It brings me great pleasure to officially open my own online comic shop on Father's Day.
I started collecting comics when I was a kid. I'm not sure what age exactly as I have some He-Man, Thundercats and Star Wars comics that I have owned since the early 80s. I do know for a fact though that in 1990, at the age of 10, I discovered The Punisher.
There was a convenience store near my house, maybe a mile or so away, where I rode my bike to get candy and junk food. The store was called Hazel Wood Market and like a lot of other stores, they had a spinner rack with some comics. Honestly I don't know what comics usually filled the rack. Maybe Heathcliff, Spider-Man, and a few other family friendly titles. It was nothing that ever got my attention though.
On one trip I spotted something on the rack that I just couldn't stop looking at. For the first time I was really interested in a comic book and took notice. So what was it that got me hooked? Punisher War Journal #17 was it for me. Once I saw that amazing book on a spinner rack, I knew I'd be hooked for life.
Punisher War Journal #17 was it for me. Once I saw that amazing book on a spinner rack, I knew I'd be hooked for life.
That day I bought a comic filled with beautiful artwork by Jim Lee about a man who killed drug dealers. Thanks to the "Just Say No"anti-drug program we'd been exposed to in school, ten year old me couldn't imagine anything worse than drugs, so killing these dealers seemed like the perfect punishment.
I must have read that comic a hunderd times before I realized it was the 17th issue and there were 16 more issues that came before it that I could be reading. So I went to my dad and asked him if he knew how to get old comics. He said he'd take me to the comicbook store to hunt them down and all I could think was "WTF! There's a store that sell just comics!?"
Aside from blowing my mind by alerting me to the existance of comic shops, my dad also let me in on the little secret that he too was a comic collector. I supposed before then he never wanted to push his hobby onto his kids. But the moment I let him know I was interested in comics, it was on.
The first time I went to a comic store with my dad was glorious. Seeing walls of books like McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man, Liefeld's New Mutants, and Silvestri's Uncanny X-Men, I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
That trip I spent time with my dad looking for back issues of Punisher War Journal and a new hobby was born. It was also a new bond my father and I shared. From then on out, my dad and I went to comic shops all over the state, hunting down every single appearance of the Punisher, including his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #129.
Seeing walls of books like McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man, Liefeld's New Mutants, and Silvestri's Uncanny X-Men, I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
Taking road trips to hunt comics with my dad lasted until he passed away in 2015. Some of my fondest memories of my dad are from going to comic shops and conventions. He was always so excited to be there and we'd always find a BBQ place to eat after (BBQ was his other real passion.)
My son is 9 and will be 10 soon. He has not yet shown an interest in comics... but when he does, it's on!
Happy Father's day and happy collecting!