by Denny O'Neil & Neal Adams
Story: "What Can One Man Do?" by Elliot Maggin & Neal Adams
Story: "Earth's First Green Lantern!" by Gardner Fox & Gil Kane

Justice League of America #106  (July-August 1973) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "Wolf in the Fold!" by Len Wein & Dick Dillin

Justice League of America #107 (September-October 1973) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "Crisis on Earth-X!" by Len Wein & Dick Dillin

Justice League of America #108 (November-December 1973) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "Thirteen Against the Earth!" by Len Wein & Dick Dillin

Strange Tales #130 (March 1965) - Cover by Jack Kirby
Story: "Meet the Beatles!" by Stan Lee & Bob Powell
Story: "The Defeat of Dr. Strange" by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

Strange Tales #135 (August 1965) - Cover by Jack Kirby
Story: "The Man for the Job!" by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Story: "Eternity Beckons!" by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

Sub-Mariner #49 (May 1972) - Cover by Gil Kane
Story: "The Dreamstone" by Gerry Conway & Gene Colan

Superboy #184 (April 1972) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "The Glass Nightmare" by Leo Dorfman & Bob Brown
Story: "Dial H for Hero" by ?? & Jim Mooney
Story: "A New Tale of the Legion of Super-Heroes" by Cary Bates & Dave Cockrum

Thor #193 (November 1971) - Cover by John Buscema
Story: "What Power Unleashed?" by Gerry Conway & John Buscema

Wanted. The World's Most Dangerous Villains #9 (August-September 1973) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "Crime's Comedy King" (Superman) by Jerry Siegel & John Sikela
Story: "The Adventure of the Magic Forest" (Sandman) by Jack Kirby

World's Finest Comics #210  (March 1972) - Cover by Neal Adams
Story: "World of Faceless Slaves!" by Elliot S! Maggin & Dick Dillin
Story: "The Sword of Hate" (Black Pirate) by Sheldon Moldoff
Story: "Adventure of the Nosy Waitress" (The King) by Gardner Fox & Harry Lampert

World's Finest Comics #212 (June 1972) - Cover by Nick Cardy
Story: "...And So My World Begins!" by Denny O'Neil & Dick Dillin
Story: "Flight of the Vultures" (Grim Ghost) by Gardner Fox & Howard Purcell
Story: "Underworld Jam Session!" (Air Wave) by ?? & George Roussos


Anonymous said...
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Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, Rob, you're quite generous, both in terms of selection and how many we can buy. 10 comics for a buck! What a deal!
My younger self would, like Colin, have definitely favored Marvel in this case, and I would have gotten Spider-man, both Avengers, Daredevil, both FFs and Thor, because I loved Spider-man, team books (and these all had great art in them) and Gil Kane covers. The remaining three, from DC, would be the two issues of Justice League (again, team books - and I was always attracted to those busy JLA covers full of colorful characters) and Green Lantern (c'mon Neal Adams - that's a no-brainer). Even if faced with this hypothetical choice now, I don't think I my picks would differ much. I'd probably just trade the two JLAs for the two issues of Brave & the Bold.

J.A. Morris said...

Great topic, great concept.

For me it's no question. That ASM issue was a favorite when I bought the back issue and it's part one of a pretty good 3-part Dock Ock vs. Spidey vs. Hammerhead story. Plus, it features one of my favorite covers.

Redartz said...

Rob, I'd have been as frenzied as you were upon seeing the array of four color goodness available here! Ah, flea markets; love them. Although you usually find comics at flea markets today priced as "collectibles", rather than a random boxload. Sometimes you get lucky, though; I've some tales, perhaps another post topic...

As for choices: like Colin and Edo, I must lean towards the Marvels. The Spiderman, the FF's, Avengers, Strange Tales and Thor. Have to grab a couple DCs, though: Green Lantern/Arrow, and JLA 106. And, as we leave the table, I glance back longingly at all the others left behind...

Anonymous said...

Barry Smith on Avengers? Neal Adams on Green Lantern? Those two issues of Strange Tales....
You'd have to be a complete eejit to pass on those at a cost of ten cents each.
Also, those two JLAs - I loved that Earth X crossover.
Never read Kirby's Sandman, so I might try that, but I'm not really decided on my last four...


Martinex1 said...

Rob, it’s nice to be a shopper instead of a seller so I appreciate your generous offerings. I cannot imagine running into any kind of collection like these for sale at bargain prices nowadays. Ah, the good old days of flea markets, garage sales, and book fairs.

I’m going a bit against my normal grain, and snagging all of the DCs with Nick Cardy covers. I just mentioned Cardy in our recent discussion of horror artists and have a growing appreciation for his cover work at DC. The Justice League cover with the “traitorous” Red Tornado is a long ago, slightly forgotten favorite that I lost track of over the years. And I really like the Metamorpho tombstone in Brave & Bold. I think Cardy had a great handle on Batman and DC characters in general. I liked his darker and mysterious approach to many of the layouts. If you take a look at his covers in general, they often had a creepy feel with character snatchings, evil doppelgangers, and shadowy villains. And he used the logos, text, and settings so creatively. These covers are such a far cry from the modern era. And because I am generally a Marvel fan, I can safely say these DC issues would all be new (or replacements) in my collection. That should be eight issues.

To make it an even ten, I would snag the Green Lantern with John Stewart and the Strange Tales with the first outing of S.H.I.E.L.D. Best dollar ever spent.

Garett said...

Whadda dream! All that for 10 cents each!

JLA 107 and 108 with the Freedom Fighters was a favorite story, as I loved WW2 stuff. This was my favorite era of JLA as well, with Len Wein and Dick Dillin.

Avengers 100 with Smith art, Brave and Bold 101 with Aparo art (Bob Haney always seemed to pick unusual guest stars). Green Lantern 87 with Adams art and an interesting new Green Lantern, Spidey 113 by Romita.

Wanted 9 for the Simon + Kirby Sandman from the '40s-- I have the hardcover of this series and it's exciting early work. Strange Tales 135 for Kirby and Ditko. Only 2 left, so probably Avengers 102 by Buckler, and then one more that I'd decide on the day!

By the way Edo, I did pick up Alien: The Illustrated Story by Goodwin + Simonson. Looks great! Looking forward to reading it.

dbutler16 said...

First, I’ve got to go with those three JLA issues. The JLA/JSA crossover issues in particular look awesome. I’d also go with the two Avengers issues because that’s a great Avengers era. I’d also go with FF #121 because I’m a fan of Galactus heralds and the Silver Surfer in particular, who is one of my favorite superheroes. I’d go with Green Lantern #87 mainly because of the Neal Adams art, though Denny O’Neil ain’t so bad, either.

That leaves me three choices. I’ll go with the Brave & Bold #101 because I like team-up books, and Batman, and Jim Aparo. Next up is Thor #193 because Thor is one of the solo titles I’ve really been able to get into, plus the Conway/Buscema is a great creative team. Last, and certainly not least, because I just noticed that it has a Legion of Super-Heroes story in it, is Superboy #184.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd be all about Spidey and Batman (including JLA); those were my favourites from that era.

Mike Wilson

ColinBray said...

This moment, all 10 DC issues. I'm currently reading my way through some early bronze Superman issues and am utterly intrigued by the see-sawing moves from original silver age stories to Denny O'Neill's energetic attempts to pull the character into the bronze age. Then the subsequent (and partial) move back to classic Superman stories in '73 and '74.

The more 70s DC I read the more I belatedly appreciate the varied stories and dialogue taking place between different generations of creators.

So yes, the 10 DC comics - thanks for the generous offer Rob!

Steve said...

I would grab up all of the JLA and Avengers comics - my two favorite Bronze Age teams - and then with what's left over get the Spider-Man, Cap and Daredevil comics.

Humanbelly said...

I do have 6 or 7 of these already, so-- hunh-- to add to the ol' collection:

Both the BRAVE & THE BOLD's.
All three JLA's.
Definitely that THOR issue-- looks great!
Probably SUB-MARINER out of curiousity
And STRANGE TALES #130-- for the Thing in the Beatles wig! Ha! I'd likely go back and trade the others in just for that!

What a terrific smattering of different titles. I would have been thrilled to see THE GEEK or some of the weirder FLASH issues, or mid-run X-MEN, or even NICK FURY AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS in that group. . . yeah?


RobAnderson said...

Well, DANG IT! I missed all the fun yesterday -- my apologies, but I loved reading through everyone's thoughts on my morning bus commute today.

Martinex1, I am with you on my growing love of Cardy. Something I just realized in the last couple years is that a vast majority of my favorite Bronze Age covers were by Nick Cardy (just as is true for Gil Kane on the Marvel side for me).

As far as my own picks -- wow, it's like trying to pick between you children/pets/whatever...especially since I owned them all. And I have both changing tastes and the fact I owned/read them all before in play, but at this point, it would go Avengers 102, B&B 91 (for the Cardy interiors), Daredevil 82 for Conway and especially Colan, both FF's (Loved. Them.), Green Lantern (for Adams & Kane interiors!!), Strange Tales 135 for the Kirby Nick Fury story (loved those way more than I expected as a kid) with Ditko as a bonus, Sub-Mariner (for, again, Conway, and especially Colan), Superboy for the Cockrum Legion, and I always dug Dial H, too, and then Thor...for Buscema and the Silver Surfer.

It semi-kills me to leave behind those JLA issues, and especially the Cardy covers, but I do have them in TPB these days. Avengers 100 is hard as well, but I remember not loving it as much as I expected back in the day, and I DID love the Avengers Grim Reaper stuff in this era, so hence my crazy pick of 102 over 100.

So much fun...thanks for joining in, everyone, and again, sorry for the miss yesterday!

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