The Real Never-Ending Battle by Shawn Spurlock

April 12, 2022 Articles

The first Wednesday in June of 1982, the boxes came. Maybe it was even one box, I wasn’t there. I suppose I could’ve asked Jamie, but the actual number doesn’t matter, really. What matters is that it started with a cardboard box that had to be sliced open.  Two years after the first comic sold through the “direct market” (Dazzler #1. heh. Every time you have to talk about the birth of the modern comic shop, you have to say Dazzler.), Jamie opened a box and pulled out the new books. Now, the career of a Comic Guy has its ups and downs, but certainly one of the best parts is the vague Christmas morning vibe that comes with opening those boxes. That, and the ink on your fingers when it’s all over.

1982 didn’t just bring you the first block in a comics-centric commerce pyramid, no. It also brought you “Eye of the Tiger” on the radio and two days after Jamie first turned the key, Star Trek 2 Wrath of Khan opened up in theatres. Art was flying about in the early 80’s, even though a great deal of it was colored Mauve. As far as comics went, 1982 was the year that these happened…

…Love and Rockets starts, Daredevil #181 (Elektra dies), G.I. Joe begins at Marvel, Creepshow by Stephen King and Bernie Wrightson is released in the mass market, The Great Darkness Saga in the Legion of Super-Heroes, Uncanny X-Men/Teen Titans, Marvel’s Contest of the Champions, Marvelman debuts in Warrior, and Marvel launches a line of graphic novels including the Death of Captain Marvel, New Mutants, and God Loves Man Kills.

Clearly, a big year for comics, that turned out to be an important year for me too. Although I didn’t know it at the time, my future changed with that first box full of new comics in 1982. It’s been a long road, but I can say that I’ll be forever grateful for the chance to play on one of the best Comic Guy teams ever assembled. Way worth the ink on my fingers.

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