I’ve been thinking about posting this topic for a while now. I started actively collecting comic books in 1973 when I acquired two consecutive issues of Incredible Hulk while on a family vacation. But my mom had been buying the occasional comic book for me since I was (near as I can figure) about three years old, humor mostly.¹ I do remember having several Harvey comics when I was very young: Casper, Spooky, Wendy, Little Dot, Little Lotta, Richie Rich. I had a Disney comic or two.² I know I had at least one Pink Panther comic book in the early ‘70s.
But I don’t number any of these among my “first” comics, however. What I’m interested in are the first comics I still have in my collection and would still be willing to read, and indeed, from time to time, still do. Although I later filled many gaps and, by 1973 began buying and trading for backissues, I still remember the comic books I owned first. I know I got them all when they were new on the stands, so, to that end, tomorrow I will begin chronicalling the first 15 (or so) comics that set me on my path for life.
¹I never owned an Archie comic, although I read them at the dentist’s office.
²I recently confirmed that a story I remember quite well about the old “string tied to a wallet” prank was a reprint of a Carl Barks story when it turned up in an edition of The Carl Barks Library.
Love this topic. I know my "First Fifteen" are all from late 1975- early 1976. Maybe I'll throw in a few as you go along Jeff. (If you don't mind, that is.)
I don't mind at all! One of the reasons I put off posting this idea was because I didn't think anyone would necessarily be interested in reading about my first 15 (which may end up being more; I was going for the alliteration), but as long as y'all feel comfortable chiming in with you own choices, go for it. Me, I plan to re-read all of my choices as the discussion progresses. I haven't written my first post yet, but I hope to have it up soon.
Good grief, I'll be blessed if I remember anything that far back so specifically.
I wouldn't be able to, except I still have all of the comics I'll be discussing and I remember them as "those I owned as a kid." Once I get to 1973 I started buying a <i>lot</i> more comics, some of them I don't have anymore, plus I wouldn't be able to accurately track my aquisition of backissues. I don't know exactly how many comics books I'll end up covering, but I expect to cover the years 1967-1973.
I have a pretty good idea of the first comics that really made an impression on me. I think it's mostly because I only got them sporadically at first. It was a rare enough occurence that each time I acquired one it seemed like a really big deal.
But, after seeing this topic last night, I decided to try to pin it down a little more by checking out the "Newsstand" feature on the "Mike's Amazing World" site. That proved to be really helpful since it organizes comics by year, month, etc... Turns out my first comics are actually from 1974-75.
The more I look at that Mandrake cover, the more bizarre it seems.
The Mandrake comic also had a "Brick Bradford" story that I remembered as "Flash Gordon" until I re-read it recently. It was quite fanciful, about being shrunk down to microscopic size... not a unique concept, but the story had lots of visuals which burned into my memory.
My first four comics were stocking stuffers on Christmas 1972. Apparently my memories were a bit jumbled because when I thought I knew what they were, two of them were from Christmas 1973! Using the aptly named Mike's Amazing World of Comics' Newstand feature, it became clear that two other early books had to be from that Xmas!
Well, this is interesting!
I decided to do some research on my first books, and it blew my first post (now deleted) out of the water. My reconstructed recollection of those days was entirely erroneous.
I think I can say with some confidence that the first comics I bought with my own money with the intent to collect were Fantastic Four #67 and Amazing Spider-Man #53. Both came out in July, 1967.
Avengers Annual #1 also came out that month, and I had it, but I don't recall how I came to have it. I remember reading it on a vacation road trip, probably to Florida, so it might have been something my parents bought to keep me busy. I literally read that book to pieces and had to replace it later when I became a Serious Collector.
I recognize Tales of Suspense #95, Avengers #47, Sgt. Fury #48 and Not Brand Echh #5 as likely first issues.
Looking at the "Mike's Amazing World" Newsstand feature (thanks for the tip, 'Tec!) it appears my brother bought most of the superhero books from summer '64 to summer '66 (Avengers #5-27, for example). He continued on some DC titles into 1967, as he had subscriptions to them. (Which excluded the 80-Page Giants.) I bought his collection in the late '60s sometime, and filled in the gaps.
"...the 'Newsstand' feature on the 'Mike's Amazing World' site."
Wow, that is an incredibly useful site for unlocking old memories! I had already identified June 1973 (SEP '73 cover date) as an important month, but "Mike" reminded me of an additional three very important (to me) comics I bought that month. I thought I was going to have to give up this project after 1973, but I may change "My First Fifteen" into "My First Fifty"!
YOWZA! I am excited!