Rob Kelly One relic of Buying Comics Past that has completely vanished for later generations is the Coverless Comic.
As I'm sure most everyone reading this blog already knows, coverless comics were a...er, slightly shifty newsvendor's way of getting credit for unsold comics while still, in fact, selling them. They would rip the cover(or sometimes just the title) off, send it back to the publisher, and then sell the mutilated comic for less than cover price. It is so very illegal.
As I've mentioned before, buying comics while on vacation with my family in the Poconos were some of my favorite childhood experiences--they had newsstands, gas stations, and supermarkets galore up there, and all of them--all of them--carried comics. Ah, the good old days.
There was a Woolworth store(a tri-state area chain; kind of like a super-small, more grubby version of Target) in the town of Hawley; which was the closest approximation of Civilization that we had to our cabin. My Dad and I were in there one day August of 1980 and I saw this book--a coverless copy of Justice League of America #179, the one where Firestorm joins the team.
I had somehow missed this issue(and the part 2 of the story in #180), so I never knew how Firestorm ended up in the JLA. So when I saw this book, I just had to have it; the fact it had no cover puzzled me, but didn't stop me from asking(read: begging) my Dad to get it for me.
The coverless copy was the only one I had for many years; when I hit my teens and got more serious about being a Collector, I ditched that copy and got a better condition one, with the original spiffy cover by Jim Starlin.
Now of course I wish I still had that original one; even coverless it would mean a lot more to me than any Pristine Mint, slabbed or whatever perfect copy.