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.
Good! The more the merrier. Moving on to…
1975: There are two noticeable trends in my buying habits in 1975. First, I was buying very few established series (apart from Hulk and a one-off issue of other titles from time-to-time); second, my Marvel buying far outstripped my DC buying this year. Here is a list of the “new #1s” I bought in 1975 by company.
MARVEL: Giant-Size Invaders #1, Giant-Size X-Men #1, Skull the Slayer #1, Doc Savage #1 (b&w magazine), Champions #1, Inhumans #1, Marvel Chillers #1 (Modred the Mystic; later Tigra), Marvel Presents #1 (Bloodstone), Marvel Adventure #1 (Daredevil reprints), Son of Satan #1, Howard the Duck #1 and Omega the Unknown #1.
DC: 1st Issue Special #2 (I was tricked by the logo), Claw the Unconquered #1, Stalker #1, Sherlock Holmes #1, Super-Team Family #1, Man-Bat #1, Warlord #1 and Kobra #1.
Most of these series (the Marvel ones, anyway) I continued to collect as long as they lasted. I tried keeping up with Claw, Stalker and Kobra, but I missed more issues than I got. Disappointed that Warlord wasn’t really the first issue, I bought only one other issue, #4.