Doug: Last weekend we had several long-timers as well as a nice representation of new/recent commenters join the fray in discussing their peak buying years. The conversation veered to when and why that first wave waned, books that got us back into collecting, etc. Toward the end of that weekend, one of our Twitter followers (@conrad_eric) asked us if we'd ever run a post where we asked our readers just how they got their comics. To the best of my recollection those sorts of stories have been told through the years, but I don't believe ever in one place. Well... that's today, and the rest of the weekend.
We'd love it if you'd get specific with certain vendors' spinner racks and magazine shelves, locations of drug stores or groceries, mail order companies, and maybe even trading partners. I know I'd love to hear memories of how our readers acquired certain books, what age they were then, and if they still have the book or not. Talk about our community finding some common ground for nostalgia!
I can start this off today, and will most likely chime in again with a comment at some point: As a child, I can recall magazine racks at a drug store at the corner of S. 76th St. and Howard Ave. in Milwaukee. I can see Fantastic Four #161 in front of my hands in May, 1975. I later bought FF #163 at the same store. Those might be the earliest memories I have of buying my own comics, which is puzzling since I'd have been 9 years old. I know I had several comics by that time. Anyway, other regular venues through the years included Osco Drugs in Kankakee, IL, where I purchased Peter Parker #1, Belscot in Kankakee (a poor man's Wal-Mart), where Marvel Treasury Edition #s 19 (Conan the Barbarian) and 21 (Fantastic Four) left in my possession, the Weiner's mini-market on River Street in Kankakee, IL where I purchased an issue of Super-Team Family, the Convenient Food Mart in Bourbonnais, IL where I bought many an issue of Secret Society of Super-Villains, and of course my most famous one-time purchase of Avengers #161 at Mickey's Books and Novelties (you know...). In college, the Rexall Drugs in Eureka, IL got me my fix of Crisis On Infinite Earths and volume two of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Shortly thereafter, I started buying comics from mail order businesses such as Westfield Comics, Mile High Comics, and M&M Comic Service. All are still in business.
So thank you to Eric for the suggestion/request. I hope our conversation this weekend is as rich as last weekend's was.