Post by M. W. Gallaher on Feb 17, 2021 10:02:55 GMT -5
This comic has a special place in my memory, although I didn't buy it off the racks. In fact, I wasn't buying comics at all when this first struck my eye in September 1968, when this hit the stands. I was 8 years old, and I knew Aquaman from his Saturday morning cartoon show, which I liked. Despite digging superheroes on TV, the comic books for some reason just weren't on my radar, a mystery my memory cannot seem to crack. I was aware of them, I took occasional notice of them, and I have strong if not particularly vivid memories of those rare occasions when I did take notice. A neighbor's issue of THREE MOUSEKETEERS, an issue of TEEN TITANS briefly perused at a neighborhood 4th of July party, an unknown comic book that another neighbor had with a house ad for ATOM #32 (June 1967), a haunting glimpse of the "Boiling Man" on WONDER WOMAN #154 (when I was only 5 years old!), an issue of CAPTAIN ("Split!") MARVEL that I thought for years must have been a fever dream, December 1968's SUPERMAN #204 cover, leaving me to wonder why the initials L.L. mean death to the man of steel...
...and AQUAMAN #42.
It was at the Memphis International Airport, and I was there with my parents awaiting the arrival of...someone...family, one of my mother's co-workers, I don't know who. Bored, I noticed a small magazine stand, which I remember, perhaps incorrectly, as being outside of the airport shop, out in the terminal aisles. For sale was AQUAMAN #42. I know it was this issue not because of the magnificent Nick Cardy cover, with its impressive coloring and novel integration of the logo on the bottom of the scene, as part of the ocean bed. I know it was this issue because what really blew my young mind was the upper left corner. There, in order to insure that if the comic were blocked by others on the spinner rack, the comic would still be identifiable to browsers, DC's production department stuck in the book's title in a commercial paste-on font. And put it there twice, by spelling "Aquaman" both vertically and horizontally, each sharing the initial 'A'.
Which doesn't sound all that amazing, but there's a first time that anyone is exposed to these little design tricks, and this was my first time seeing that. Or noticing it, anyway. And it struck me as so incredibly cool that I wanted to buy the comic right then and there. I remember going back to my parents to ask for a bit of change so I could buy it...and having that request refused. My parents denied me very little, but this 12 cents they did (probably 13 or 14 after taxes).
This would have been my first comic drawn by the guy who'd come to be my favorite comic book artist, Jim Aparo. Would it have triggered the same collecting habit that Jack Kirby would a few years later when I bought JIMMY OLSEN #142? Is it some kind of sign that both issue numbers end in 42? I wonder what other 42nd (modulo 100) issues--if any--have an uncommon appeal to me?
And just to confirm a past ruling: Spirit section splashes are eligible, correct?
I wasn't around for that, but I would assume so-- in the Spirit newspaper Section, the splash page IS the cover. If there's been a past ruling to the contrary, I'd politely disagree and would like to see the justification for excluding them. I'm obviously biased, but if I'm in the minority, so be it.