Rob Kelly This is my spinner rack, and the story of how I got it.
I don't remember when I got the idea I could--nay, needed--a genuine comic book spinner rack, but it must have layed dormant in my mind for a while, because when I saw the opportunity present itself, a whole plan popped into my head.
As I've mentioned before on several of my blogs, one of the newsstands I grew up buying comics at was Voorhees News & Tobacco, located in (you guessed it) Voorhees, NJ. It was one of those old-timey, cigar-smelling, porn-mags-in-the-back places, and they carried way more comics(even some of the digests, and even some Charltons! Charltons!) than my local 7-11s did, so anytime I knew my Dad would be going by there I begged him to stop and let me check it out.
Of course, once I discovered comic book shops, the newsstands trips died out, but over the years, VN&T remained(but as my friend Doug Slack, who also grew up buying comics there, once said, "a shadow of its former self"). In fact, it's still there to this day:
Anyway, I was in there once about five years ago, and saw that they still carried comics, but no longer on the wooden racks along with the other publications. No, they were all on their own spinner racks.
Problem was, like most newsstands, their comic sales had slowed to a trickle. The store had three identical spinner racks, dusty and ignored, with maybe thirty comics spread over all three. The books, spines bent, hung over the front of each wire rack. A sad, pathetic sight.
When I saw this, I immediately figured--hey, I wonder if they'd part with one of these? It's not like they're using them. So as I wandered the store, I hatched a plan.
At the counter, I inquired about maybe buying one of them, and the guy at the counter told me to come back tomorrow and ask the manager. Easy, and better for me, too, since it gave me time to work out my story.
Now, normally I am--or try, at least--to be truthful in all aspects of my daily life. Not because I'm all virtuous or anything, I've found it just makes life easier. But I figured this time I needed a story, because it might seem odd for some shop owner if a customer came in and started asking to buy fixtures--"I'd like one spinner rack, and, oh, what are you doing with that deli counter?"
So when I came back, and I told the owner that a friend of mine in Ohio(had several, so this part was true) was opening his own newsstand/coffee shop(totally made up) and he was going to carry comics, and had wanted an old-timey type comics rack, but couldn't find one (this part was partly true, in that I had done some research and found that while DC and Marvel used to provide vendors with racks, that custom died out a long time ago).
I figured telling the guy the store was in Ohio was solid because it eliminated any feeling he might have of competition. And by saying it was for nostalgia's sake(which was true, since that's why I wanted it) gave it an extra level of harmlessness.
He thought about it for a second, and said "$50?" and I immediately said yes(I probably said "Yes!!"). I layed the money--cash--on him, and grabbed the nicest one and walked about, not before taking the comics off of it, and placing them on the remaining two racks, which made them look better, since they were now more full. I was performing a public service!
I took it home, lovingly cleaned it, and filled it with comics. Oh, how I loved it--the old-timey sign, the shrieking squeak you get from turning it, the way it bent whatever comics I put into it.
Ever since I moved in with Trace, I've had to put it into storage because now that her dining room is my studio there's simply no room for it. But one day we'll get a bigger house, and I'll put this baby out and it will again take its place as my favorite studio ornament...