Vincent Bartilucci And there it is! Justice League of America #98, the first comic book I can remember buying. Or rather the first comic I can remember picking out and my mom buying for me.
As I mentioned in my first rambling recollection on Hey, Kids! (please, send in your stories--Rob's getting sick of hearing from me! [Editor's note: Not True!]), I don't remember the first comic I ever owned. They were always just sorta there, y'know?
However, I can say that this is the first "comic-buying" experience I remember. I was five and a half years old so the memory is kind of hazy. I know that it was a sunny day. I know that I had just gotten my hair cut. And I think that we bought it at a stationery or card store. But not Clearview, the store I've mentioned often on Hey, Kids!
Y'see, I grew up in Plainview on Long Island and we didn't have a 7-11 anywhere nearby. So, I bought all my comics at stationery stores. Most at Clearview which seemed to have the biggest selection and which, eventually, got a spinner rack (coolest sight of my young life). But I'm certain this wasn't bought at Clearview. I think it was purchased at a store next to the barbershop where I got my haircut. Both establishments were in a small shopping center across the street from a NatWest Bank, maybe 10 blocks, tops, from my house.
Not to sound too pretentious but that stationery store (and that barbershop) are like wisps of smoke that I can't quite grab hold of. They both closed before I turned eight or nine and, apart from this one experience, I don't have any memories of either place.
But it was sunny. And my hair was short.
Recently, just for fun, I went to Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics and starting going backward from this issue month by month using Mike's Time Machine feature. I was looking for the oldest comic book that I own. The oldest one that wasn't bought as a back issue, that is. That comic? Superman #236. Go take a look.
The cover of the oldest comic I own depicts Superman trying to save a burning Lois Lane at the fiery gates of Hell. According to Mike's, that comic came out in Feb. 1971. I was four and a half years old! What were my parents thinking?!?!?
The oldest comic I actually remember picking out in a store is Justice League of America #98. Take a look at that cover. Superman, Batman, and the rest sitting around a big old pentagram summoning Lord knows what.
In the immortal words of Felix Unger, "Oscar! I am Rosemary's baby!".
P.S.: Until this very minute I did not realize that the JLAers were performing their séance within a circle made to look like Green Lanterns ring. I've owned this comic for thirty-five years! That's me, Eagle-Eye Bartilucci!