I recently read on another blog that the the writer of the blog was trying to acquire all of the comic books that they had as a young kid. That got me to thinking about how and when I got started collecting comic books. I could remember exactly what two comics were the first comics I bought, they were issue #2 of Rom Spaceknight and issue #2 of Fantasy Masterpieces staring The Silver Surfer, both from January 1980.
There used to be a drug store across the street from where I lived, and I mostly remember heading to the back of the store where they had the toys. I can remember spending a lot of time standing back their staring at all the toys hung on the pegs on the wall - I'm sure there was not that much there, but to a twelve year old in 1979 it seemed like Toys R Us to me! Then one day, for some reason I noticed some comic books on a bottom shelf near the front of the store. They were all packaged two to a bag for one price. I remember sifting though all the packages looking at the amazing covers. I settled on the one with the space robot comic and the space man comic.
Its pretty amazing to see that these two comics are still in amazing shape. I didn't start bagging my comics for about 10 years, so for the first 10 years, these two comics sat along with the rest of my comics in the top drawer of my desk. My favorites being kept in paper bags that I would receive when purchasing comics or magazines at the local drug store.
Shortly after I picked up these two comics, I began to swap comics with the kids in my neighborhood, and I ended up trading for a copy of Captain Canuck issue #6. I liked it so much that I subscribed to Captain Canuck and would run to the mailbox every day hoping for a new issue to arrive!
I also started spending a lot of time at a local book store called the Bookaneer that as well as selling used books, they sold all the new comic book titles. I can remember spending a lot of my free time hanging around that store talking about comics with the shop owner and other kids who would come in.
It was in 1988 that I visited my first real comic book shop. I was a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and when I found out they had action figures based on the TMNT, I had to have them. There were not many toy stores in my area, so I didn't have much luck finding them. Someone at one of the small toy shops I visited, told me that I should check out a comic book shop to get these figures. After checking out my phone book, I found a comic book shop in New Westminster called Talking Illustrations, and when I called them, they told me that they did in fact have them in stock, but that they were selling very fast. I jumped into the car and drove the 30 minutes to the store to get my turtle figures. My eyes must have doubled in size as I stared at racks and racks of comic books and all things comic related! I have been making the 30 minute drive on a regular basis to that same shop for the past 20 years!