Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tales from the 25¢ Bin!

Exclesior, True Believers! It's time once again for another look at my latest haul from the cheap-o bin at my local used book store.

I managed to walk away with some serious gems on my last visit, despite the fact that I had to wander around the store until this other dude finished rooting through it and amassing a mega-stack of comics that had me worrying that there wouldn't be anything good left.

But luckily, the cheap comic book gods were with me. Behold...

First up, I managed to add yet another issue of G.I. Joe Special Missions to my collection. I was an avid reader of the regular Joe comics back in the day, but never bought many Special Missions issues, probably because these were coming out around '89, when even though my comic book reading was reaching a new height, I was mostly neck deep in Batman comics and pretty much nothing else. I'm hoping to eventually find all of these and then have a marathon G.I. Joe Special Missions session one day.

Next we have a true gem (to me, at least), with this issue of Kull the Destroyer. This run of comics (based on the Conan-esque character from Robert E. Howard) was always good for a rousing yarn packed with magic and mayhem. I used to love them as a kid, but they were hard to come by back then. I've managed to gather several of these issues over the years, but it's rare that I find an issue that I need. Score one for me.

Another favorite from my personal Golden Age of comic book collecting (middle school), is the brilliantly silly Spider-Ham. I keep running across these priceless issues in the 25¢ bin and always snap them up immediately. I remember once drawing a picture of Spider-Ham on the back of a notebook in 7th grade and this girl looking over my shoulder and going, "You made him look like a pig!" She meant it as a dis, but I took it as a compliment.

And much like my beloved Kull, The Warlord is another beloved adventure character from my youth. I've prattled on about the legendary Travis Morgan before, so I won't bore you all with my poetic waxing again, so let's just say that I was hella stoked to find another issue of this series in the cheap bin and leave it at that.

Now for a real score! This 1978 issue of Archie's TV Laugh-Out is beyond cool! Heck, I've never even seen an issue of this series, and I've been reading Archie for decades. So imagine my surprise at finding this little beauty. The cover gag alone just screams nostalgia as both Happy Days and Charlie's Angels get a mention. Considering the title, I expected the stories inside to be all TV themed, or maybe even TV show spoofs, but quite frankly it was just another collection of short tales from Riverdale. Still, there's nothing about this comic that I don't love. It even had a Josie and the Pussycats story, and the more I get of those lyrical lasses, the better.

And finally, the cream of this particular crop, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the one 25¢ comic that caused me to literally punch the air and let out a resounding "YES!", issue #1 of the Marvel Comics epic event, Secret Wars. Now, I have the collected Secret Wars TPB, but seeing this issue brought back a flood of memories of me and my friends skateboarding down to the local comic shop every month to pick up the latest issue in this 12 part series. To this day, the issue where Spidey gets his black uniform stands out as one of my all-time favorite moments in comics. Man, I need to sit down and read Secret Wars again. What a score.

So that's it for this episode of Tales from the 25¢ Bin. Tune in next time for more show-and-tell excitement!

'Nuff said!