Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Larry Eischen - 1961

sgLarry Eischen - Sometime in spring/summer 1961, house ads began appearing in DC comics for an upcoming special issue. Secret Origins would have the origin story for several of DC's superheroes--Flash, Green Lantern, Challengers of the Unknown and the Superman-Batman team among others.

It was a comic I had to have. Back then, there was no internet or Previews to let us know 3-4 months ahead of time what was coming out when. Most of the time, you went to the store with no idea what would be there and saw what they had. House ads in DC were the only way to tell what was coming from them in a month or two.

I think a date must have shown up in one of the ads because when the day came, I became a nuisance at the soda shop. Comics and other magazines were delivered in a large bundle banded together with wire. The soda shop opened at about nine. I was there waiting for him to open. I went to the spin rack and the issue wasn't there. I looked behind the counter and there was no bundle yet.

"Can I help you?"

"No, just looking."

I went home only to return an hour later--nothing on the rack but the bundle was behind the counter. Again I explained I was just looking, but it was there I was sure, in the bundle. Again I went home, this time I waited a half hour and went back. I looked and the bundle was still there so I turned around and left.

Another half hour and I was back, the bundle was still there and I just turned and went out the door. I must have gone back five or six times and that bundle was still sitting there. He wasn't busy (except for me running in and out) so why weren't they out? Finally, on a later trip, another employee/helper had arrived and the proprietor stopped me.

"Are you looking for something in particular?"

"New comics!" I replied, "When do you put them out?"

"When I get the chance to go through things."

It continued like that into late afternoon. Me running in, seeing the bundle still there, and running right back out. Finally, I arrived right in the middle of him going through the bundle.

"Ok, which one do you want?"

"Secret Organs!" (I had no idea what an origin was or how to pronounce it) He went through the bundle.

"No, nothing like that this week."

I was crestfallen, a whole day wasted for a comic that never showed up.

It finally came out a week or two later and the guy went the extra mile and set one aside for me.

"Are you still looking for this?" he asked and held it up.

Luckily I had money that day. I gave him my quarter and headed home trying to read it, walk, and see where I was going at the same time. I was not disappointed--the book was comics heaven!

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